June 17, 1983 A.S. XVIII
TO: The Members of the College of Arms
FROM: Master Wilhelm von Schlussel, Laurel King of Arms
Enclosed is the June LoAGR, with 130 submissions accepted and 45 returned
to the Submitters, for a total of 175. By July 2 I will need all LoCs on the
following 9 LoIs: Meridies (3/17), Caid (4/6), Atlantia (4/10), West (4/10),
An Tir (4/11), Caid (4/14), Meridies (4/18), An Tir (4/25), and Middle (4/28).
These total some 184 submissions.
By August 6 I will need all LoCs on the following 5 LoIs: Atlantia (4/28),
West (5/16), Atenveldt (5/17), Middle (5/23), and Ansteorra (5/27). These
total some 168 submissions. (I moved the Atlantia LoI to even up the workload.)
By September 3 I will need all LoCs on the LoIs from June. So far I have
received Caid (6/3) and Meridies (6/3). I hold my meetings on Sundays. The
date I give for receipt of LoCs is the Saturday a week earlier, when I set
the forms up for the meeting and check the blazons. The LoCs come in handy
at that time. The other reasons for asking for them then is that this allows
a week for postal delays and it gives the Principal Heralds at least a chance
of replying to LoCs commenting on their LoIs before I rule on those LoIs.
All Principal Heralds should make sure that copies of their LoIs go to every-body
on the mailing list. They can't comment if they do not receive the LoI. I
need LoCs from Greenwood and Corona, as it has been three months since their
last LoCs. I am removing Triton from the mailing list, as it has been four
months since her last LoC. Nereid will be her representative until she has
time to comment again. Beacon has ended the practice of having Trimaris sen
Now all submissions in Meridies will go through Pennon.
Solar informs me that the Proceedings from the First and Second Tir Ysgithr
Heraldic Symposia are once again in print. They may be obtained for $5 each
(which includes postage) from Clea de Hunedoara (c/o Sue Thing, 2025 West
Spring Street, Tucson, AZ 85745). Make checks out to Black Boar Herald. The
1983 Atlantia Heraldic Symposium Proceedings are available for $5 from Triton.
The 1983 Meridies Heraldic Symposium Proceedings are available for $5 from
Mistress Rebecca of Twywn (c/o Rebecca LeDock, 1820 Hickory Road, Chamblee,
GA 30341). The 1981 Caerthe Heraldic Symposium Proceedings are available for
$7 from the SCA Stock Clerk.
I would like to encourage everybody to write to me whenever you have any
complaints on what I am doing or how I am doing it, as well as suggestions
or proposals. These can be in private or public letters. Batonvert has raised
some good points which I would like to answer publicly. She complains that
I have been over-using "discouraged" status and passing submissions that previously
would not have been passed, and that this has caused confusion as to exactly
what the standards are. There is some truth to this. I had been getting a
lot of complaints that the College had gone too far in increasing the standards
for authenticity in heraldry. I created the idea of "discouraged" practices
so that we could catego-rize those practices which we clearly were not going
to accept and those which •.e would accept but didn't like because they were
not good usage. No matter where you draw the line, there will always be this
distinction. Those that fell into the latter category would be accepted but
labelled as a "discouraged" practice. Where possible I would give suggestions
on how the submission could be improved to achieve a more medieval style and
get away from the "discouraged" practice. Given my time constraints, this
was not always possible.
COLLEGE OF ARMS
(2) June 17, 1983 A.S. XVIII
When I implemented the system of "discouraged" practices, I loosened up
the standards a little to mollify those who were complaining of too rapid
a change toward authenticity, planning to see if a consensus would emerge
about where we should be going with regard to authenticity. I was very pleased
to see just such a consensus emerge in the discussion of "discouraged" and
"encouraged" practices and at the recent Atlantia Heraldic Symposium. There
was nearly unanimous agreement that the College should strive for authentic
medieval heraldic style, while still allowing for imagination, and that we
should gradually move our standards in that direction. We need to educate
the populace and the local heralds as to just what is medieval style.
The list of Encouraged and Discouraged Practices sent in by all of you is
a list I endorse as a good guideline. I will be going back to a more consistent
policy of enforcing good style, keeping in mind the variety of styles that
existed in period, from early medieval heraldry, with its extreme simplicity,
to Tudor heraldry, with its particular complexity. We now have a list of those
practices encouraged and discouraged by the College. The "discouraged" practices
are practices that, while not illegal, are nevertheless poor style. I will
be noting them as such when I register them and trying to give suggestions
on improving them. (If a submission goes too far in the use of discouraged
practices, then I will not register it.) As time passes and the populace becomes
educated about these, we can hope to see the use of the "discouraged" practices
fade away to the point where we can start banning them one at a time, ultimately
arriving at a higher level of heraldic authenticity. From time to time, we
will therefore be examining the list of "discouraged" practices to see if
we wish to ban any of them.
Batonvert correctly pointed out that most problems should be corrected by
the local herald or the Principal Herald. Correcting problems is not my responsibility.
I ask all of you to tell your subordinates that, if a person submits something
using one or more of the "discouraged" practices, the herald should try to
counsel the Submitter away from these practices and towards better heraldry.
A submission using a "discouraged" practice should only appear on a kingdom
LoI after it has become clear through considerable consultation at all levels
that _ ly what the Submitter wants, the Submitter will accept no other
choice, and the Principal Herald has decided that the submission, despite
the use of the "discouraged" practice, is sufficiently consistent with period
usage. Do not be afraid to delay a submission for a month while you confer
with the submittor. An improved submission is well worth a month's wait.
I will try to mention suggestions for improvements made by other members
of the College in their LoCs, but given time constraints and the necessity
of keeping the size of the LoAR from getting out of hand, this is not always
possible. When you write a letter to the Submitter, look through the comments
made by the other commentors on that submission to see if there are good suggestions
for improvement. (You will also see the comments upon which I based my decisions.)
As Batonvert says, this would make the commentors' work more beneficial and
thereby make the commentors feel that their work is worth the effort.
I would like to ask all commentors to please read the Administrative Guidelines
carefully. If you use abbreviations for common statements (e.g., "NPS" for
Not Period Style), please spell these out the first time you use them in each
letter. We constantly get new commentors and this will allow them to understand
what you are referring to. Whenever you list a conflict, be sure to give
the blazon and the source. When preparing an LoI, do not say the language
of a name is Celtic, Teutonic, Nordic, Greco-Russian, Czechoslovakian, or
any other non-language. (All of these appeared in LoIs considered this month.)
These are not languages, although some of them are language families. Either
give the actual
COLLEGE OF ARMS (3)
June 17, 1983 A.S. XVIII
language (e.g., Irish, German, Swedish, Russian, Czech) or say something
like "said by submittor to be Celtic (sic)." The specifics are necessary for
Enclosed is the promised questionnaire on next year's Heraldic Symposium
and on various issues raised in recent months. Please fill out and return
the questionnaire to me by AUGUST 14 (my August meeting). In my August letter,
I will announce the winning symposium bid and the results of the questionnaire.
If you wish to explain your answers to the questions at length, feel free
to do so on additional sheets, but please DO RETURN the actual questionnaire.
Some of the questions are there solely as a poll of the current feeling of
the College and do not imply any action anticipated. I will take no precipitous
action on the poll questions. Be sure to sign your questionnaire, or it will
not be counted.
I confirmed with Mr. Brooke-Little at the Symposium the answer to a question
that often arises. When a charge is placed overall or surmounting another
charge, the Rule of Tincture applies primarily between that charge and the
field, not between that charge and the charge/s it lies on top of. If a charge
lies entirely upon another charge so that the latter is charged with the former,
then the Rule of Tincture does apply between the two charges. To illustrate
the difference, consider the arms Argent, a lozenge gules. If I charge the
lozenge with a lion rampant, then the lion cannot be of a color but must
be of a metal or a fur. Thus I could have Argent, on a lozenge gules a lion
rampant or, but not Argent, on a lozenge gules a lion rampant azure. If I
instead have the lion surmount the lozenge, then the lion must be a color
or a fur, but cannot be a metal or else it would not show against the field.
Thus I could have Argent, a lozenge gules surmounted by a lion rampant azure,
but not Argent, a lozenge gules surmounted by a lion rampant or. Of course,
the part of the lion on top of the lozenge would have poor contrast, and
therefore it follows automatically that one draws the lion much bigger than
the lozenge so that most of the lion's outline is on the field rather than
on the lozenge. One should never have a charge just barely surmounting another
charge, i.e., having only the very edge extend out into the field.
With regard to overall, consider the arms Azure, three palets or. If I add
a lion rampant overall, the lion can be a metal or a fur, but not a color,
because the field is a color. Thus I could have Azure, three palets or, overall
a lion rampant ermine, but not Azure, three palets or, overall a lion rampant
gules. If we changed the field to Paly azure and or, then the lion could be
any tincture, since the field is now neutral. In the above example, one would
not want to make the lion or, as then it would merge into the palets, making
it hard to identify. One could instead have Azure, three palets and overall
a fess or, with the charges merging to form a nice geometric pattern. (N.B.:
It is well known that the flag of the United States (created after 1600)
violates the Rule of Tincture, because it has a gules field with six barrulets
argent, overall a canton azure. Thus the canton violates tincture.) It obviously
follows that divisions like paly or barry must be of even numbers or else
they become a plain field with a number of palets or bars. I hope this suffices
to answer this common question.
Pray believe, my Lords and my Ladies, that I remain
Master Wilhelm Van Schlussel Laurel King of Arms