Trump Files: When Donald Ran Afoul of Ancient Scottish Heraldry Law

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This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files“—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current president—on September 21, 2016.

When Donald Trump was trying to pitch the Scottish government on a new $1.2 billion golf course and coastal resort near Aberdeen in 2008, he gave away swag emblazoned with the official Trump family coat of arms—an ostentatious gold floral pattern surrounding a helmet atop a shield with three lions and two chevronels (the inverted V pattern that is a fixture on police and military uniforms).

But there was one problem: There was no official Trump family coat of arms. His mother is Scottish, but the Trump surname is German. And that meant Trump was in violation of an ancient Scottish heraldic law dating back to 1672, which prohibits unregistered coats of arms. According to the Telegraph, a shield costs £900 to register, and you pay an additional £1,300 for special features like a crest and a helmet, both of which graced Trump’s coat of arms.

Finally, four years after the initial brouhaha, Trump secured permission from the Scottish heraldic authorities for a new coat of arms. In an interview with the New York Post, Trump International–Scotland Vice President Sarah Malone explained the deep significance of the symbols:

“The Lion Rampant makes reference to Scotland and the stars to America,” Malone said, describing the insignia.

“Three chevronels are used to denote the sky, sand dunes and sea—the essential components of the [golf resort] site—and the double-sided eagle represents the dual nature and nationality of Trump’s heritage.”

She added, “The eagle clutches golf balls, making reference to the great game of golf, and the motto ‘Numquam Concedere’ is Latin for ‘Never Give Up’—Trump’s philosophy.”

Yup, that just about nails it.

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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