So, I noticed during the recent press conference that Donald Trump appears to have a symbol on his podium.

Trump with symbol

It roughly looks like this symbol:

no entry sign

In Britain, this is a common road sign, seen on one-way roads. It means 'no entry' on the side of the road drivers are not allowed to enter.

What does it mean in the context of the press conference? What is the symbol in politics, and why is Donald Trump prominently displaying it as he addresses the press?

  • 1
    The US also uses the same symbol for the same reason, usually with words overtop it. E.g. "One Way" meaning that the road is one-directional towards you.
    – Brythan
    Jan 15, 2017 at 3:25
  • 4
    That's a lectern, by the way. The podium is the thing you stand on when you're behind the lectern.
    – phoog
    Jan 15, 2017 at 5:26
  • @phoog What's a pedestal, then? Or a stage?
    – AJFaraday
    Jan 24, 2017 at 9:05
  • 2
    @AJFaraday a pedestal is the base of a statue or column. And yes, tall people will generally stand directly on the stage without a podium.
    – phoog
    Jan 24, 2017 at 15:30
  • 3
    A no entry sign would indicate his policy towards documentation-challenged immigration from Mexico.
    – Golden Cuy
    Apr 20, 2017 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


enter image description here

It's his "President-Elect" seal. The building in the center is northern side of the White House, the residence of the US President.

  • 16
    This makes so much more sense than a no entry sign.
    – AJFaraday
    Jan 14, 2017 at 21:02
  • 6
    @AJFaraday Because it isn't a no entry sign Jan 15, 2017 at 0:03
  • 11
    But it does LOOK like a no entry sign. If we didn't know better we could accuse Trump of having a sense of humour :-)
    – Laurence
    Jan 15, 2017 at 14:18
  • 4
    "This makes so much more sense than a no entry sign" - that depens on your politics :-)
    – Mawg
    Jan 16, 2017 at 8:27

Basically, this symbol is Donald Trump's President-elect's seal as mentioned in @KDog's answer.

To add on, there isn't an official seal for "The Office of the President-elect". So, each President-elect can opt to design their own seal.

Technically, this particular office doesn't exist and was "created"/ first used by Barack Obama during his presidential transition in 2008.


The Republican candidate in 2012, Mitt Romney, also has his own seal on his mockup transition site:


The rationale for creating the seals is that the President-elect can't use the legitimate POTUS seal since they haven't sworn in yet and it's being used by the incumbent President.

  • 2
    To add further: while the winner of an election is "officially" determined by the Electoral College vote and not before that, during the time between the popular election and the Electoral College vote, the U.S. government does afford some official recognition to the all-but-certain winner, so as to allow time for a smooth transition.
    – supercat
    Jan 15, 2017 at 21:28

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