Monday, March 5, 2018

The Trump Organization Ordered Golf Course Markers With the Presidential Seal. That May Be Illegal.

 ‘Trump, Inc.’ Podcast Extra

By Katherine Sullivan, special to ProPublica

President Donald Trump loves putting his name on everything from ties to steaks to water — and, of course, his buildings. But now the Trump Organization appears to be borrowing a brand even more powerful than the gilded Trump moniker: the presidential seal.

In recent weeks, the Trump Organization has ordered the manufacture of new tee markers for golf courses that are emblazoned with the seal of the president of the United States. Under federal law, the seal’s use is permitted only for official government business. Misuse can be a crime.

Past administrations have policed usage vigilantly. In 2005 the Bush administration ordered the satirical news website The Onion to remove a replica of the seal. Grant M. Dixton, associate White House counsel, wrote in a letter to The Onion that the seal “is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement.”

After listening to the new ProPublica/WNYC podcast “Trump, Inc.,” a listener brought the signs to our attention.

Eagle Sign and Design, a metalworking and sign company with offices in New Albany, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky, said it had received an order to manufacture dozens of round, 12-inch replicas of the presidential seal to be placed next to the tee boxes at Trump golf course holes. Two tee markers are placed on the ground at the start of a hole on golf courses to indicate where golfers should stand to take their first swing.

“We made the design, and the client confirmed the design,” said Joseph E. Bates, who owns Eagle Sign, declining to say who the client was.

Click here for the full article and podcast. 

Source: ProPublica 

UPDATE - March 6, 4:55 p.m. (EST) - Trump’s Company Removes Presidential Seal From Golf Course

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