Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
15910 Val Verde Drive
Houston TX, 77083-4921

For the August 2001 meetings

To all the College of Arms from Master Franšois la Flamme, Laurel Principal King of Arms, Dame Zenobia Naphtali, Wreath Queen of Arms, and Lady Mari Elspeth nic Bryan, Pelican Queen of Arms, health and good friendship.

NOTE: due to an early December meeting, comments on comments for August 2001 Letters of Intent are due one week earlier than normal: Saturday, 24 November, 2001.

The August meetings were held Saturday, August 11, 2001 (with a Pennsic Pelican road show for Meridies on August 16, 2001), and considered the following letters of intent: Atenveldt (April 1), Caid (April 4), Lochac (April 8), Drachenwald (April 9), Middle (April 11), Ansteorra (April 20), West (April 20), Atlantia (April 21), An Tir (April 27), Trimaris (April 28), and Meridies (April 30).

The September meetings were held on Saturday, September 15, 2001 (Pelican) and Saturday, September 22, 2001 (Wreath), and considered the following letters of intent: Atenveldt (May 1), Middle (May 5), Ansteorra (May 10), Caid (May 11), Ăthelmearc (May 15), Caid (May 15), Lochac (May 16), Calontir (May 25), and An Tir (May 30).

The October meetings were held Saturday, October 13, 2001, and considered the following letters of intent: Drachenwald (May 14) and Atlantia (May 20) (both delayed due to late receipt of paperwork), Atenveldt (June 1), Ăthelmearc (labelled at the top "January 27", redated to June 10), Ansteorra (June 14), Artemisia (June 14), Drachenwald (June 14), Middle (June 14), Atlantia (June 16), Lochac (June 17), Outlands (June 21), An Tir (June 27), Trimaris (June 28), and Meridies (June 30).

The November meetings are scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 2001 (Pelican), and Sunday, November 11, 2001 (Wreath), and will consider these Letters of Intent dated in July 2001: Atenveldt (July 1), Caid (July 7), Trimaris (July 7), Middle (July 7), Artemisia (July 7), Aethelmearc (July 15), Lochac (July 16), Calontir (July 18), Ansteorra (July 18), An Tir (July 27), West (July 29), Outlands (July 30), and Meridies (July 31). For administrative reasons, East (July 13), Atlantia (July 17), and Drachenwald (July 19) are not yet scheduled. Original commentary on these LoIs must have been in the College's hands no later than September 30, 2001. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands no later than October 30, 2001.

The December meetings are scheduled for Saturday, December 15, 2001 (Pelican), and Saturday, December 8, 2001 (Wreath), and will consider these Letters of Intent dated in August 2001: Atenveldt (August 1), Middle (August 5), East (August 15), Lochac (August 18), Artemisia (August 28), An Tir (August 29), Meridies (August 31), and Ealdormere (August). For administrative reasons, Caid (August 9), the three Atlantia letters (August 16, 25, and 27), Ansteorra (August 25), and Drachenwald (August 26) are not yet scheduled. Original commentary on these LoIs must be in the College's hands no later than October 31, 2001. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands no later than SATURDAY, 24 NOVEMBER, 2001.

The January meetings are scheduled for Saturday, January 19, 2002 (tentative for Pelican, firm for Wreath), and will consider the Letters of Intent dated in September 2001. Original commentary on these LoIs must be in the College's hands no later than November 30, 2001. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands no later than December 31, 2001.

The February meetings are tentatively scheduled for Saturday, February 9, and will consider the Letters of Intent dated in October 2001.

Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The 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, some letters of intent received may not have been scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, etc.) have not yet been met.

REMINDER: Until all administrative requirements are met, the letter may not be scheduled.


Looking back over the history of this office, I am impressed by the dedication my predecessors possessed. Any office that is run well appears to be an easy thing to maintain, but it is the dedication of the office holder and staff that makes it appear so. Dame Elsbeth Anne Roth and Master Pietari Pentipoika along with their staff deserve our admiration and thanks. They truly showed what dedication means. Thank you.

The transition of the Laurel office is now complete! The files have been moved, and the processing of the submissions and the creation of the LoAR is being done by us. My staff and I have taken up the burden of the Laurel office with a bit of a stumble but we are quickly gaining our feet. Even with the devoted help of our predecessors, it isn't easy to fit what is usually a four month transition process into two months! I apologize to the submitters and heralds with decisions in this letter for leaving you in suspense for this extended time. It may take another month or two to get completely back on schedule, but we will be there soon.

(Non-)Scheduling of Letters of Intent Without Payment

In the last few months, the verification of payment for the LoI before it will be scheduled has been relaxed. That is no longer the case. Payment is one of the required items for a packet to be scheduled. In order to allow for the occasional problem with getting the check cut, I will allow a kingdom to be behind one month and still schedule the letter. No other letters from that kingdom will be scheduled while they are behind in payment, on any letter. If after three months the payment is still not caught up, all items on the unscheduled letters will be returned for lack of paperwork. I will be contacting the submissions herald and the principal herald when the first LoI is scheduled without payment. The second month, I will include the kingdom exchequer on the notice. The third month, I will also include the royalty on the notice explaining the action being taken.

Letters of Intent from outside the United States continue their alternate arrangements for sending fees, as monthly payments are unusually burdensome.

NOTE: Commentary on unscheduled letters must be as timely as if the letters were scheduled. The administrative requirements are often met with little or no notice, so commenters may not have another chance to comment. In any event, it is extremely rare for Laurel to return entire letters, so commentary will almost certainly be needed someday.

(While on the subject: when sending a check to the Laurel Office, please write on it the dates of the LoI(s) for which it applies.)

Knowne World Heraldic and Scribal Arts Symposium 2002

I am pleased to announce that the 2002 Knowne World Heraldic and Scribal Arts Symposium will be June 21-23, hosted by the kingdom of Trimaris at the Ramada Inn in Kissimmee, Florida.

Good Intent

Enclosed is a Laurel Letter of Intent for Wreath Sovereign of Arms, the title for use by Dame Zenobia Naphtali, who is making the rulings on armory submissions. The title refers to the primary charge on the SCA arms. Pending the ruling, we will nevertheless use the title so as to avoid the recent circumlocutions such as Nameless or 'Armory'. (There is the precedent of Mistress Jaelle of Armida, who referred to Mistress Sionyn as Pelican before registering the title in January 1997.)

From Wreath Queen of Arms: IN A BROWN STUDY

This month's submission for ┴edßn of Windhaven has brought up some questions considering proper charges that are brown. These questions have frequently been referenced in commentary over the past few years.

One is a tincture conflict question: when a proper item is brown in color, and when it is drawn correctly as a clear wood brown, should that proper item be given a tincture CD from any heraldic tincture? Or should it be considered to have no difference from some particular tinctures, such as sable? We do not seen to have a clear precedent on this topic, although the registration history shows that we seem to have consistently given difference between correctly drawn brown and a heraldic tincture.

The other question is whether our current policy concerning proper brown animals is correct. Our current policy has remained largely unchanged since the cover letter with the October 1995 LoAR. This cover letter summarized the research on the question that had been performed as of that time, and resulted in the following ruling:

PRECEDENT: Henceforward, and more in line with period heraldic practice, animals which are normally brown may be registered simply as an {X} proper (e. g., boar proper, hare proper). Animals which are frequently found as brown but also commonly appear in other tinctures in the natural world may be registered as a brown {X} proper (e. g., brown hound proper, brown horse proper).

This precedent does not, however, loosen the ban on Linnaean proper (Cover Letter, May 13, 1991); proper tinctures for flora and fauna which require the Linnaean genus and species to know how to color them. For example, a falcon proper will be considered to be all brown, not brown head, wings and back, buff breast with darker spots, and a tail striped with black; a hare proper will be considered to be all brown, not brown with white underbelly and tail and pink ears. This also appears to be more in keeping with period heraldic practice.

The tenor of the commentary implies that a number of commenters are frustrated by the current College policy on one or both of the questions above. Thus, I am calling for research on these questions. Please have your research, and your discussions about what you believe the proper policies should be, ready for the March 2002 Laurel meeting.

In order to assist, my staff and I were able to assemble the following information during the two weeks after the armory meeting. (The press of other business did not allow me to pursue the matter further, but then again, that sort of research is exactly what the College of Arms is for. :-) It is somewhat slanted towards research on boars, and research on the conflict question, since those were the pertinent questions for ┴edßn's submission.

There is an SCA precedent that disallows a charge from being blazoned as proper if it can be found either as brown or black in nature. This precedent can be interpreted as implying that therefore, brown and black are not artistic variants of each other, or there wouldn't be a problem.

[a sunflower Or seeded proper] There is no default color for the seeds of sunflowers: sometimes they are black, sometimes brown. Therefore, we cannot register a sunflower proper. [Cassandra von Schwabing, November 2000, Drachenwald]

Still, two items may need to be blazoned distinctly without getting a CD for the difference between them (such as rampant and rampant guardant) so this precedent does not completely address the brown versus black question.

Preliminary research indicates there is no particular reason to believe that brown is interchangeable with black in period armory. In instances where we have the blazon of a wooden or leather item proper, the depictions are consistently not-black, and similarly, the depictions of items blazoned as black are consistently not-brown.

Much of our information about brown proper, and particularly brown animals proper, is derived from Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch, which has many period coats of arms over a large geographical area, and which contains a fair amount of apparent uses of brown animals. Siebmacher has colored emblazons, but no blazons. In some cases, blazons can be obtained from Rietstap's Armorial General, by looking up the family name and finding similar looking armory. These blazons are post-period and any discrepancies may reflect changes in the armory over time, so it is not always clear whether discrepant (or coincident) blazons reflect period practices. Still, Rietstap provides valuable clues.

One possible case where brown might be a variant depiction of black has been found in Siebmacher's depiction of the arms of the city (and Canton) of Bern, which can be blazoned as Sable, on a bend argent a bear passant (dark brown). The usual blazon of Bern is Gules, on a bend Or a bear passant sable, as can be seen in a 1557 piece of stained glass on p. 266 of Neubecker's Heraldry: Sources, Symbols and Meaning and in Jiri Louda's European Civic Coats of Arms, p. 105. It is not clear here whether we should see Siebmacher's depiction as an example of something usually blazoned sable drawn as brown (the bear), or if we should see this as an error in depiction of the entire coat of arms. Since this is civic armory, we are at least spared the question of whether the tincture change is due to cadency. Another possible case is in the arms of Guldenbock on f. 184 of Siebmacher, which are emblazoned as Or, in pale two wolves courant proper but which are in Rietstap as Or, two wolves courant sable.

Further investigation in Siebmacher on the matter of proper, and boars in particular, is interesting. Siebmacher definitely includes armory that uses animals which are drawn as brown, and which are blazoned in Rietstap as proper. These include as diverse creatures as a quail (Wachtel, Per pale argent and azure, a quail proper), a marten (Muggenthal/Muckenthal, Or, a marten proper), a carp (Karras, Gules, a carp bendwise proper), a wolf (Winterfeld, Azure, a wolf rampant proper towards a garb Or), and a beaver (Beverforde, Or, a beaver rampant proper). (Note that some of these are given small details in Rietstap that aren't present or visible in the Siebmacher emblazon, like the crowns on the heads of the beavers in Beverforde/Bevervoorde.) The brown is distinctly brown, and found on a wide variety of fields.

However, Siebmacher also contains armory that appears to use a brown animal which is blazoned in Rietstap using a heraldic tincture. These include Guldenbock, mentioned above, Landesberg (emblazoned in Siebmacher as Per fess argent and argent fretty gules, in chief a brown fox courant proper, but blazoned in Rietstap with the fox gules), and Hasen (emblazoned in Siebmacher as Azure, a hare rampant proper but blazoned in Rietstap with the hare Or).

On the particular question of boars, 18 coats of arms featuring boars or their heads in a solid tincture were found in Siebmacher. Counterchanged charges were not included in this count, being irrelevant to this issue. Of these 18 coats, 15 use boars or boar's heads which are sable, two use boars or boar's heads which are gules, and one on first glance at least appears to use a brown boar. This last case is the armory of v. Schweinichen, which appear to be Gules, a boar rampant proper (brown), but which are in Rietstap as Gules, a boar rampant argent. A careful look at Siebmacher indicates that on some pages (including this one and nearby pages) sometimes a brownish wash is used when depicting argent, and this may well be the case here. Of the other boar's head armory mentioned, only four of them are blazoned in Rietstap and in all these cases they are blazoned as they are emblazoned in Siebmacher. These are v. Danewitz, Argent in pale a boar's head sable and an arm embowed fesswise gules, Reishach, Argent a boar's head couped sable, Nonstedt, Argent a boar's head gules, and Hardenberg, Argent a boar's head sable.

It is harder to find examples of proper items in English sources. Staff has been unable to find a boar proper or a boar's head proper in English armory before 1650, although Papworth gives some undated examples.

To repeat: please have your research, and your discussions about what you believe the proper policies should be, ready for the March 2002 Laurel meeting.


Over the last months, we have seen an increasing number of submissions where a complex charge (such as an animal) is drawn without any internal details. The members of the College have been quick to point out that this can lead to difficulties in identifying the charge. They are, of course, correct, and it is probably for this reason that most period depictions of complex charges have some internal details. However, not all period heraldic art has internal details, and such silhouette depictions are acceptable in the SCA as long as identifiability is preserved.

The most identifiable postures for animals are those which are commonly used for the animal being depicted, and which show the distinguishing aspects of the animal to their best advantage. A rampant lion has the profile of the head, all four limbs, and the tail all laying directly on the field. A displayed eagle has the profile of the head, both wings, both legs, and the tail all lying directly on the field. Because we are accustomed to seeing rampant quadrupeds and displayed eagles, and because almost every part of these animals is outlined against the field, these animals can generally be identified with little or no internal details.

Any posture that obscures some limbs (such as sejant), or which does not show the profile of the head (such as guardant) should generally be drawn with some internal details. So should any charge in an uncommon or confusing posture, like a lion sejant erect affronty, or an escallop fesswise. Any charge whose outline identifiability is compromised by some other portion of the design, such as a partially low-contrast field or an overall charge, will benefit from some internal details.

While on this topic, I would also like to remind people that a charge can also suffer from too many internal details. In some cases, we receive artwork that is based on a photo-enlargement of a heavily shaded or cross-hatched black and white original. In these cases, the black details can almost overpower the real tincture of the charge. In other cases, we have a charge with a complicated tincture (such as ermine or checky), or which is charged with a tertiary charge. In these cases, the internal details can interfere with the identifiability of the complicated tincture or tertiary, and should be used with restraint.

From the Laurel Clerk: ONE SET OF DOCS PER FORM, and Petitions Are Docs

The Laurel office requires that each copy of a submission form have its own separate copy of the documentation that goes with it. A form + its associated documentation is an indivisible set. For a name, that's the long-standing practice: the Laurel office receives one name form and one set of documentation. An armory submission has two colored copies of the submission form, so if it requires any documentation, we will require two copies of the documentation as well. (One copy will stay in the Laurel files, and the other copy can be sent to Dame Zenobia Wreath.)

For example, if a client is submitting armory with a charge that has not been registered before, send two copies of the required documentation to go with the two armory submissions forms. Similarly, send two copies of documentation for Proof of Entitlement for use of a restricted charge, Letter of Permission to Conflict, Support for Transfer, et cetera.

In particular, in SCA branch submissions which require petitions, please include one copy of the petition for each name or armory form sent to Laurel. (So, for a branch name and device, that's three copies of the petition). This ensures that there's a form for each decision-making sovereign of arms, and for the files, while being a simple rule to remember.

Roster Updates

The latest College of Arms roster and mailing list is enclosed.

The e-mail address for Franšois la Flamme (Wendel Bordelon), Laurel PKoA, is now

The e-mail address for Elsbeth Anne Roth (Kathryn Van Stone), Clarion Herald (Laurel staff), is now

Some information in the roster was incorrect for Pelican Queen of Arms, Mari Elspeth nic Bryan (Kathleen M. O'Brien). Her phone number is 512-250-1542, and her e-mail addresses are and Kathleen_O'

The Middle Kingdom has a new Dragon Principal Herald: Elena de Vexin (Joann E. Peek), 306 Lively Ln, Burns Harbor, IN 46304-9748, 219-787-8028, As with all principal heralds, she is ex officio on the mailing list. The former Dragon, Clarissa Wykeham (Nancy Rivers), is no longer on the roster.

Trimaris has a new Triskele Principal Herald: Sebastian Halyburton (Donald Rhodes), 810 Hibiscus St, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233-2544, 904-249-9228, As principal herald, he is on the mailing list. The former Triskele, Maredudd ap Cynan (Eric C. Smith), is no longer on the roster.

Drachenwald has a new Schwarzdrachen Principal Herald: Theobald Vechinchusen (Chris Swanson), Freigerichter Stra▀e #82; 63755 Alzenau-Albstadt; DEUTSCHLAND, +49 6023 970454, As principal herald, he is on the mailing list. The former Schwarzdrachen, Lindorm Eriksson (Christer Romson), is no longer on the roster.

Teceangl Bach (Brenda Klein), already on the mailing list, is now Lions Blood Herald, An Tir's external submissions herald. Elisabeth de Rossignol (Lisa Mohr), the previous Lions Blood, is no longer on the roster.

The office of Garnet Herald, Ăthelmearc external submissions, is currently vacant. The acting submissions herald, Gage Herald, Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith), is already on the mailing list. The former Garnet, Dagonell Collingwood (David P. Salley), is no longer on the roster.

The new Rampart Herald (Outlands internal and external submissions) is Pendar the Bard (Pendar Munro), 10 Magnifico, Los Lunas, NM 87031-5878, 505-866-4369, As with all external submissions heralds, he is ex officio on the mailing list. Naitan de Yerdeburc (Scott Perry), the previous Rampart, is now Palmer Herald (Outlands administrative deputy for White Stag PH), and remains on the mailing list.

Hawk Herald (hitherto external commentary for Calontir), Annys de Vernun of Kettering (A. Marie Watson), is no longer on the SCA College of Arms roster. Her Excellency is retaining the title upon her retirement, as Calontir has gifted it to her for her long and dedicated service.

Gotfrid von Schwaben (Jeff Diaz), 224 E Connie St, Lansing, KS 66043-1186, 913-727-9373, is becoming Black Hawk Herald, Calontir's new external commentary title, and is being added to the mailing list.

The title of the herald for the Principality of Nordmark (Drachenwald) was slightly typoed: the registered spelling is Silversparre Herald. The incumbent, Isabel du Talus (Marit Carlsson), has a new email address:

Send What to Whom

For all Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, &c, send one paper copy to each of Laurel PKoA and Wreath QoA at their mailing addresses as shown on the College of Arms Mailing List.

Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related paper, including

to Kathleen M. O'Brien, 7323 Potters Trl, Austin, TX 78729-7777.

Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related electronic files to . This includes electronic copies of LoIs, LoCs, LoRs, &c.

Send roster changes and corrections to Lord Symond Bayard le Gris, Bruce R. Nevins, 2527 E. 3rd St., Tucson, AZ, 85716-4114, (520) 795-6000, (520) 795-0158 (fax), College of Arms members can also request a copy of the current roster from Symond.

For subscriptions to the paper copy of the LoAR, please contact Symond, above. The cost for an LoAR subscription is $25 a year. Please make all checks or money orders payable to SCA Inc. — College of Arms. For subscriptions to the electronic copy of the LoAR, please contact Laurel at The electronic copy is available free of charge.

For all administrative matters, or for questions about whom to send to, please contact Laurel Principal King of Arms, whose contact information heads this letter.

Pray know that I remain

In service

Franšois la Flamme
Laurel Principal King of Arms

Created at 2001-10-28T14:29:31