The presidential seal has turned up as a marker at a fourth Trump golf course, a possible violation of federal law.
On April 21, an Instagram user posted a photo of the seal at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida. The picture shows a circular, blue-and-silver marker set in closely cropped grass, and an accompanying caption reads: “45th President 45 yards from hole on 18.”
It is against the law to use the presidential seal in a way that could convey the impression of government approval or sponsorship of private-sector businesses. The West Palm Beach golf club is the fourth Trump property to feature the seal in possible violation of the statute, following a trend set at courses in the Bronx, New Jersey and Jupiter, Florida.
Violations of the law can result in prison sentences of up to six months, although prosecutors have never prioritized charging people who misuse the seal.
Trump’s West Palm Beach club is the former president’s go-to course when residing at nearby Mar-a-Lago.
In 2018, a podcast named “Trump, Inc.” from ProPublica and WNYC, uncovered a batch of markers similar to the ones that have appeared recently at Trump properties. At the time, the Trump Organization blamed the incident on diehard supporters and quickly got rid of the markers. “The plaques were presented to the club by a small group of members, who are incredible fans of the president, in honor of Presidents’ Day weekend,” the business said in a 2018 statement to the podcast. “They were temporary and have since been removed.”
But then they started popping up again. The owner of Eagle Sign and Design, a Kentucky-based company that manufactured the original markers, did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives of the Trump Organization also did not respond to inquiries.