presidential seals
A table of presidential seal tee markers at Eagle Sign. This photo was provided to ProPublica by a source.

ProPublica and WNYC reported on Monday that a sign-making company in New Albany, Indiana, received an order from Trump International 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.”

Section 18 of the U.S. code says that “whoever … knowingly manufactures, reproduces, sells, or purchases for resale, either separately or appended to any article manufactured or sold, any likeness” of the presidential seal for non-official government use “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”

The law prohibits manufacture or purchase for resale.  So, Trump’s organization may not have violated the law in buying the seals, but this sounds eerily like a clear-cut case of criminal facilitation to me.  They have clearly aided in the breaking of the law by ordering the seals and without question are involved in their “non-official government use.”  If it is unlawful to manufacture the seals for non-official government use, does it not stand to reason that the non-official use is also prohibited by law?

Predictably, Trump supporters are going out of their way to overlook yet another glaring departure by this president from appropriate, ethical, “presidential” behavior in his official capacity as the chief of the executive branch.  The lawmakers who continue to defend him must be put on the proverbial chopping block in the midterm elections being held this year.  The nation  deserves much better.

Taking a knee during the singing of the National Anthem caused such a great national debate because critics considered said it was disrespectful to the flag and to the idea of American patriotism.   Protest, however, is a part of the very fabric of American freedom.  Golfing?  Not so much.  One would think that these purists would at least be upset by the President’s apparent involvement in violating the law for his own personal gain.  Or maybe you believe that people in the Trump Organization act on their own without input from Mr. Trump.

Query:  if the Trump organization–  which has no official governmental position– can order and use presidential seals as markers at golf courses it owns, I wonder if I could I also order a few to throw up around my office to make it appear I have some White House juice?

Probably not– and the people who are most conspicuously quiet right now would be some of the most vocal if I did.  George Orwell continues to be right, long after 1984:  all us are certainly equal, but some of us are just more equal than the rest.

Can’t wait ’til 2020, when we REALLY #MakeAmericaGreatAgain.

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