LONDON — At the Trump National Golf Club outside Washington, which hosted the Senior P.G.A. Championship this weekend, the president’s coat of arms is everywhere — the sign out front, the pro shop, even the exercise room.
The regal emblem, used at President Trump’s golf courses across the United States, sports three lions and two chevrons on a shield, below a gloved hand gripping an arrow.
A different coat of arms flies over Mr. Trump’s two golf resorts in Scotland. The lions on the shield have been replaced by a two-headed eagle, an image the company has said represents the “dual nature and nationality” of Mr. Trump’s Scottish and German roots.
But this emblem was not just about honoring his heritage.
The British are known to take matters of heraldry seriously, and Mr. Trump’s American coat of arms belongs to another family. It was granted by British authorities in 1939 to Joseph Edward Davies, the third husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the socialite who built the Mar-a-Lago resort that is now Mr. Trump’s cherished getaway.
In the United States, the Trump Organization took Mr. Davies’s coat of arms for its own, making one small adjustment — replacing the word “Integritas,” Latin for integrity, with “Trump.”
Joseph D. Tydings, a Democrat and former United States senator from Maryland who is the grandson of Mr. Davies, learned that Mr. Trump was using the emblem, at least at Mar-a-Lago, when he visited the property. Mr. Trump had never asked permission.
“There are members of the family who wanted to sue him,” said Mr. Tydings, a lawyer who wears his family’s coat of arms on a ring. “This is the first I’ve ever heard about it being used anywhere else.”
The College of Arms, which oversees coats of arms in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, provided more detail. The emblem originally submitted in 2007 by Mr. Trump to Britain’s trademark office matched one that had been granted to Mr. Davies, an American of Welsh descent who once served as ambassador to the Soviet Union.
“It couldn’t be a clearer-cut case, actually,” said Clive Cheesman, one of the college’s heralds, who oversee coats of arms, their design and their use.
“A coat of arms that was originally granted to Joseph Edward Davies in 1939 by the English heraldic authority ended up being used 10 or 15 years ago by the Trump Organization as part of its branding for its golf clubs,” said Mr. Cheesman, a lawyer by training. “This got them into difficulty.”
The White House referred questions to the Trump Organization, which did not respond to requests for comment.
The organization has trademarked the Davies coat of arms in the United States, which has far less attachment to such symbols. It is used on the company’s website and is a prominent branding detail of Mr. Trump’s many American golf courses and resorts — emblazoned on golf balls, shirts and bottles of body lotion.
When the Trump Organization created a Civil War memorial at the golf course near Washington commemorating a battle and a “river of blood” that never occurred, a plaque marking the fictitious event was embossed with the coat of arms.
The NYT has the full, sordid story. There is not one thing which is genuine when it comes to Trump, he’s a cheap plastic shell surrounding a vacuum of screaming ego. #Trake – If It’s Trump, It’s Fake. You can see some of the choice tweets over this matter here. My favourite:
— (((Dave McKinnon))) (@DaveMcKinnon__) May 29, 2017