Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

15910 Val Verde Drive
Houston TX, 77083-4921

For the October 2003 meetings, printed January 26, 2004

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from François Laurel, Zenobia Wreath, and Mari Pelican, greetings.

The following is a table showing the status of Letters of Intent, Laurel Letters of Pend and Discussion, and Letters of Intent to Protect. The header rows are the dates of the meetings that will consider them, the dates when primary commentary is due, and the dates when responses to primary commentary are due. The key follows.

Wreath meetingOct 18Nov 22Dec 13Jan 17Feb 14Mar 13
Pelican meetingOct 11Nov 15Dec 20Jan 17Feb 21Mar 13?
Comment by    too lateJan 31
Respond by    Jan 31Feb 29
Letters of Intent being considered:
AEthelmearcJun 26Jul 24-Sep 25Oct 30Nov 29
An TirJun 26Jul 28-Aug 28 &
Sep 29
(Oct 29)(Nov 25)
AnsteorraJun 22Jul 18
[P Jul 26]
Aug 21
[P Aug 29]
Sep 22Oct 23Nov 14
[P Nov 29]
ArtemisiaJun 30-Aug 29Sep 30Oct 30-
AtenveldtJun 25Jul 25Aug 25Sep 25Oct 30-
AtlantiaJun 25Jul 22--Oct 27Nov 27
Caid-Jul 05 &
Jul 30
Aug 25 &
Aug 26
-Oct 06
[P Oct 14]
Nov 21
CalontirJun 25Jun 25Aug 08--Nov 08
DrachenwaldJun 26Jul 24Aug 28-(Sep 25)Oct 30 &
Nov 24
Ealdormere-Jul 17
[P Jul 26]
-Sep 18
[P Sep 29]
-(Nov 16) &
(Nov 23)
EastMay 17Jun 20
[P Jul 01]
-Sep 05--
Laurel LoI----Oct 31-
Lochac-----(Nov 24)
MeridiesJun 30Jul 31Aug 31Sep 30Oct 31Nov 30
MiddleJun 25-Jul 25
[P Aug 14] &
Aug 25
Sep 25-Nov 04
[P Nov 12] &
Nov 25
Nebuly--Aug 21---
Northshield-Jul 01
[P Jul 31]
-Sep 30Oct 31Nov 30
OutlandsJun 25-Jul 23Aug 28 &
Sep 25
Oct 27Nov 27
Siren (RfS X.4.j)--Aug 30---
Trimaris--Jul 31
[P Aug 02]
--(Nov 03)
WestJun 18-Aug 27Sep 24Oct 28Nov 25
Laurel LoPaD
[LoAR date]
Jun 03
[Mar LoAR] &
Jun 30
[Apr LoAR]
Jul 16
[May LoAR]
-Sep 29
[Jul LoAR]
Oct 31
[Aug LoAR]

Month day: the date on the Letter of Intent, Letter of Pend and Discussion, or Letter of Intent to Protect.
(Month day): for administrative reasons, this LoI has not yet been scheduled.
[P Month day]: postmarked on that bracketed date, so the LoI is redated or postponed.
"-": no LoI is scheduled for that meeting from that kingdom.
?: tentative.

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, et cetera) have not yet been met.

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

From Laurel: New Precedents Available

The precedents of Elsbeth Anne Roth, Laurel, and Pietari Pentinpoika Uv, Pelican, have been completed. They are available on-line on the Laurel precedents Web page,, and are available in print for $7.00 through Free Trumpet Press West / SCA Marketplace.

The precedents of our tenure are available in an ongoing draft form on the Web, and may be accessed through a link on the aforementioned Laurel Web page. The latest update information for these draft precedents is given at the top of each of the subpages for armory and name precedents. (The names and armory precedents may not be updated at the same time, so check each subpage individually).

From Wreath: Suns and Moons

There have been a number of requests in the commentary to modify the gender used in referring to (for example) a sun in its splendor or a moon in her plenitude. We allow suns to be either masculine or neuter, and we allow moons to be either feminine or neuter, and we will retain the submitter's blazon when feasible.

From Wreath: Generic Birds

In the last months we have often received commentary suggesting that some charge should be reblazoned from a specific sort of bird to a generic bird (e.g., reblazoning a hawk as a bird). We remind the College that we should only reblazon a specific sort of bird as a generic bird when the specific bird truly cannot be identified as such. We also remind the College that the reblazon to a generic bird has unfortunate side effects for conflict. As noted on the LoAR of April 1998, "Blazoned on the LoI as [a specific type of bird], as drawn it is not clearly any species of bird, so we have reblazoned it as a generic bird. Unfortunately, generic birds conflict with all birds, so this conflicts with ..." When one proposes to reblazon an imperfectly-drawn "hawk" as a generic "bird", it would lose an often-critical type CD from past or future submissions using swans, herons, chickens, peacocks, ostriches, hummingbirds, penguins, and so forth. Never forget that the suggestion to reblazon a specific bird as a generic bird is also a proposal to reward a poor artist with an unwontedly huge slice of armorial space. When we reflect on the quality of much period heraldic artwork, which is rarely precise in its depiction of birds or other animals, I think we can all agree that birds should only be reblazoned as "generic" birds when there is no other alternative.

We have also continued to receive commentary indicating that ravens that are not drawn as "hairy" birds should be reblazoned as generic birds. This suggestion does not match period armorial style, which often depicts ravens as smooth-feathered birds. Please refer to the cover letter to the January 2002 LoAR, which discusses this matter in detail, including citations in commonly-available heraldry books showing specific examples of smooth-feathered/non-hairy corbies in period heraldic art.

From Wreath: Augmentations

This was a busy month for augmentations. An augmentation is one of the highest honors bestowed by the SCA: it behooves us to make policies for augmentations as clear as possible, so that the excellent people receiving the honor have as little difficulty with registering augmentations as possible. Therefore, while the ensuing discussion mostly addresses issues raised by the augmentations this month, it also addresses some other general issues and policies that arise frequently when considering augmentations.

We particularly direct kingdom heralds to the sections on "Kingdom Badges that are Designated as an Augmentation" and "Augmentations and Appropriate Content", as they set forth some previously unstated policies and interpretations.

Who Specifies the Form of an Augmentation

We remind the College that the form of an augmentation is determined according to the normal registration process: the submitter proposes the form of the augmentation and it is either accepted (or not) based on the Rules for Submission. The form of the augmentation cannot be mandated by the crown bestowing it. RfS VIII.7 states "While the right to an augmentation is bestowed by the crown, its form is subject to the normal registration process." The Board of Directors has upheld this policy:

[Concerning an augmentation whose form was specified by the granting Crown] At the time of the August [1987 Laurel] meeting this submission was pended, despite the strong conviction of most of the College that it infringed on the proper usage of [a reserved charge]. Since it involved a "constitutional issue", i.e., in the event of conflict between the will of the Crown and the decision of the College, which takes priority. As the Board of Directors at its January meeting has now decided that the College may not be compelled to register that which is in violation of its existing rules, this submission is now formally returned. (LoAR February 1988)

Augmentations and General Paperwork

If a person's device changes at the same time that an augmentation is added, the armorial changes need to be performed in two separate submissions actions, each with its own set of submission forms: one for the change of the device (without the augmentation) and one depicting the changed device and adding the augmentation: "... as we protect both the augmented arms and the unaugmented arms, a device change and an augmentation must be submitted as two separate actions" (LoAR October 2000).

Augmentations and General Conflict Issues

RfS VIII.7 states, "If [the augmentation] has the appearance of being independent armory, for example a charged escutcheon or canton, then it is independently subject to the normal rules of armorial conflict." This means that the augmentation must be checked for conflict as if it were a separate piece of armory.

Note that the converse is not true: it is not necessary to check new devices or badges for conflict against previously existing augmentations that have the appearance of being independent armory. This is because the augmentations do not have an existence separate from the arms that they augment, and therefore are not independently protectable entities. Per the LoAR of October 1985: "Arms may be borne with or without an augmentation, but the augmentation should not be used separately from the arms."

Some commenters have theorized that if a person registers an augmentation that appears to be independent armory, the independent armory is somehow grandfathered to the kingdom that originally bestowed the augmentation, and thus (the theory continues) the independent armory could be registered by any new recipient of an augmentation from that kingdom. But this cannot be the case, because the augmentation does not have an independent existence, and because the kingdom has no ownership of, or even control of, the form taken by an individual's augmentation.

Note also that, per RfS VIII.7, it is not necessary to check augmentations for conflict when they do not have the appearance of an independent display of armory. If someone's augmentation takes the form ... and for augmentation, in chief a rose argent, the rose in chief does not have the appearance of an independent display of armory, and one does not have to check it for conflict as if it were (Fieldless) A rose argent.

We also remind the College that augmented arms are to be checked for conflict both with and without the augmentation: "Augmentations in Society armory should always be blazoned as such; the bearer has the option of displaying the armory with or without the augmentation, and conflict should be checked against both versions" (LoAR September 1992, pg. 26).

Augmentations and Letters of Permission

The SCA has previously registered augmentations that appeared to be independent armory and were in conflict with - or identical to - a badge owned by a kingdom or some other entity. In these cases, it has been necessary for the person with the augmentation to have a letter of permission from the owner of the badge in order to register that augmentation. As noted in the LoAR of September 1995 regarding an augmentation (which was in conflict with armory belonging to a kingdom):

For the ... conflict, we need to receive a letter of permission to conflict signed by the Crown or the kingdom Seneschal. It has always been the policy of the College not to assume that permission is given even if explicitly stated in a LoI (which was not the case here), but to require a copy of a written letter of permission to conflict.

Such permission was explicitly stated to be present in the first of a (relatively) long line of augmentations from the crown of Caid where the recipient elected to use the Caidan War Banner on a charged canton or escutcheon, per the LoAR of October 1995: "A letter of permission from the Crown of Caid for the use of the War Banner of Caid as an augmentation has been received by the Laurel office." These letters of permission to conflict have not always been mentioned in the LoAR, but are present with the paperwork.

Kingdom Badges That Are Designated as an Augmentation

In the case where a kingdom has a badge designated as an augmentation, it seems appropriate to rule that a person or entity with an augmentation from that kingdom may be assumed to have permission for his/her/its augmentation to conflict with the specifically-designated augmentation badge. Kingdoms that already have badges that are serving as an augmentation should strongly consider adding the "augmentation" designation to those badges, to cut down on subsequent paperwork with letters of permission to conflict.

A kingdom badge that is designated as an augmentation may not imply any particular rank or status for the bearer. It is appropriate for a kingdom to consider adding an "augmentation" designation to a populace badge, ensign, war banner, or a previously undesignated badge without reserved charges. It is not appropriate to add an "augmentation" designation to an order, award, or office badge, or to an undesignated badge with a reserved charge.

The augmentation of the Kingdom of Meridies, (Fieldless) Three mullets one and two argent, was registered in the LoAR of March 1996 with the following comments: "This is an augmentation of arms which the Crown of Meridies may grant to individuals it deems worthy. It's [sic] purpose is not the same as a fieldless badge; as an augmentation, it should always be displayed on a field by the recipients." These LoAR comments referred to the fact that the armory contained charges that were not conjoined. Then, as now, such armory was illegal style on a fieldless badge per RfS VIII.5. But, because an augmentation will always be displayed on a field, a designated augmentation may break these fieldless style rules. The other constraints in RfS VIII.5 could also be broken for an augmentation, so a kingdom could register an augmentation of (Fieldless) a bordure embattled ... or (Fieldless) a bend charged with ..., even though these would not be registerable designs for any other type of fieldless armory.

It also seems appropriate to allow a kingdom's designated augmentations to incorporate armorial motifs that are grandfathered to that kingdom, thereby allowing users of a designated augmentation to receive the same grandfathering that the kingdom would have. As an example, hypothesize that the Kingdom of Atlantia chose to designate its badge, (Fieldless) A unicornate natural seahorse erect azure, finned argent, as an augmentation. The SCA's current policies do not allow new registrations of unicornate natural seahorses without the use of the grandfather clause. A hypothetical Atlantian recipient of an augmentation could place the designated augmentation on any suitable place on his device. If he already had an uncharged canton Or on his device, he could create the augmentation for augmentation, on the canton a unicornate natural seahorse erect azure, finned argent. However, a hypothetical Atlantian recipient of an augmentation could not use the designated badge to create the augmentation for augmentation, on a canton Or a unicornate natural seahorse erect azure finned argent. This augmentation would not be identical to the designated augmentation, and thus, the kingdom's grandfathering would not extend to this augmentation.

Augmentations and Appropriate Content

The September 1995 LoAR ruled in general that no piece of armory could be exactly duplicated as an augmentation: "We have not previously allowed armory, even as an augmentation, to be an identical version of the armory of a group or office, whether or not a letter of permission to conflict existed." However, this portion of ruling has been overruled by the October 1995 acceptance of the Caidan War Banner as an augmentation, and by successive similar registrations. At this point, in some cases augmentations may be identical to armory belonging to a group (or an individual). However, the point that an augmentation must not appear to be a claim to "status or powers the submitter does not possess" (RfS XI) is one that must be considered whenever an augmentation is registered.

Precedent notes that, in at least some cases, the use of a badge of office as part of an augmentation may give an incorrect implication that the holder of the augmentation is the holder of the office. Since that statement will not always be true, the augmentation is not allowed in that circumstance. The LoAR of September 1995 dealt with an augmentation where the owner of the augmentation quartered her original coat with a quartering that was a tinctured version of a kingdom herald's seal. That ruling read, in the immediately pertinent part:

The exact conflict with the seal of the office of the ... Principal Herald is more troublesome for a couple of reasons... [one reason that] it is troublesome is that it was a period practice for the holders of an office to marshal the arms of the office with their personal arms. This does not appear to apply to former holders of the office, but only to incumbents. As a consequence, this augmentation appears to be a claim to be the current ... Principal Herald, which does then fall afoul of our rules against the claim to 'status or powers the submitter does not possess' (RfS XI).

We also believe that any augmentation that incorporates the badge of an office in a fashion that resembles an independent display of arms is likely to give a very strong implication that the submitter holds that office, even outside of the context of marshalling. We note that there is no pattern of use of badges of office used in the SCA as augmentations. Only one such augmentation has been registered (a sinister canton of the arms of the Exchequer of the West registered in 1979). Therefore, we rule that it is not permissible for an augmentation to exactly duplicate a badge of office, even with a letter of permission.

Precedent holds that individuals may not register an augmentation that uses an inappropriate reserved charge, as it would be such a claim to "status or powers the submitter does not possess". Per the LoAR of April 1992: "Laurel wreaths have always been reserved in the Society to branches of the Society, and may not be registered to an individual. (see, e.g., Baldwin of Erebor, LoAR of 10 March 1985, p.4) It is Laurel's belief, and that of many of the commenting heralds, that this restriction applies to augmentations as well as to devices, the same way that coronets and loops of chain, even as augmentations, have been restricted to those who may rightfully bear them."

It also seems appropriate to consider whether an augmentation may ever duplicate the badge of an order or award. Such an augmentation gives a strong implication that the owner of the augmentation is a member of that order, or a holder of that award. We at this time rule that such an augmentation cannot be registered if the owner of the augmentation is not a member of that order or does not hold that award, even if he has a letter of permission from the branch that owns the badge. We leave open the question of whether it is ever appropriate to register an augmentation that is identical to an award or order badge.

Social Pages

Avelina Keyes of Lockwood, Brigantial Principal Herald of the East, was inducted into the Order of the Pelican at the East's Twelfth Night court. Vivat!

Roster Changes

Blaise de Cormeilles ..., Silver Nautilus Pursuivant (Atlantia) had an address change in the September 2003 LoAR cover letter. Unfortunately, the first digit of his street address was inadvertently omitted. His new street address is ....

Tir Righ Herald (An Tir), Li Ban ingen Echtigeirn ..., has moved to .... Her telephone number and e-mail address remain the same.

Lions Blood Herald (An Tir), Marya ..., has moved: ....

Send What to Whom

For all Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera, 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. Also send one paper copy of each letter to each of the incoming sovereigns of arms: Shauna of Carrick Point, Evan da Collaureo, and Margaret MacDubhshithe.

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

to the appropriate address. What's the appropriate address again? If it concerns LoIs dated up to and including November 2003, mail to Pelican QoA at her roster address: .... If it concerns LoIs dated on or after December 2003, mail to the incoming Laurel Queen of Arms: Jacquie Ziegler, 812 S 32nd St, Billings, MT 59101-3924.

Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related electronic files to In particular, the Laurel Clerk would very much appreciate e-mailed copies of all LoIs, LoCs, LoRs, et cetera.

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), Please also send them to Laurel Clerk, preferably by e-mail to, or by mail to Tim McDaniel, 6805 Wood Hollow Dr Apt 212, Austin, TX 78731-3104. 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

François la Flamme
Laurel Principal King of Arms

Created at 2004-01-22T01:04:27