Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

1702 Sea Ventures Ln
Hampton, VA 23665-2429

For the December 2010 meetings, printed February 8, 2011

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Olwyn Laurel, Istvan Wreath, and Juliana 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

The December Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, December 4, 2010 and the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, December 5, 2010. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Northshield (31 Aug, 2010) (pushed due to OSCAR posting date), Ăthelmearc (04 Sep, 2010), Ealdormere (06 Sep, 2010), Laurel LoPaD (07 Sep, 2010), Calontir (17 Sep, 2010), Gleann Abhann (23 Sep, 2010), Laurel LoPaD (23 Sep, 2010), Lochac (26 Sep, 2010), Ansteorra (28 Sep, 2010), Atlantia (29 Sep, 2010), Drachenwald (29 Sep, 2010), An Tir (30 Sep, 2010), Atenveldt (30 Sep, 2010), Daniel de Lincoln LoItUP (30 Sep, 2010), Lochac (30 Sep, 2010), Northshield (30 Sep, 2010), Outlands (30 Sep, 2010), Trimaris (30 Sep, 2010), and West (30 Sep, 2010). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, November 30, 2010.

The January Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, January 16, 2010 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, January 17, 2010. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Artemisia (30 Sep 2010) (pushed due to lack of packet), Meridies (30 Sep, 2010) (pushed due to lack of packet), Ăthelmearc (02 Oct, 2010), Caid (05 Oct, 2010), Laurel LoPaD (06 Oct, 2010), Atenveldt (15 Oct, 2010), Ansteorra (18 Oct, 2010), Calontir (23 Oct, 2010), Lochac (25 Oct, 2010), Gleann Abhann (26 Oct, 2010), Meridies (28 Oct, 2010), An Tir (29 Oct, 2010), Northshield (30 Oct, 2010), Atlantia (31 Oct, 2010), Drachenwald (31 Oct, 2010), East (31 Oct, 2010), Laurel LoPaD (31 Oct, 2010), Middle (31 Oct, 2010), and Outlands (31 Oct, 2010). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Friday, December 31, 2010.

The February Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in February 2011. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Middle (12 Nov, 2010), Ăthelmearc (16 Nov, 2010), Laurel LoItP (16 Nov, 2010), West (17 Nov, 2010), Atenveldt (20 Nov, 2010), Ansteorra (21 Nov, 2010), Caid (21 Nov, 2010), Artemisia (25 Nov, 2010), Outlands (27 Nov, 2010), Lochac (28 Nov, 2010), Atlantia (29 Nov, 2010), Gleann Abhann (29 Nov, 2010), Meridies (29 Nov, 2010), Northshield (29 Nov, 2010), Trimaris (29 Nov, 2010), Drachenwald (30 Nov, 2010), East (30 Nov, 2010), and the Laurel LoPaD (30 Nov, 2010). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Monday, January 31, 2011.

The March Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in March 2011. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: An Tir (30 Nov, 2010) (pushed due to date finalized) , Calontir (02 Dec, 2010), Ăthelmearc (15 Dec, 2010), Atenveldt (15 Dec, 2010), An Tir (18 Dec, 2010), Ansteorra (19 Dec, 2010), Gleann Abhann (19 Dec, 2010), Lochac (19 Dec, 2010), Ăthelmearc (21 Dec, 2010), West (21 Dec, 2010), Middle (22 Dec, 2010), Caid (26 Dec, 2010), Meridies (30 Dec, 2010), Atlantia (31 Dec, 2010), Drachenwald (31 Dec, 2010), East (31 Dec, 2010), Laurel LoPaD (31 Dec, 2010), Lochac (31 Dec, 2010), Outlands (31 Dec, 2010), and [Trimaris (31 Dec, 2010)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Monday, February 28, 2011.

Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of posting 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: LoAR RSS Feed

For those who use some form of RSS reader and want to be notified when the LoARs are placed on the archive on the Laurel web site, an RSS feed has been created. It is located at

Note that the archive contains the same documents, but is updated after the LoARs are sent to the mailing lists on

From Laurel: Magen David Adom

In May of 2010, Laurel protected the motif A single gules Star of David on any argent background or in any way that could be displayed on an argent background (such as a fieldless badge), saying "By treaty, the symbol of the Magen David Adom has the same protection as the symbols of the Red Cross, of the Red Crescent, and of the Red Crystal."

Normally, we only protect the exact form of a badge or logo we consider important non-SCA armory (in this case, Argent, a Star of David gules). One exception to this principle is the motifs protected by treaty as the symbols of International Committee of the Red Cross. We protect these motifs more broadly, restricting the use of any design with the motif A single gules <charge> (cross couped, decrescent, mascle) on any argent background or in any way that could be displayed on an argent background. The similar restriction of a gules Star of David was based on the understanding that it too was protected by these treaties. Daniel de Lincoln presented clear evidence that the symbol of the Magen David Adom is not so protected, and that in fact, the International Committee of the Red Cross has explicitly declined to give it that protection. Therefore, we have no justification for giving the gules Star of David the same protection as the motifs protected by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The badge of the Magen David Adom is important enough to protect and will continue to be protected; it is listed under the LAUREL section of this LoAR.

From Laurel: Non Scriptum, Non Est

In the last six months, the Laurel office has received submissions with an unacceptable problem twice, from two different kingdoms. In each, the Letter of Intent reported that kingdom had changed a name submission, but the submissions form included no sign of that originally submitted form. We are not sure whether the kingdom submissions heralds prepared new forms because of the change, the submitter was talked out of an original submission and filled out paperwork with the name recommended by the kingdom consultation, or something completely different. This cannot be tolerated. We are required by long policy to only consider the information the submitter includes in writing. So, please, don't prepare new name forms. Please, do make sure that all relevant information about modifications and the submitter's intent is included on the submissions form itself. Otherwise, we're going to have to start making administrative returns.

Armory is a different matter. Here, new forms may be prepared, with the submitter's approval of the artwork. This is because a piece of armory cannot be modified on the old forms. Be sure that all information the submitter provided, including their attempted blazon, is transferred to the new form. The fact that the provided emblazon is a redraw with submitter approval should be mentioned on the LoI.

From Pelican: Transliteration and Old Norse

In June of 2010, we asked for commentary on the question of what forms of Old Norse names we should register. Commentary was interesting and insightful; my thanks to all who weighed in. At the moment, we allow the registration of documentary forms found in the Latin alphabet as well as "standardized" Old Norse, a 19th century scholarly construction that attempts to clearly indicate the pronunciation of Old Norse. We asked whether we should add two additional forms: a non-scholarly version of standardized Old Norse that includes some but not all of the special characters and some transcriptions of runic forms that were not recorded in the Latin alphabet.

Commentary regarding the first point was resoundingly positive. We will allow the registration of Old Norse names in simplified versions of standardized Old Norse; for example, a simplification that uses o for both o and {o,} or one that uses th for both and ­. Therefore spellings like Bjorn will be registerable as Old Norse spellings. This does not allow the use of Anglicized forms, such Erik for EirÝkr.

On the second point, things are a bit more complicated. While we encourage submitters to use runic forms of their names, we cannot register forms written in runes, as that would make it essentially impossible to conflict check. Even direct one to one transcriptions of runes are problematic, as the same rune is often used to represent multiple sounds. Therefore, we require a transliteration that represents the pronunciation of the name, just as we require transliterations of Arabic to include vowels, even though the words as written in medieval Arabic generally only record the consonants.

On the other hand, runic spellings, such as those recorded in Lena Peterson's Nordiskt runnamslexikon, preserve pronunciations that were never recorded in the Latin alphabet. This is especially true for forms from Old East Norse, which is poorly represented in Latin alphabet documents compared to Old West Norse. Therefore, we will register forms of runic names that have been transcribed following a standard scholarly system, such as the header forms in Lena Peterson's work. We will not, however, accept "invented" transcriptions based on a submitter's proposal of how to transcribe runic names.

From Pelican: Talking about (my) Documentation

This ongoing series about sources and problems in documentation is getting hijacked this month to discuss how we talk about documentation. The term documented is used for two independent ideas. First, it refers to the broad idea of demonstrating that the submitter may use a particular element: one may, for example, speak of documenting that Lilie is a submitter's legal name. Second, it refers to the idea that a particular element is dated to before 1650. In the draft rules, we are trying to separate these two ideas by using documented for the broad idea and attested to refer to the idea that an element is found in period. We encourage you to do the same.

Things get more complicated as we move from clearly attested elements to elements that are created in various ways. Again, we have vocabulary to discuss that creation, depending on how closely the submitted element matches attested forms. One common pattern for submissions is to create a spelling variant of an attested name by using either multiple attested forms or information about spelling variation in other attested forms. For example, in this month's acceptances, we registered Kirsten on the basis of Kristen and Kyrstin, two forms of the same name attested in the 15th century according to Lind. We call this creation of spelling variants interpolation.

Finally, we come to constructed names. We say that a name is constructed if it takes elements that are attested to period, but puts them together to make a name that is not attested. These include bynames that are constructed from attested given names (so taking an attested Bjartmarr to construct a patronymic byname Bjartmarsson), while others take two elements (from a dithemic name like Ălfmund - made up of Ălf- and -mund or a placename like Sheepford, made up of Sheep- and -ford).

From Wreath: Tudor Roses

A submission pended from the May 2010 LoAR asked whether or not we wanted to reduce the protection on Tudor roses. The protection, as it has been stated until now, is as follows:

The combination of a rose argent and a rose gules, whether as a double rose (on a rose, a rose) or in some other manner which creates a half-white, half-red rose. [Glossary of Terms,]

Research done as part of this submission indicates that half-white, half-red roses were also used by many other families. The badge of the Tudors seems to appear in only six forms, all of which were used by other families:

We are, therefore, removing the restriction on using half-white and half-red roses as part of a larger armorial design. We are registering those six badges to the Tudors, as they are important period badges, but we will no longer restrict their use entirely.

Note that this does not remove the issue of presumption. The combination of the surname Tudor with armory which incorporates half white and half red roses may be considered to violate our rules on presumption and pretense, but we will not decide that issue at this time.

From Wreath: Chevrons, Per Chevron, and Their Inversions

For many years now, depictions of chevrons and the per chevron line of division have gotten progressively more problematic in our perceptions as we examine period depictions of chevrons. We frequently see submissions for per chevron which are the bottom quarter of a per saltire field, rising no further than the center of the field. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that the bend/saltire tickmarks on the field are being mis-interpreted as being guidelines for drawing per chevron fields.

We would like to discuss putting limitations on the depiction of chevrons and per chevron fields in armory. The following proposal is intended to serve as a starting point for the conversation. If we adopt any revised standard, we do not expect to adopt it as written here:

In period, per chevron divisions and chevrons frequently extend nearly to the top of the field. There should not be room for a primary or large secondary charges above the tip of a chevron or per chevron field. Sumbmissions including these items will not be registered. This also holds for large charges below the tip of chevrons inverted and per chevron inverted. If the charge is alone on that side of division, it probably falls under this rule. Exceptions will be made for narrow charges placed fesswise in chief.

The chevron, chevron inverted, per chevron line of division, or per chevron inverted line of division, measured from the point to the furthest extent against the field, should be more than one third of the height of the field. It may slide up or (less frequently) down on the field in period, to make room for any surrounding charges.

From Wreath: Color-Correcting Scans

This month, we considered submissions where the color 'scan' on OSCAR had obviously been colorized: both of the paper forms we received had been colored with markers and the scanned image had smooth, uniform colors bordered by a fringe of anti-aliasing from a paint program fill. We remind submissions heralds that computer-correcting the color scan has been cause for return since March 2009. Fortunately, all the submissions which exhibited this issue were returned for other reasons, and we did not have to penalize submitters for the mistakes of their kingdom submissions herald. Please, for your submitter's sake, do not do this.

From Wreath: Emblazons and Crayons

We have repeatedly asked kingdom submissions heralds not to send submissions forms colored with crayon for many years, and we keep receiving them. Submissions colored with wax-based color such as crayon will be returned administratively starting with the May 2011 Laurel meetings, and the forms will be discarded. We are taking this step because the wax will melt and bond many pages together, which destroys the archives. While efforts will be made to get a new set of forms from Kingdom, please replace them before this step must be taken.

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 be sent to David Duggar, Attn: Laurel Chancellor of Exchequer, 1705 Holiday Pl, Bossier City, LA 71112-3706.

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 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 2011-02-08T21:14:33