Presidential seal recovered from Philly freeway
June 2005: A U.S. Secret Service agent affixes the presidential seal to President George Bush's limousine.
July 2nd, 2011
12:55 PM ET
3 years ago

Presidential seal recovered from Philly freeway

Washington (CNN) – The round gold-trimmed presidential seal is an impressive symbol affixed to the door of the limousine known as "The Beast."

It appears to be a permanent part of the limo. But in reality, it's a magnetic seal that comes on and off, vulnerable to wind and elements just like anything we'd put on our own cars.

And Thursday night, the seal came off during the President Obama's motorcade to the airport after his fundraising visit to Philadelphia, ending up alongside Interstate 76.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said Secret Service agents and Philadelphia police returned to the area off the freeway that night and looked for it, but were unable to find it in the dark.

But the next day, a Philadelphia police officer found it on the side of the road. The Philadelphia Daily News reports the officer had been part of the motorcade the night before, and was helping a disabled car when he spotted it.

It was brought to the Secret Service field office and is being returned to Washington.

"It happens periodically," Donovan said. "They're only magnetic. They're not put on any special way."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. GOP = Greed Over People

    Oops, someone in Philadelphia could have been President for a day.

    July 2, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Clint, Wa.

    Our tax dollars should include a stronger magnet.

    July 2, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Nice souvenir

    Amazing luck that an officer (who Happened to be in the motorcade the day before) Happened to pull over a motorist where the seal Happened to fall off, and he Happened to see it lying there after a full police/secret service team who were specifically searching for it missed it. This scenario is far more likely than, say, maybe the seal Happened to fall into his pocket after the motorcade...?

    July 2, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Fred

    Was it really necessary to devote manpower to finding a magnet? This is the kind of stupidity our government is committing daily.

    July 2, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. joeNYC

    Do they sell those? I'd love to have one to put on the basement fridge, with the rest of our souvenirs. :-)

    July 2, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Lee

    well duh.. even the signs know he is a friggin Manchurian candidate.

    July 2, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Wow

    Glad so much time was put into this search effort.

    July 2, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Techsupp0rt

    I want one!

    July 2, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    I would have put it up on eBay! lol

    July 2, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. dan

    I'm shocked that no one has yet played the "This is a metaphor..." card.

    July 2, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. tuffyturf

    Good thing they got it back, because who knows how the govt. would have been able to go on without it. Just think, it must have cost $5,000 for all of those Police and Secret Service agents to have gone back at night to look for it. Why? The thing in Civil Circles would cost $50, I am sure the Govt. paid thousands and they don't work, they must have given the contract to make them to SAIC

    July 2, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. tampaguy

    It was probably made in China!

    July 2, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Joe Blow

    Wouldn't it just be easier & cheaper to make a new one? Are they afraid someone will slap this on their Honda & impersonate the prez? Really?

    July 2, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    It' an omen!

    July 2, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Sally K.

    I hope the magnetic presidential seal is not made in the People's Republic of China. Even if it were made in Mexico or the Republic of China (Taiwan) that would be better. Also hope the government isn't charged an astronomical sum for the magnets.

    July 2, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Dan

    I wonder if it says 'Made In China' on the back?

    July 2, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. Quoc-Nam Tran

    Mr. President,

    May I suggest that you buy a $1.00 pack of Super Glue or Epoxy. I believe that it will save a considerable amount of tax payers' money for retrieving the seals repeatedly.

    Q-N. Tran

    July 2, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Maude

    Lets make sure this does not happen. President Obama deserves much better service and respect than what he getting now.

    July 2, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Lou50

    I would suspect the alloy the door is made of has a low magnetic attraction signature. Might try glue and save the time looking for them and the lives it endangers. you need all the tax payers you can get.

    July 2, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. ruffnutt

    i would have kept it.. and put it on my camaro..

    July 2, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |