Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

2212 S. 64th Plaza, #418
Omaha, NE, 68106
+1 952 412 4112
[email protected]

For the April 2012 meetings, printed Thursday, June 7, 2012

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Gabriel Laurel, Juliana Pelican, and Emma Wreath, 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 April Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, April 7, 2012 and the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, April 8, 2012. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Ęthelmearc (01 Jan, 2012), Laurel LoPaD (07 Jan, 2012), Gleann Abhann (14 Jan, 2012), Atenveldt (15 Jan, 2012), Caid (15 Jan, 2012), Lochac (16 Jan, 2012), East (19 Jan, 2012), Northshield (20 Jan, 2012), Atlantia (22 Jan, 2012), Middle (22 Jan, 2012), Calontir (23 Jan, 2012), Lochac (26 Jan, 2012), Ealdormere (30 Jan, 2012), West (30 Jan, 2012), An Tir (31 Jan, 2012), Ansteorra (31 Jan, 2012), Artemisia (31 Jan, 2012), Drachenwald (31 Jan, 2012), Laurel LoPaD (31 Jan, 2012), Lochac (31 Jan, 2012), Meridies (31 Jan, 2012), Outlands (31 Jan, 2012), and Trimaris (31 Jan, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Saturday, March 31, 2012.

The May Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, May 6, 2012 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, May 12, 2012. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Middle (21 Dec, 2011) (pushed due to lack of packet and scans) , West (06 Feb, 2012), Atlantia (08 Feb, 2012), Ęthelmearc (09 Feb, 2012), Caid (12 Feb, 2012), Atenveldt (20 Feb, 2012), East (26 Feb, 2012), Lochac (26 Feb, 2012), An Tir (28 Feb, 2012), Trimaris (28 Feb, 2012), Ansteorra (29 Feb, 2012), Drachenwald (29 Feb, 2012), Meridies (29 Feb, 2012), and Outlands (29 Feb, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Monday, April 30, 2012.

The June Laurel decisions will be made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, June 9, 2012, the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, June 10, 2012, and the joint Laurel Road Show at KWHSS on Sunday, June 24, 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Laurel LoPaD (29 Feb, 2012) (issued in March), Ęthelmearc (02 Mar, 2012), Northshield (02 Mar, 2012), Caid (11 Mar, 2012), Ansteorra Other Letter (15 Mar, 2012), Atenveldt (20 Mar, 2012), West (24 Mar, 2012), East (26 Mar, 2012), Ansteorra (28 Mar, 2012), Atlantia (29 Mar, 2012), Lochac (29 Mar, 2012), Drachenwald (30 Mar, 2012), Meridies (30 Mar, 2012), Ealdormere (31 Mar, 2012), Outlands (31 Mar, 2012), and Caid (01 Apr, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Thursday, May 31, 2012.

The July Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in July 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Artemisia (31 Mar, 2012) (pushed due to lack of packet) , Caid (01 Apr, 2012), An Tir (02 Apr, 2012), Calontir (03 Apr, 2012), Atlantia (07 Apr, 2012), Laurel LoPaD (08 Apr, 2012), Northshield (08 Apr, 2012), Ealdormere (19 Apr, 2012), Middle (20 Apr, 2012), [Atenveldt (25 Apr, 2012)], East (25 Apr, 2012), West (27 Apr, 2012), Lochac (28 Apr, 2012), An Tir (29 Apr, 2012), Ansteorra (30 Apr, 2012), Gleann Abhann (30 Apr, 2012), Meridies (30 Apr, 2012), Outlands (30 Apr, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Saturday, June 30, 2012.

The August Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in August 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Ęthelmearc (04 May, 2012), [Trimaris (04 May, 2012)], Laurel LoPaD (06 May, 2012), East (12 May, 2012), [Northshield (18 May, 2012)], [Atenveldt (20 May, 2012)] (pushed due to lack of payment) , Caid (25 May, 2012), [Artemisia (28 May, 2012)], [An Tir (29 May, 2012)], [Lochac (29 May, 2012)], [Ealdormere (30 May, 2012)], [Middle (30 May, 2012)], [Outlands (30 May, 2012)], [Ansteorra (31 May, 2012)], [Atlantia (31 May, 2012)], [Drachenwald (31 May, 2012)], Gleann Abhann (31 May, 2012), [Meridies (31 May, 2012)], and [West (31 May, 2012)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, July 31, 2012.

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: Re: New Rules At Last!

In the March 2012 LoAR Cover Letter, we announced that "the new rules for submissions document, which we are renaming 'Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory' (SENA), was approved by the Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc. at their April meeting." We announced that, starting with the May meetings, items would be registered if they were acceptable under either the previous Rules for Submission or under SENA.

Twelve submissions ruled on in April would be returned for conflict under the RfS but are registerable with no style or conflict issues under SENA. In light of the fact that these submissions would very likely have been resubmitted, we have opted to save submitters' and submissions heralds' time and headaches and are pending these submissions for one month. They will therefore be considered for registration on the May 2012 LoAR.

From Pelican: Norse Capitalization

In October 2002, Laurel ruled (in a Cover Letter Section titled "From Pelican: Regarding Capitalization in Norse Bynames") that we would require most descriptive bynames to be written in lowercase in Old Norse. This upheld precedent that had existed since at least April 2000. The basis of this precedent was the ways in which modern scholarly transliteration treats descriptive bynames in Old Norse.

In January 2012 we asked for further discussion of this issue. The reason for revisiting this issue was based on the ways in which our standards have changed: we register Old Norse documentary forms (though not runic ones) and relatively casual transliterations, as well as modern scholarly transliterations. Additionally, more and more books, documents, and the like are available online, which allows us to look at evidence that was not available when the original decisions were made.

Based on the data found by commenters, we can say that capitalization in period Latin alphabet documents was uneven, with some capitalizing no elements and others capitalizing only given names and bynames derived from given names. Modern transliterations vary as well. Scholarly ones tend to use the convention of capitalizing given names but leaving descriptive bynames in lowercase. Less formal ones vary, with some rendering all name elements in uppercase, with only in(n) "the", son and dottir in lowercase.

Given this evidence, we are removing the requirement that descriptive bynames in Old Norse be registered only in lowercase. Descriptive bynames will be registered either in uppercase or in lowercase. This matches our usage in other languages, where we render most name elements in uppercase, although many documents are written only in lowercase.

We note that submitters whose bynames were changed under the old precedent who prefer the capitalized form may make a request for reconsideration.

From Pelican: Tinctures and Other Descriptive Words in Order Names and Heraldic Titles

In January 2012, we asked commenters to consider the current precedent regarding the use of color words in order names. In February 2003, Pelican ruled that "no evidence has been found that heraldic tinctures (rather than common color terms such as bleu) were used in order names." Since that time, our knowledge of period order names and heraldic titles has expanded considerably, in large part due to articles like my "Heraldic Titles from the Middle Ages and Renaissance" (found at and my "Medieval Secular Order Names" (found at or at

The color terms used in order names and heraldic titles are summarized in the May 2009 Cover Letter. They are the everyday terms for heraldic tinctures, mostly in French, but also in German, English, and Spanish.

Several French terms are identical to the terms used for heraldic tinctures, including vert, or, and argent (which is found in sign names but not order names). This means that half the colors used in order names (vert, or and argent) are at least sometimes identical to the heraldic terms. Even vaire is found in French inn signs. Similarly, early blazon seems to have sometimes used the everyday color terms rouge and noir. Given the variability in the use of heraldic and everyday terms, and the confusion this causes for submitters and commenters, we are hereby allowing the use of heraldic color terms in order names as well as the everyday terms. However, no convincing evidence has been presented for the use of non-heraldic color names, including the names for particular shades of a color, like scarlet or crimson.

There was relatively little commentary on the use of terms for posture and orientation. As such, we will not at this time rule on whether the patterns found for such terms in inn sign names should be extended to order names and heraldic titles. The question will be revisited when a relevant submission appears.

From Pelican: Mac and O bynames

In Gaelic and Anglicized Irish, one question that often arises is when bynames constructed using mac can be used to create bynames using O and vice versa (recalling that in Gaelic, mac and O are only used in men's bynames). The reason one cannot simply treat the two as interchangeable is that each type of byname has different limitations.

Bynames using mac "son of" were formed throughout our period. They were formed from given names and from a few types of bynames, most notably occupational bynames. Bynames using O "male descendant (usually grandson)" were formed from the 7th to the 11th century; then they became frozen as inherited family names. These names were formed from a variety of kinds of bynames as well as given names.

So, what does this mean in terms of construction and documentation? Most of our documentation for bynames is from the 16th century. If you have a byname documented using mac and want to use it to justify a byname using O, you need to find evidence that the name was in use by the 11th century. Otherwise, the name came into use too late in period to justify its use in a byname using O. If you have a byname using O and want to use it to justify a byname using mac, you need to know what kind of element it is. If it's a given name, you can make a byname using mac from it. Some occupational bynames can be used to create a byname using mac. Other kinds of bynames using O, including elements that we cannot identify as either a given name or an occupational byname, cannot be used to create a byname using mac.

From Wreath: Crescents and Things

Commenters were asked to discuss how we should blazon the period motif of charges combined with crescents. Placing items between the horns of a crescent is a period heraldic motif. Richard I of England used it as a seal, currently listed in Society armory as the badge (Tinctureless) An estoile between the horns of a crescent, a style of badge that was likely brought back from the East during the Crusades. The family of Percy had as a badge within the horns of a crescent a pair of shacklebolts. Other examples have been found in period armory of other objects set just above or within a crescent.

Discussion on this motif, informed by the recent discussion, past precedent regarding charges within annulets, and precedent set on the February 2012 Cover Letter regarding sustained secondary charges, has led us to make the following rulings. When considering a charge set between the horns or a crescent or encompassed entirely within the crescent:

Whether two charges are conjoined or not does not count for difference, only their relative sizes and position. When a primary crescent and a secondary charge are present in a design where they would be expected to be in a secondary or tertiary charge group, the crescent and charge will both be considered part of the same group.

From Wreath: Mullets and Estoiles, Take Two

Commenters were asked to discuss whether or not we should continue giving difference for the number of points on a mullet or estoile, and how they should be considered versus suns.

Research into period depictions of all three charges was enlightening. While most estoiles are of six wavy rays, some were found with more; none were found with less. Mullets were found with any number of points, most typically between five and eight. Suns were typically found with both wavy and straight rays, but examples were found of suns with only straight rays and of suns with only wavy rays; suns never had less than eight rays. In all cases, various depictions of the same arms in period showed that the number of points or rays largely did not matter.

Past precedent has granted difference between some numbers of points on mullets. Based on the research commenters provided, it seems that this precedent is rather contrary to period armorial style, and in the interest of moving SCA armory closer to period style we are hereby overturning that precedent and making the following rulings:

As this does overturn current precedent, these rulings will take effect as of the November 2012 Laurel meeting.

From Wreath: Labels

A submission this month caused us to reconsider how we blazon labels in SCA armory. Past precedent says:

[a label dovetailed throughout] A peculiarity of SCA blazon is that the standard label is throughout by default, but the dovetailed label is couped by default. The blazon in this submission label is both dovetailed and throughout, and both these details must be blazoned. [Kharra Unegen, 07/2002, A-Atenveldt]

After some research, much provided by Gunnvor silfraharr, we see no reason why the specific details of a label need to be blazoned, as the depictions vary only slightly over different times and cultures. There has never been difference granted between labels throughout or not, or dovetailed or not, and we see no need to change that. Therefore, we will cease blazoning the exact style of label, and leave the specific stylings up to artistic preference.

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 17207, Bristol VA 24209.

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,

Gabriel Kjotvason
Laurel Principal King of Arms

Created at 2012-06-07T23:29:43