Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
For the January 2018 meetings, printed March 27, 2018
To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Juliana Laurel, Alys Pelican, and Cormac Wreath, greetings.
The College of Arms has a long and proud history of rejecting the use of hate symbols. Swastikas have been banned for decades. While the ban only applied to armory submissions, it's also an important part of the SCA policy against the symbol and against symbols of hate in general.
The heraldic rules against hate symbols are found in Section A.7 of SENA, which states in part, "No armorial design that is offensive to a large segment of members of the SCA or the general public will be registered." Other parts of the same rule explicitly mention neo-Nazis and the KKK as groups whose symbols will not be allowed. Similar rules disallow references to hate groups and ethnic slurs in names. Over time, the Laurel office has also banned any registration of symbols primarily associated with hate groups including the triskelion gammadion (or three-armed swastika, used by pro-Apartheid hate groups in South Africa), and the SS lightning bolt sigil. Additionally, submissions that make multiple references to hate groups have been disallowed even when each symbol by itself had a more innocent use in the mundane world.
The world is changing, with nationalist movements on the rise in Europe and the United States. The resurgence of these movements, and their use of Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and other medieval symbols, have sparked debate on whether these symbols should likewise be banned or whether their use in an armorial design should simply be carefully examined to see if the cumulative effect of the design crosses a line and becomes offensive. The Sovereigns are currently developing a plan to adjudicate these symbols as they arise and have enlisted the help of Schwarzdrachen to gain a better understanding of European policies on hate symbols. Once this work is completed, we will have more to say on the matter.
Appendix H of the Administrative Handbook (http://heraldry.sca.org/admin.html#APPENDIXH) lists sources for which photocopies or scans do not need to be uploaded to OSCAR. Being listed in Appendix H does not make a source superior in quality. It simply means that the source is so common that most senior heralds will have a copy of it. In addition, as stated in Appendix H, "[t]he fact that a name element or armorial motif appears in these sources is no guarantee of registerability."
Effective as of the date of issuance of this letter, the following name sources are added to Appendix H. Copies or scans of these sources do not need to be provided in the OSCAR packet for submissions that cite them, as long as the URL is given.
Records from the FamilySearch Historical Records that are from the following Batches: B, C, J, K, M (except M17 and M18), or P.
Articles found at http://medievalscotland.org/scotnames/ (website of Lady Effric Neyn Ken3ocht Mcherrald)
Articles found at https://www.s-gabriel.org/names/juliana/ (articles by Dame Juliana de Luna)
Articles found at http://medievalscotland.org/kmo/ (articles by Mistress Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada)
Articles found at http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/names/names.html (website of Countess Aryanhwy merch Catmael)
Articles found at http://www.yarntheory.net/ursulageorges/ (website of Dame Ursula Georges)
Entries from The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources (http://dmnes.org/names), as long as the date the page was accessed is noted.
We remind heralds and submitters that photocopies of references for sources that do not appear in Appendix H are still required. Providing copies is particularly important for sources that are not publicly available on Google Books or archive.org or the like.
Note that a full summary of the information contained in these sources is still required. Citing only the URL where a name element appears, and nothing more, creates a great deal of extra work for commenters and for Pelican. The Letter of Intent should include the full name of the source and a summary of what the source says about the name element.
I'm pleased to announce that we're shortly going to be kicking off a project to organize precedents -- the collection of Pelican and Wreath decisions that we use to interpret the application of SENA to submissions. Many years ago, the old system ceased to work; we're restarting using some new strategies.
This project will be led by Beatrice Domenici della Campana; we've historically called this position precedents editor. Signora Beatrice Domenici della Campana started as a herald in A.S. XXXI in the Shire of Coeur du Val in An Tir, moved through the heraldic collective of Dragon's Mist, An Tir, and through Tree Girt Sea/Ayreton, Midrealm, before landing in her current home of the Barony of Caer Anterth Mawr, Northshield. She's served as a local herald, as Dexter Gauntlet Herald (precedence, An Tir), as Isendun Herald (notifications, Northshield), twice as second in charge of Pennsic Heralds' Point, and has recently been working as a projects deputy to Palimpsest. She'll use the title Green Staff Herald until we can register something suitable for the position.
We should have further news about the project and how people can help by Known World in June.
In order to bring our requirements for signatures of heraldic wills into line with our requirements for signatures of permissions to conflict, we propose that the following language become a new section, IV.G.7, of the Administrative Handbook:
The physical signature (or a facsimile thereof) of the person making the will is preferred. If a physical signature is not available, an emailed signature is permitted, but the identity of the person making the will must be confirmed through the personal knowledge of a Kingdom Principal Herald or a Kingdom Submissions Herald. In general, that means face to face or voice contact with the person giving permission.
On the October 5, 2017, LoPaD, we asked commenters for armorial examples of quadrupeds affronty, to determine whether prior precedent about dragons "displayed" (i.e. statant erect affronty) being a step from period practice should be overturned. The intent of the request was to determine whether quadrupeds affronty were common in period armory. If so, then having a dragon affronty was a natural extension of that pattern and should not be penalized.
Sometimes, research takes you to conclusions you did not even anticipate.
We are indebted to Bruce Batonvert for reviewing his substantial library for evidence of quadrupeds affronty. In his search, only one example of a quadruped affronty borne by someone in period was found: the arms of die Schertlin von Burtenbach, Azure/Sable, a lion sejant affronty Or maintaining in its dexter paw a key argent and in its sinister paw a fleur de lis Or, recorded in Siebmacher's Wappenbuch, 1605, and the Sammlung von Wappen, c.1600 (BSB Cod.Icon 307:520).
A fair number of examples of lions sejant erect are found in crests, most notably in the crest of the King of Scots. However, the direction that the crests face appears to be entirely dependent upon the direction of the helm; all examples of crests with lions affronty also had the helm affronty. When the helm of the King of Scots faced dexter or sinister, such as in the Armorial de Gelre c.1370, Konrad GrŘnenberg's Armorial of c.1480, and the Sammelband mehrerer Wappenbucher c.1530, the crest had the lion in profile in the same direction.
While the basic philosophy of SCA armory is that if you can find an example of a charge, field division, or posture anywhere in period, it can be incorporated into SCA armory under core rules, there is also the proviso that certain practices (e.g. violations of the rule of tincture) would require more evidence in order to be used. Based on period examples, the only affronty posture for quadrupeds that is justifiable at all is sejant erect affronty, and even that has only one example that isn't dependent upon circumstances outside the crest itself.
Therefore, after the August 2018 LoAR, use of the posture sejant erect affronty will be a step from period practice for non-lions, whether winged or not. All other affronty postures for quadrupeds will be disallowed after the August 2018 LoAR unless documentation is provided.
As above, on the October 5, 2017, LoPaD, we asked commenters for commentary to assist submitters in depicting animals dormant, as armory with charges in that posture has frequently been returned for redraw due to lack of identifiability. The intent of the request was that if we considered the examples of dormant found in tracts, we could give definitive guidelines on how to depict beasts dormant in a reliably recognizable manner.
It was noted in the LoPaD that "Dormant is found in period heraldic tracts as a theoretical posture (Legh's Accedens of Armory, 1576, fol.44, attributes Azure, a lion dormant Or to the Tribe of Judah), but one that is not found in actual armory prior to the 17th century." The same posture also appears in Bossewell's Workes of Armorie, 1592. Upon review of both the provided emblazons and descriptions of these tracts, however, it's revealed that the lion of Judah is not in a posture we have been using in the SCA. Legh's depiction of dormant is a variant of his rendering of couchant, with the spine horizontal, forepaws bent, hind legs tucked, tail situated away from the body, and torso lifted up off of the plane formed by the limbs. The only difference is in placement of the head. Rather than situated above the shoulders and perpendicular to the spine, the head extends out parallel to the spine, set just above the paws. Bossewell's lion is in a similar posture, with the head lowered so that its chin touches the top of its forepaws. Neither of them is dormant as submitters have been interpreting it, namely completely at rest and asleep.
The text description of the posture likewise makes it clear that the intent is not to depict an unconscious animal. Legh's tract has the following dialogue between master and student: "Q: Why do ye make him with his eies open & cal him dormant? A: Because isadore sayeth, their slepe is not with close eyen." Bossewelle also cites Isidore, noting "Isidore sayeth, that the Lyons eies are as though he were awake, when he sleapeth. Cum dormient, vigilant oculi."
When animals are depicted in SCA armory as completely asleep, with the silhouette obscured by the limbs tucked into the torso and the head resting against the forepaws, the charge itself often becomes unidentifiable. The depictions of dormant in heraldic tracts allow for identification of the animal, but do not match the popular understanding of the posture, nor do they justify the intent of most submitters to depict an animal with their bodies at rest and sound asleep.
While the College of Arms' policy generally allows for practices that are only attested in heraldic tracts, exceptions to this are made when the practice hinders clarity and identifiability, such as chasing/adumbration. Allowance of the term "dormant" in SCA heraldry has caused consistent hindrance in clarity and identifiability.
After the August 2018 LoAR, use of the term dormant will be discontinued, and armory submissions with asleep or unconscious animals will be returned. Charges in postures following the examples of Legh and Bossewell will be blazoned as couchant, head lowered and registered only if all identifying features are clearly visible in silhouette.
On January 13, at Meridies' 40th Anniversary, Their Majesties elevated Guntram von K÷ln, Lucis Herald (reporting), to the Order of the Pelican.
The next day, Mathias Blackett, Torch Herald (courts), was also elevated to the Order of the Pelican.
On January 14, at the final court of Christian Bane and Helene Lyon d'Anjou in the Kingdom of An Tir, Tove Št Horsleigh, formerly known as Taraan banMarca, pursuivant of the Shire of Midhaven from 1988 to 2013, was elevated to the Order of the Pelican
Also that day, Kateline MacFarlane, Mountains Pursuivant of the Barony of Three Mountains, former Mano d'Oro Herald and who has spent many years active in the service of heraldry in An Tir, was created a Herald Extraordinary.
And finally that day, Luaithrend inghean Uilliam, former Basilisk Pursuivant of the Barony of Wastekeep, was admitted into the Order of the Pelican.
On February 10, at Bardic and A&S Champions, Their Majesties of the East inducted Violet Hughes, Sea Star Pursuivant of the Barony of An Dubhaigeainn, into the Order of the Silver Crescent. The Silver Crescent is the East's grant-level service award.
On February 21, at Estrella War, Aten Principal Herald created Dame Anita Challis an Herald Extraordinary.
On March 3, at Baronial Investiture Anniversary, Their Highnesses Brennan and Caoilfhionn, on behalf of the Crown of the East, inducted Kirsa Oyutai, Badger Herald, into the Order of the Silver Crescent.
Please send information about happenings to major heralds and major happenings to all heralds to Laurel, so that it can be published here.
Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera are to be posted to the OSCAR online system. No paper copies need be sent. All submission forms plus documentation, including petitions, must be posted to the OSCAR online system. While black-and-white emblazons must be included in the Letter of Intent, only colored armory forms need to be posted in the forms area.
Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent to Stephanie Ray-Solum, Blue Bug Bookkeeping, 2144 Westlake Ave. North Suite F, Seattle, WA 98109.
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.
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 January Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, January 14, 2018 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, January 7, 2018. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Laurel LoPaD (05 Oct, 2017), An Tir (18 Oct, 2017), Ăthelmearc (19 Oct, 2017), Ansteorra (19 Oct, 2017), Lochac (24 Oct, 2017), Ealdormere (25 Oct, 2017), Avacal (27 Oct, 2017), Artemisia (30 Oct, 2017), Atlantia (30 Oct, 2017), Caid (30 Oct, 2017), Drachenwald (30 Oct, 2017), Outlands (30 Oct, 2017), Atenveldt (31 Oct, 2017), Calontir (31 Oct, 2017), East (31 Oct, 2017), Laurel LoPaD (31 Oct, 2017), Meridies (31 Oct, 2017), Middle (31 Oct, 2017), and Northshield (31 Oct, 2017). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Sunday, December 31, 2017.
The February Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, February 18, 2018 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, February 4, 2018. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Ăthelmearc (07 Nov, 2017), Gleann Abhann (14 Nov, 2017), Northshield LoItP (15 Nov, 2017), An Tir (17 Nov, 2017), Outlands (18 Nov, 2017), Gleann Abhann (20 Nov, 2017), Palimpsest Other Letter (22 Nov, 2017), Lochac (24 Nov, 2017), Ealdormere (27 Nov, 2017), Artemisia (29 Nov, 2017), West (29 Nov, 2017), Ansteorra (30 Nov, 2017), Atenveldt (30 Nov, 2017), Atlantia (30 Nov, 2017), Avacal (30 Nov, 2017), Caid (30 Nov, 2017), Calontir (30 Nov, 2017), Drachenwald (30 Nov, 2017), East (30 Nov, 2017), Laurel LoPaD (30 Nov, 2017), Meridies (30 Nov, 2017), Middle (30 Nov, 2017), Northshield (30 Nov, 2017), and Trimaris (30 Nov, 2017). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
The March Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, March 4, 2018 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, March 11, 2018. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Palimpsest Rules Letter (02 Dec, 2017), Ăthelmearc (11 Dec, 2017), Lochac (11 Dec, 2017), Middle (15 Dec, 2017), An Tir (17 Dec, 2017), Laurel LoPaD (18 Dec, 2017), Caid (28 Dec, 2017), Lochac (28 Dec, 2017), Ealdormere (29 Dec, 2017), Artemisia (30 Dec, 2017), Atenveldt (30 Dec, 2017), Atlantia (31 Dec, 2017), Avacal (31 Dec, 2017), Drachenwald (31 Dec, 2017), East (31 Dec, 2017), Meridies (31 Dec, 2017), Northshield (31 Dec, 2017), and Outlands (31 Dec, 2017). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, February 28, 2018.
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.
Pray know that I remain,
Juliana de Luna
Laurel Queen of Arms
Created at 2018-03-27T23:02:06