It's funny because it's true pic.twitter.com/110meIzJY0
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) July 25, 2019
As I suspected, someone at TP-USA ‘borrowed’ that parody seal — either out of carelessness / inattention, or because the guy behind the scenes was pissed at his Very Important Superiors. (It’s not as though this generation’s Young Repubs are capable of coming up with any half-decent ideas on their own… )
From the Washington Post, “Meet the man who created the fake presidential seal — a former Republican fed up with Trump”:
Charles Leazott hadn’t thought about the seal in months.
The 46-year-old graphic designer threw it together after the 2016 presidential election — it was one part joke, one part catharsis. He used to be a proud Republican. He voted for George W. Bush. Twice.
But Donald J. Trump’s GOP was no longer his party. So he created a mock presidential seal to prove his point.
He substituted the arrows in the eagle’s claw for a set of golf clubs — a nod to the new president’s favorite pastime. In the other set of talons, he swapped the olive branch for a wad of cash and replaced the United States’ Latin motto with a Spanish insult. Then, his coup de grace: a two-headed imperial bird lifted straight from the Russian coat of arms, an homage to the president’s checkered history with the adversarial country.
“This is the most petty piece of art I have ever created,” the Richmond resident said in an interview with The Washington Post.
The seal wasn’t meant for a wide audience. But then, years later, it wound up stretched across a jumbo-tron screen behind an unwitting President Trump as he spoke to a conference packed with hundreds of his young supporters…
By Thursday morning, the Turning Point spokesman said the group had identified the staffer responsible for turning Leazott’s design into a trending topic. He called the incident a last-minute oversight, the result of a quick online search to find a second high-resolution photo of the presidential seal to place behind Trump. He said the mistake was “unacceptable.”
“We did let the individual go,” the spokesman said. “I don’t think it was malicious intent, but nevertheless.”
Leazott doesn’t buy it. He thinks whoever was responsible had to know exactly what they were looking for. He believes the person dug up the image he created and used it intentionally…
After The Post story published, Internet sleuths went looking, too. They found the image’s origin, tracing it back to an online marketplace Leazott set up to sell shirts and stickers sporting the seal, along with other jokey “resistance” apparel. And the citizens of the Web wanted to buy his stuff…
As of Thursday afternoon, Leazott’s shirts were sold out. He said he had to start working with a fulfillment center just to meet the demand. He also revived the primary website for his brand, OneTermDonnie, which includes a paean to the American Civil Liberties Union, where the site says 10 percent of all sales will be directed.
“It’s cool people are buying this, that’s great and all,” he said. “But I’ve got to be honest, I am so tickled in the most petty way possible that the president of the United States, who I despise, stood up and gave a talk in front of this graphic. Whoever put that up is my absolute hero.”
I also like the t-shirts with the slogan “Paid Protestor? I am literally losing income by being here… “