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Obama Changes Presidential Seal

Netlore Archive: Email flier says Barack Obama used a podium featuring an altered version of the Presidential Seal during a June 2008 campaign appearance.

Description: Email flier
Circulating since: June 2008
Status: True

Email example contributed by an AOL user, June 23, 2008:

Subject: I'm Not Surprised

Obama Changes Presidential Seal

Sunday, June 22, 2008 4:53 PM

Sen. Barack Obama has promised "change," and his campaign has already been hard at work changing one of the basic symbols of the nation - the Presidential Seal.

On Friday, the press was abuzz over the new seal, which was unveiled on Obama's podium when he spoke to a group of Democratic governors.

While the Obama seal does include the American bald eagle clutching arrows and an olive branch, the resemblance ends there.

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Obama seal Presidential Seal

Image credits: Jeff Haynes / Getty Images (left), White House photo (right)

Obama seal
Jeff Haynes / Getty Images
Comments: True. Presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke behind a podium adorned with a revised version of the Presidential Seal during a meeting with Democratic governors at the Chicago History Museum on June 20, 2008.

Instead of the words "Seal of the President of the United States," the revised logo featured the slogan "Obama for President." In place of the motto "E Pluribus Unum" ("Out of many, one") was the Latin phrase "Vero Possumus" (roughly, "Yes we can").

Public reactions were mixed. Some found the "remixed" seal clever. Reuters said it "helped complete a presidential-looking setting." Others found it silly at best, disrespectful and presumptuous at worst. A U.S. News & World Report columnist labeled it "arrogant." ABC News headlined its coverage of the seal "The Audacity of Hype."

A few days later the Obama campaign announced that it wouldn't be used again. "It was a one-time seal for a one-time event," communications director Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Note to Mr. Gibbs: In the Internet Age, nothing is ever "one-time only."

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Sources and further reading:

Obama Changes Presidential Seal
NewsMax.com, 22 June 2008

Obama Seal Now Retired: No Credit
The Swamp (Chicago Tribune), 24 June 2008

Obama's Seal Was for 'One-Time Use'
Reuters, 23 June 2008

Last updated: 06/24/08

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