Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

1731A 10th St
Hampton, VA 23665
+1-757-848-5813
laurel@heraldry.sca.org

For the May 2009 meetings, printed August 29, 2009

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Olwyn Laurel, Istvan Wreath, and Aryanhwy Pelican, greetings.

Items listed below in square brackets have not been scheduled yet. For information about future scheduling, please review the status table located on the Web at http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=137.

The May Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held on Saturday, May 2, 2009. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Middle (30 Nov, 2008)(pushed due to lack of packet), Caid (31 Dec, 2008)(pushed due to lack of packet), Gleann Abhann (06 Jan, 2009), Laurel LoPaD (09 Jan, 2009), Ansteorra (22 Jan, 2009), Northshield (24 Jan, 2009), Atenveldt (25 Jan, 2009), Atlantia (26 Jan, 2009), Laurel LoPaD (28 Jan, 2009), Drachenwald (29 Jan, 2009), Meridies (29 Jan, 2009), Siren LoItP (29 Jan, 2009), An Tir (30 Jan, 2009), Artemisia (30 Jan, 2009), Trimaris (30 Jan, 2009), Outlands (31 Jan, 2009), and West (31 Jan, 2009). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, April 30, 2009.

The June Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, June 6, 2009 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, June 14, 2009. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Calontir (31 Jan, 2009)(pushed due to lack of payment), Caid (12 Feb, 2009), Gleann Abhann (14 Feb, 2009), An Tir (16 Feb, 2009), Meridies (16 Feb, 2009), Ęthelmearc (24 Feb, 2009), Ansteorra (24 Feb, 2009), Ealdormere (24 Feb, 2009), Atenveldt (25 Feb, 2009), Northshield (26 Feb, 2009), Laurel LoPaD (27 Feb, 2009), Outlands (27 Feb, 2009), Atlantia (28 Feb, 2009), Calontir (28 Feb, 2009), Lochac (28 Feb, 2009), and Middle (28 Feb, 2009). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Sunday, May 31, 2009.

The July Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday July 04, 2009 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, July 11, 2009. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: East (14 Mar, 2009), East (18 Mar, 2009), Ęthelmearc (23 Mar, 2009), Ansteorra (24 Mar, 2009), Atenveldt (25 Mar, 2009), Meridies (27 Mar, 2009), Gleann Abhann (28 Mar, 2009), Artemisia (29 Mar, 2009), Northshield (29 Mar, 2009), An Tir (30 Mar, 2009), Atlantia (30 Mar, 2009), Trimaris (30 Mar, 2009), Caid (31 Mar, 2009), Drachenwald (31 Mar, 2009), Lochac (31 Mar, 2009), Middle (31 Mar, 2009), Outlands (31 Mar, 2009), and West (31 Mar, 2009). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, June 30, 2009.

The August Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, August 08, 2009, the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, August 15, 2009 and the joint Pennsic Roadshow held on Monday, August 03, 2009. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Laurel LoPaD (07 Apr, 2009), Ealdormere (13 Apr, 2009), East (18 Apr, 2009), Laurel LoPaD (20 Apr, 2009), Calontir (22 Apr, 2009), Northshield (22 Apr, 2009), Atlantia (27 Apr, 2009), Meridies (28 Apr, 2009), An Tir (30 Apr, 2009), Drachenwald (30 Apr, 2009), and West (30 Apr, 2009). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Friday, July 31, 2009.

The September Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, 12 September, 2009, at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, September 19, 2009, and at the Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium Roadshow on Sunday, September 06, 2009. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Caid (19 Apr, 2009)(pushed due to lack of packet), Atenveldt (20 Apr, 2009)(pushed due to lack of packet), Ęthelmearc (29 Apr, 2009)(pushed due to lack of payment), Lochac (30 Apr, 2009)(pushed due to lack of packet), Middle (30 Apr, 2009)(pushed due to lack of payment), Outlands (30 Apr, 2009)(pushed due to lack of packet), Gleann Abhann (09 May, 2009), Atenveldt (15 May, 2009), East (16 May, 2009), Gleann Abhann (19 May, 2009), Calontir (21 May, 2009), Ęthelmearc (23 May, 2009), Ansteorra (28 May, 2009), Northshield (29 May, 2009), Atlantia (31 May, 2009), Caid (31 May, 2009), Drachenwald (31 May, 2009), Lochac (31 May, 2009), Meridies (31 May, 2009), Middle (31 May, 2009), Trimaris (31 May, 2009), and West (31 May, 2009). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Monday, August 31, 2009.

The October Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, October 03, 2009 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, October 24, 2009. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: [Ealdormere (12 May, 2009)](pushed due to lack of packet), An Tir (31 May, 2009)(pushed due to lack of payment), [Artemisia (31 May, 2009)](pushed due to lack of payment), Loyall (03 Jun, 2009), Laurel LoPaD (08 Jun, 2009), Outlands (18 Jun, 2009), Atenveldt (20 Jun, 2009), East (22 Jun, 2009), Laurel LoItP (25 Jun, 2009), Meridies (25 Jun, 2009), Northshield (25 Jun, 2009), An Tir (26 Jun, 2009), Drachenwald (28 Jun, 2009), [Ansteorra (29 Jun, 2009)], Atlantia (29 Jun, 2009), Gleann Abhann (29 Jun, 2009), Calontir (30 Jun, 2009), West (30 Jun, 2009). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, September 30, 2009.

The November Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held on Saturday, November 07, 2009. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: [Caid (15 Jun, 2009)](pushed due to lack of packet), [Caid (25 Jun, 2009)](pushed due to lack of packet), Gleann Abhann (14 Jul, 2009), Atenveldt (15 Jul, 2009), [Ęthelmearc (19 Jul, 2009)], An Tir (19 Jul, 2009), Atlantia (24 Jul, 2009), [Outlands (24 Jul, 2009)], [Calontir (26 Jul, 2009)], [Ansteorra (28 Jul, 2009)], [Meridies (29 Jul, 2009)], [Trimaris (30 Jul, 2009)], [Artemisia (31 Jul, 2009)], [East (31 Jul, 2009)], [Lochac (31 Jul, 2009)], and [Middle (31 Jul, 2009)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Saturday, October 31, 2009.

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 Pelican: No More SCA-Compatibility

On the May 2008 Cover Letter, we ruled:

Therefore, as of the May 2009 decisions meetings, we declare that no new name elements or name patterns will be ruled SCA-compatible, that all names previously ruled SCA-compatible are no longer SCA-compatible and that in order for them to be registered, documentation meeting the same standards as for non-SCA-compatible names will be required.

This ruling went into effect with this, the May 2009 Pelican meeting.

From Pelican: Color Terms in Order Names

On the November 2008 LoAR, two submissions were pended, the Order of the Azure Glove and the Order of the Sable Sleeve. Both of these concerned the issue of color terms in order names. The original LoI demonstrated that both sable and azure (or asure) can be found in English contexts which are not purely heraldic, and cited the following precedents in support of the registerability of these order names:

Hidden Mountain, Barony of. Award name Award of the Azure Cloud (see RETURNS for badge). In general, names of heraldic tinctures are not registerable as part of order names where the language is English, because we have no examples of such usage and because the names of most heraldic tinctures were not used as ordinary adjectives in English until the very end of the 16th C. Azure appears to be the exception. According to the OED, the noun azure, meaning "A bright blue pigment or dye; ellipt. a fabric dyed of this colour", dates to at least the late 14th C. Chaucer mentions a figure "Cloothed in Asure". This and the citations provided by the submitter are sufficient to give them the benefit of the doubt that azure (like crimson) is used as an ordinary color name and hence is registerable as part of an order name. [LoAR 06/2006, Atlantia-A]

However, the August 2005 Cover Letter discussing patterns of period order names gives a stricter criterion for the use of color terms in order names:

Argent Snail, in arguing for more generous interpretations of patterns notes, "since we know that there were period order names of the form color (including Gold/golden) object, any color object should be considered acceptable, and not one step from period practice, even if the submitted color was not used in a period order name." While we are unwilling to extend the interpretation of period order names to include any color (images of "Order of Dead Spaniard Lion" leap to mind--"dead spaniard" being a fabric color found in Elizabethan England), we are often far stricter in our interpretations concerning colors than we are of other patterns. Therefore, since heraldic objects may be found in any heraldic tincture, the ordinary color name for any heraldic tincture may be used as part of an order name when combined with a heraldic charge (which, if applied to the example above, gives us the "Order of the Green Lion," a perfectly ordinary name.) Following this pattern comes with no penalty; even if a particular color found in heraldry is not found in any order name, its use in an order name still follows the established pattern. This does not overturn the precedent disallowing the registration of Orders of the form heraldic tincture name + object in English, since we have no examples of English order names that use heraldic tincture names. So, for example, while the Order of the Green Lion would be held to follow demonstrated patterns, Order of the Lion Vert or Order of the Vert Lion would not...[Order names for heraldic charges] may contain the ordinary color names of any heraldic tincture.

As noted in the pend of this order name, the June 2006 precedent demonstrates that azure or asure was used as a color term in English, but it does not show that this term was the ordinary color term for blue, as required by the August 2005 precedent.

When faced with contradictory precedents, the best way to arbitrate between them is to look to period practice. Since both the 2005 and 2006 precedents were set, our knowledge of medieval names of orders has increased dramatically, due largely to Juliana de Luna's article "Medieval Secular Order Names". In the introduction of the article, Juliana notes nine order names (making up 6% of the data) which follow the pattern <color> + <charge>. These nine orders are from Germany, France, Italy, and Navarre, so while they are few they come from a broad area and so can be taken as representative. So, what color names are used in these order names?

Black: noir (French)

Blue: blauwen (German), blaen (German)

Gold(en): or (French), goldin (English), golden (English), aureus (Latin)

Green: vert (French)

Red: roden (German)

White: blanche (French), blanco (Spanish)

These examples show that it was not any color term that was used in medieval order names, but just the single, ordinary color term. On the basis of period usage, we are upholding the stricter reading of the August 2005 Cover Letter, which is in keeping with the examples of period order names that we currently have. Order names which follow the <color> + <charge> pattern must use the ordinary color term for a heraldic tincture appropriate for the language of the order name.

From Wreath: Crosses and Substantial Difference

Given the widespread support for the proposal, we are implementing Batonvert's proposal on crosses that appeared on the Cover Letter for the August 2008 LoAR. Substantial difference under X.2 will henceforth be granted between crosses appearing below that do not belong to the same family. The families are:

We note that, in period, the term paty could refer to crosses in the flory family. The formy/paty family is not intended to overlap these two groups, we are using the SCA blazon term.

Standard period variants of a particular style of cross will not be considered separate; no difference is granted for fitching, changing between equal-armed and Latinate, etc.

Substantial difference between crosses is not limited to the above list. It is, instead, intended to provide a set of guidelines on the most frequently seen crosses in heraldry. All rulings of substantial difference which are not addressed by the above list remain in force, as do all rulings on significant difference.

From Wreath: Sustained Charges

Da'ud ibn Auda, in September 1994, re-stated a precedent from Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme in the following manner:

Regarding the "significance" of the halberd, as Green Crown noted, a charge consisting mostly of a long skinny handle will always have difficulty matching the visual weight of other charges, but here the sizes of the charges are about the same as would be expected if they were in fess a bear and a halberd. That seems to be a reasonable rule of thumb for determining sustained (and qualifying for a CD), as opposed to maintained (and not qualifying for a CD), charges.

In the intervening years, this definition has been expanded to the point where any sustained charge is a co-primary charge. The College of Arms was asked to consider whether or not this policy made sense, or whether it made sense to introduce the idea that charges could be sustained secondaries.

Based on commentary, it does not appear that there is any easy way to solve this problem that improves the current situation without introducing new undesirable effects and complexity to our rules. We therefore decline to change the current state of the rules on this matter. Held items must be either sustained co-primaries, which count for difference, or maintained charges, which do not count for difference.

We remind the College that there are very few examples of held charges in period armory and that most examples are maintained. The use of sustained charges leads to an increase in complexity of processing submissions that is not desirable, especially since it does not follow a common period practice.

Anyone who feels that they have a proposal which is simple to understand, simple to apply, and which solves all the issues (or at least substantially improves the status quo) is invited to submit said proposal to the College for consideration.

Entwined charges are currently defined as having one charge primary and one charge maintained, unless it is explicitly stated in the registration or a comment. There are an increasing number of these secondary entwined charges, leading to a large increase of time as the person checking must research each potential conflict to see if it is a maintained or secondary entwined charge. This must be simplified. Therefore, in the case of entwined charges, we will adopt the proposal in this fashion:

Transfixed charges follow a similar pattern as entwined charges.

Existing armory using entwined and transfixed charges will be reblazoned on future LoARs as required and as time permits.

From Wreath: Charges for Laurels

On the Cover Letter for the November 2008 LoAR, we asked the College of Arms and the populace of the SCA to suggest a reserved charge for the Order of the Laurel, to parallel the pelican in its piety for the Order of the Pelican and the closed loop of chain and white belt for the Order of the Chivalry. Responses from the general populace varied, but responses from members of the Order of the Laurel were nearly unanimous: since the practice of using a charge as a symbol of their rank on the shield is not generally a period practice, they do not desire a charge reserved for them. Therefore, we will not reserve a charge for members of the Order of the Laurel. Period practice would be to display order badges around the shield as part of the achievement.

From Wreath: Unrestricting Chains and Pelicans

Also on the Cover Letter for the November 2008 LoAR, we asked the College of Arms and the populace to discuss removing the restrictions on closed loops of chain and pelicans as symbols for the Orders of Chivalry and of the Pelican, respectively.

Commentary from members of the College of Arms was mostly in favor of removing the restriction were it possible, but also cautioed that many members of the Chivalry, especially in certain geographical areas, viewed this practice as a perk of their rank.

Commentary from members of the general SCA populace was strongly in favor of retaining this ahistoric practice, mostly citing SCA tradition.

At this time, we decline to overturn the restriction and will continue to limit the use of these charges. The closed loop of chain, in any tincture, remains reserved to the members of the Order of the Chivalry, and the pelican, in any tincture, remains reserved to the members of the Order of the Pelican. We would again note that period practice would be to display the order badges around the shield as part of the achievement.

From Pelican: Pennsic Thanks

This year I made my first pilgrimage to Pennsic, something which I attempted with a bit of trepidation seeing as I was doing it from Drachenwald. I needn't have been worried at all: many people pitched in to help with my travel plans and I was wonderfully taken care of. I would like to specifically thank the following people for their help and care: Gisela vom Kreuzbach, who supplied me with tent-space, bedding, food, and tea; Margaret FitzWilliam of Kent and Edwin atte Bridge, whose combined efforts results in an air mattress and four sheep skins; Thomas Ouswood, who picked me up from and delivered me to the airport; Ailis Linne, for helping organize everything; Robin Gallowglass, who was instrumental in my meeting up with my new laptop; and Cecilia Abfalder, the best mom in the world, who took pity on a daughter who hates sewing and made me eight new underdresses just for War. Thank you, all, and I look forward to going back next year!

From Laurel, Pelican, and Wreath: Heraldic Display at Pennsic

This year at Pennsic, since Laurel, Pelican, and Wreath were all in attendance, we started what we hope will become a new tradition. The three of us took a long tour of Pennsic, looking at all the heraldic display that we could find. There was, to our joy, a great deal to see. We each chose two camps to honor with the first tokens from the heraldic sovereigns to thank those camps for exceptional use of heraldry. The following camps were so honored:

We would like to thank them for the inspiration that they give not only to us, but to all who see their displays.

Society Pages

Congratulations to Gwenlliana Clutterbooke, Dragon's Mists Pursuivant and Sinister Gauntlet Pursuivant of An Tir, and Asbi{o,}rn inn eyverski, Thamesreach Pursuivant of Drachenwald, who were both award arms recently, in July and August, respectively.

As we previously announced, Julianna da Luna was elevated to the Order of the Laurel on July 18, 2009, at An Tir Coronation. She was invested with the Breakstone medallion, mentioned on the Cover Letter to the June 2003 LoAR.

Send What to Whom

Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera are to be posted to the OSCAR online system. No paper copies need be sent.

Submission packets (one copy of each name form plus documentation, including petitions; two colored copies of each armory form plus two copies of any associated documentation, including petitions) to the SCA College of Arms, PO Box 31755, Billings, MT 59107-1755.

Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to: Laurel Chancellor of Exchequer, 4N400 Church Rd, Bensenville, IL 60106-2928.

Send roster changes and corrections to Laurel. College of Arms members may also request a copy of the current roster from Laurel.

For a paper copy of a LoAR, please contact Laurel, at the address above. The cost for one LoAR is $3. Please make all checks or money orders payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms". The electronic copy of the LoAR is available free of charge. To subscribe to the mailings of the electronic copy, please see the bottom of http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/lists.html#lists for more instructions.

For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Olwynn ni Chinnedigh
Laurel Principal Queen of Arms


Created at 2009-08-29T01:06:54