The subtle jibes hiding in viral photo of Trump addressing crowd

It was either an accident or one of the most subversive stunts ever carried out against a US president, but either way it makes for a stunning image.

If you look at the photo below you might not notice it straight away, but there is something very wrong with the image visible behind US President Donald Trump.

While attending the Teen Student Action Summit in Washington earlier this week, a four-day invitation-only conference for students to hear from conservative leaders and activists, Trump appeared on stage in front of a doctored presidential seal.

A more fitting presidential seal, perhaps? Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Somehow, an image that is highly critical of the 45th US president was displayed on a huge screen behind him while he unwittingly played to the crowd.

The difference in the seal is subtle, but scathing.

The bald eagle at the centre is replaced by a two-headed imperial bird lifted straight from the Russian coat of arms.

Instead of clutching an olive branch in its right talon, it holds a wad of cash.

In its other talon, a bunch of arrows is substituted for golf clubs - a nod to the inordinate amount of time the US leader spends on the golf course.

Where it should have a Latin motto, it has a Spanish insult which translates to “45 is a puppet”.

The photo of the doctored seal quickly circulated on social media and the incident has made national headlines in the United States.

Compare the pair. Source: Getty Images

The emblem was designed long ago by a disgruntled Republican designer, tracked down by American media, named Charles Leazott.

The Virginia man designed the emblem in 2016 in a sense of frustration and even set up an online store selling items with the unflattering seal on them.

In an interview with Forbes, he speculated what might have happened.

“I'd say it's pretty emblematic of the entire administration. There are only two options here,” he said.

“This really was an accident and their incompetence knows no bounds [or] someone did this on purpose and they're lying to cover that fact up.”

The event organisers are claiming it was the former, and was the result of a last minute Google search to find an image to display behind the president.

A spokesperson for the event has told US media outlets that the person responsible lost their job.

“We did let the individual go,” the spokesman said. “I don’t think it was malicious intent, but nevertheless.”

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, download the Yahoo News app from iTunes orGoogle Play and stay up to date with the latest news with Yahoo’s daily newsletter. Sign up here.