SCA - College of Arms
P.O. Box 742825
Dallas, TX 75374-2825
(214) 276-2129
CompuServe 74107,1446
74107.1446@compuserve.com

May 4, 1995

Unto the members of the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive does Shayk Da'ud ibn Auda, Laurel King of Arms, send Greetings!

The April 1995 meeting was held on Saturday, April 15, 1995, and considered the following Letters of Intent: West (12/8); Middle (12/9); Atlantia (12/12); An Tir (12/16); Trimaris (12/20); and Caid (12/21). The Outlands LoI of 12/20 was considered at a "roadshow" meeting in Ealdormere on April 22. Original commentary on these LoIs must have been in the College's hands no later than February 28, 1995. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must have been in the College's hands no later than March 31, 1995.

The May 1995 Laurel meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, 1995, and will consider the following Letters of Intent: Calontir (undated); East (1/4); Meridies (1/12); An Tir (1/14); Middle (1/14); Caid (1/20); Ansteorra (1/21); Atlantia (1/22); Drachenwald (1/26); Drachenwald Letter of Intent to Protect (1/26); West (1/28); and Outlands (1/28). Original commentary on these LoIs must have been in the College's hands no later than March 31, 1995. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must have been in the College's hands no later than April 30, 1995.

The June 1995 Laurel meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 17, 1995, and will consider the following Letters of Intent and Letters of Intent to Protect dated February 1995 (plus two LoIs dated in January but not mailed until well into February: Atenveldt (1/10, but mailed 2/6); Calontir (1/23, but mailed 2/6); Harpy Letter of Intent to Protect (2/1); Scribe Armarius Letter of Intent to Protect (2/1); East (2/14); Outlands (2/15); An Tir (2/16); Atlantia (2/19); Trimaris (2/25); Caid (2/25); and West (2/27). The Drachenwald February 15 LoI will be considered at a "roadshow" meeting at the Known World Heraldic Symposium on Sunday morning, June 25. Original commentary on these LoIs must have been in the College's hands no later than April 30, 1995. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands no later than May 31, 1995.

The July 1995 Laurel meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 15, 1995, and will consider the following Letters of Intent: Ansteorra (3/2); Atlantia (3/12); West (3/12); An Tir (3/14); Outlands (3/20); and Caid (3/27). Original commentary on these LoIs must be in the College's hands no later than May 31, 1995. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands no later than June 30, 1995.

The August 1995 Laurel meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 12, 1995, and will consider Letters of Intent dated and mailed in April. One LoI will be considered at a "roadshow" meeting tentatively scheduled for Friday evening, August 18, at Pennsic. Original commentary on these LoIs must be in the College's hands no later than June 30, 1995. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands no later than July 31, 1995.

Not all Letters of Intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this Cover Letter. Date of mailing of the LoI, date of receipt of the Laurel packet, or other factors may delay consideration of certain Letters of Intent. Additionally, not all Letters of Intent received have been scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, etc.) have not yet been met.

ROSTER CHANGES AND CORRECTIONS

Owing to a serious attack of "real life", the Beacon Principal Herald (Meridies), Catherine MacAlpine, has resigned. Her successor as Beacon is Lord William FitzJohn (Bill Johnson), P.O. Box 415, Grenada, MS 38902; (601) 226-5615. Please add him to the Roster and mailing list in place of Lady Catherine.

Hund Herald (West) is having his telephone number changed. After May 8 it will be (011 613) 9885 6348. He has also requested that I publish his work (011 613) 9556 6463 and fax (011 613) 9555 7616 numbers.

It was pointed out to me that in the most recent Roster I had misidentified the legal name of one of the "ap Morgan siblings". The West Kingdom's Pursuivant Extraordinary at Large Maxen Dawel ap Morgan's legal surname is, of course, Jones, not Morgan.

Dragon asks that you add to the mailing list Trillium Herald, Brand Thorwaldson. His name and address are listed in the Roster.

As of May 1, the Middle Kingdom has a new principal herald. Thorvald Redhair is retiring to some well-deserved rest. His successor as Dragon is the (now former) Pale Herald, Richard Morgan of Cumberland (Richard Darnell), 1604 68th Ave NE, Fridley, MN 55432; (612) 574-9669

Brickbat Herald (Laurel staff) and Rouland Carre, Pursuivant at Large for Atenveldt, have a new area code for their telephone numbers. Their new area code is (520).

Pennon Herald (Meridies) has a new address. It is: 218 Saint Nicholas, Lafayette, LA 70506.

White Stag asks that you remove from the Roster Golden Heart Herald, as the person who held that office no longer does.

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

Enclosed is the latest price list from Free Trumpet Press West. Notable additions are the 5th edition of the Armorial and Ordinary (through December 1994 and including the modest proposal initial implementation list) and compilations of precedents from earlier years than have heretofore been generally available.

KNOWN WORLD HERALDIC SYMPOSIUM 1995

Just a reminder that the Known World Heraldic Symposium is coming up June 23-25, 1995, in Denver, Colorado. It's time now to make your reservations and travel plans if you are planning on being there. Details on the Symposium have been mailed with an earlier LoAR, and are also available from White Stag Principal Herald, Fiachra ni Ciardubhain, 18156 East Atlantic Drive, Aurora, CO 80013-1323. I hope to see you there!

LAUREL STAFF CHANGES

First, I would like to thank all of those who sent letters (and/or e-mail) to apply for the positions of Palimpsest Herald and for precedents compiler. It was nice to have a number of applicants; choosing among them was the tough part. That one person was chosen over another is no indication that those not selected were in any way less qualified or less capable. The plain fact is that only one person can fill each office, and I did my best to match the requirements of the position with the strengths of the person applying.

The new Palimpsest Herald, beginning at the end of June (when the incumbent becomes Pelican King of Arms) or at such earlier time as they work out between them is Rouland Carre, former Crescent Principal Herald and currently Pursuivant at Large on the mailing list for Atenveldt. He will be coordinating the transfer of office from Talan and will be communicating with the College in the near future.

The new compiler of my precedents for this tenure is Sorcha ní Fhaoláin, Sinister Gauntlet Herald for An Tir and active for a number of years in the Colleges of Heralds of Ansteorra and An Tir.

Again, I would like to thank everyone who expressed an interest in these positions. I am sorry that I could not choose you all.

WHAT'S "PROPER" FOR FLAMES (or, A "Proper" Pyre Proper Prevents Poor Postulation)

There apparently continues to be some confusion about what a flame proper, as opposed to a flame fimbriated, is. As a consequence, I have gone through all of the resources at my disposal and researched just what heraldic writers have said about fire, flames, and what flames proper are. Flames in and of themselves seem to be relatively rare as a charge, and there is not a whole lot written about them.

Parker, in A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, p. 256, says that "When emblazoned the flames may be represented by gules and or alternating" and gives as an example the flames found in Fig. 1 below. The only other decent written description I found was in Franklyn and Tanner, An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry, p. 135: "Often described as 'proper' (q.v.), may be either gules and Or or gules shaded Or." No emblazon was given. Fig. 2 below is Elvin's Dictionary of Heraldry, Plate 43, No. 35. Figures 3 and 4 are both from C.A. Fox-Davies' The Art of Heraldry, from Figures 178 and 561, respectively.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

The conclusion reached from this research is that to be truly proper, flames should be effectively a neutral charge, approximately half Or and half gules, and should generally take one of the forms as exemplified in Figs. 1, 3 or 4 above, with the "tongues" of flame being alternately Or and gules (or gules and Or). The practice in the SCA of making flames red on the outside and yellow in the center (or vice versa) appears to be based on incorrect assumptions and should be discontinued.

MIXED GAELIC/ANGLICIZED NAMES

I had hoped to discuss this issue in this cover letter, but it is going to take some more research, and I did not want to hold the distribution of this LoAR for another couple of weeks or more in order to do that research. I should be able to discuss this matter in the cover letter with the May 1995 LoAR.

DEFAULT POSTURES, PART DEUX

As has been noted, my intent in the January 1995 Cover Letter may have been a little more clear to some had I used the term "standard period posture" rather than default posture. I didn't because what may be a standard period posture for one type of animate charge may not be for another; for instance, how many examples of eagles close are found in period rolls? I have yet to see one that is not displayed. Yet close is a "standard period posture" for most other birds, and could easily be interpreted as being equally applicable to eagles. I do not know of any evidence that this is the case.

Some commenters have pointed out that lions passant are not at all uncommon in period heraldry, and that they are quite identifiable in this posture. Yet it remains a fact that of all the lions matriculated in England, the overwhelming majority are indeed rampant. I believe that this is because, at least in part, lions are more identifiable when rampant, and are less likely to be confused with some other kind of beast.

One commenter noted that the PicDic is silent on the subject of default posture of bull's heads, and that Parker notes that describes bull's heads cabossed as rare. Yet while the blazon Parker has for bull's heads is "generally erased, sometimes couped", the emblazon he has is for a bull's head in trian aspect, mostly affronty, with the ears and horns clearly showing on each side of the head, rather than the usual posture of a head erased, with the snout to dexter and the head in profile.

So let me reiterate: Animate charges which are not in the default posture or in a "standard period posture" for that specific type of charge should be treated as a discouraged practice. And by "specific type of charge" I mean a category smaller than, for example, "bird" or "ungulate"; I mean eagle, falcon, duck, swan, bull, ram, sheep, because a standard period posture for one type of animal may not necessarily be a standard period posture for a related type.

I will also repeat what I said earlier: We will no doubt continue to register animate charges which are not in their default/standard period postures. But we need to work harder to encourage identifiability in SCA armory, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to persuade people to use standard or default postures for charges and to explain to them why such postures are desirable.

MISCELLANY

A query printed in The Pursuivant, A Newsletter for Young Members of The Heraldry Society [of England], No. 3, March 1995, p. ii:

In Germany, I have seen an example of animate charges facing the sinister, e.g., Gules three Lions passant guardant facing the sinister Or.

The position of the lions is the only difference to the Royal arms of England. As the English royal arms are so famous, is this allowed, or does heraldic law permit it, one coat being of a different country than the other?

Stephen A. Royston-Davies

Until next month, pray believe that I am, and remain,

Your faithful servant,

Da'ud ibn Auda

Laurel King of Arms