Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

601 S Washington #137
Stillwater OK 74074
+1 405 428 3662
laurel@heraldry.sca.org

For the May 2022 meetings, printed July 4, 2022

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Emma Laurel, Elisabetta Pelican, and Oddr Wreath, greetings.

* From Laurel and Wreath: On Offense in Armory

This month a particular armory submission drew a great deal of commentary over its potential offensiveness and, ultimately, was withdrawn by the submitter. While we normally do not make a ruling as a result of a withdrawn submission, we nonetheless take this moment to clarify: An unmistakable reference to a tragic, real-life event may be grounds for a return for offense under SENA A7B5, which reads: "5. Other Offensive Armory: Other sorts of armorial designs may be ruled offensive on a case by case basis [...]."

We also wish to remind submitters, submission heralds, and commenters alike of a few points regarding our handling of potentially offensive submissions.

Firstly, we reiterate that the bar for offense is established Society-wide. From the July 2018 Cover Letter:

In closing, we advise consulting and submissions heralds to speak to submitters if they feel uncomfortable with a particular design. The ultimate decision of offense rests with Laurel. Kingdoms should not return any armory based on their concerns about offensiveness unless there is already a clear precedent on the issue (e.g., a device with a swastika). However, we do a disservice to submitters by not voicing our concerns about a design which may be registerable under current standards but would cause the bearer to lose face or be less trusted for their use of such symbols and motifs.

As stated above, kingdom submission heralds may not make returns due to (potential) offense unless the offensive motif has been specifically ruled upon at the Laurel level. For the submission in question no such ruling existed about any of the elements involved, and the kingdom did exactly as they ought by forwarding the design along with their own observations on the matter. The kingdom College of Heralds bears no fault in their processing of this submission and is commended for correctly performing their duties despite their own personal feelings regarding the submission.

Secondly, we wish to draw attention to SENA A7, which establishes the standards by which we evaluate potential offense in armory submissions and begins:

A. Definitions: No armorial design that is offensive to a large segment of members of the SCA or the general public will be registered. Offense is a modern concept; just because an armorial design was used in period does not mean that it is not offensive to the modern observer. Offense returns are rare because the bar for determining offensiveness is quite high; it has not been unusual for years to pass between returns for offense.

Offense is not dependent on intent. The fact that a submitter did not intend to be offensive is not relevant. The standard is whether a large segment of the SCA or the general public would be offended.

Similarly, offense is not dependent on clarity. An element commonly used by modern neo-Nazis, for example, may be ruled offensive even if many people have to look it up. However, an element used broadly in both potentially offensive and inoffensive contexts may not be considered offensive.

In the submission this month, "large segment" was readily met despite the reference in question being used in jest over the years, and would have been met even if the collective response was neither unanimous nor voluminous. As various decisions in the past may attest, this standard can be met even when the offensiveness is not recognized by a majority of people who encounter it: The question of offense is a matter of considering the impact it may have on the people and reputation of the Society, which is not determined by a purely numeric vote.

This leads directly to the second point regarding intent: While we appreciate the wish of a submitter to inject fun and humor into our Society, that does not prevent them from unwittingly stumbling onto something at odds with that very intent. As many in our Society know from personal experience, humor is a slippery subject dependent on context and shared experience. It is generally not universal, and frequently falls flat. This is not a reflection of the submitter, but of the subject matter.

This, in turn, leads us to the question of clarity: Offense is not removed by mere ignorance of the details. In this submission, the offense felt was the result of watching a local injustice unfold over the course of years. That many people outside the locale may only remember the initial, sensationalized coverage in their own media, missing the further mistreatment and -- later -- vindication of the people involved is merely explanation. It would not exempt a good-faith submission from the claim of offense.

Thirdly, as a reminder of our expectations of both heralds and non-heralds we offer this excerpt from Corpora:

The SCA expects that all its members and participants will conduct themselves in accordance with the SCA Core Values, to:

* From Pelican: Updates to SENA Appendices

As proposed on the Palimpsest February 20th Rules Letter, various SENA appendices are updated:

Additionally, Appendix A is updated as follows:

The updates to SENA will be available within a few days.

* From Wreath: Glossary of Terms - Overall Charge

As proposed on Palimpsest's February 20th Rules Letter, the definition of "overall" in the Glossary of Terms is modified to better match the definition found in SENA. The update to the Glossary of Terms will be available in a few days.

* From Wreath: SENA Appendix H - Low-Contrast Complex Lines of Division

As proposed on Palimpsest's February 20th Rules Letter, SENA Appendix H is simplified. The changes make it clearer that registration depends on identifiability. The update also clarifies that ployé lines are not subject to the restrictions of Appendix H since they are not considered complex lines of division. The update to SENA will be available within a few days.

* From Pelican: Compound Gaelic Bynames

This month we considered the name Étaín na Garmna Caisil. This name is composed of a given name, a byname based on a descriptive physical quality, and a locative byname. Lillia Crampette and Brían dorcha ua Conaill provided examples during the commentary period of a variety of names with this construction, including Conn na m-bocht Cluana Mic Nóis (Conn, of the Poor, of Clonmacnoise), Ciaran Craibhdheach Bealaigh Duin (Ciaran, the Pious, of Bealach Duin), Diarmata Remhair Musccraighe (Diarmat, the fat, of Muscraighe) and Uilliam Baili Dalad cenn anfeli Erenn (William, of Baile Dalad, the arch-churl of Ireland).

Given this data, we rule that Irish Gaelic names may be registered with the pattern 'given name + descriptive physical/mental quality + locative'. We thank Lillia and Brían for their research and ask Palimpsest to update SENA Appendix A accordingly.

* From Wreath: Augmentations of Honor

Several changes have been made to SENA with regard to how augmentations of honor are treated. These changes were proposed on Palimpsest's February 21st Rules Letter and the revised wording is shown below. These changes are effective immediately and will be incorporated into SENA after the July 2022 BoD meeting.

SENA A3A3 is updated to address charged chiefs when they are an augmentation. The insert/delete version:

3. Augmentations of Honor: An augmentation is a mark of honor bestowed by the Crown that is added to an existing device. An augmentation may not be added to a badge. An augmentation may take many forms, including but not limited to a charged canton, a charged chief, charges in canton or chief, a charge associated with the Crown, or a charge associated with the individual receiving the honor.

While the right to an augmentation is bestowed by the Crown, its specific form must be determined through the normal registration process. Both the augmentation itself and the augmented device must follow the style rules and restrictions on charges. Because an augmentation adds complexity, augmented devices are often allowed to violate certain style rules, such as allowing charges on tertiary charges or a complexity count of greater than eight, as long as the identifiability of the design is maintained. Charged cantons and, inescutcheons of pretense, and charged chiefs (when they are an augmentation) may have poor contrast with whatever they happen to overlay, whether the field or another charge, provided identifiability is maintained. Other augmentations may not violate the rules on contrast.

For example, the arms of a branch may not be granted as an augmentation, because they contain a laurel wreath, which cannot be registered to an individual.

For example, Gules, a sea-dog rampant and a chief Or, for augmentation on a canton vert a mullet argent may be registered despite the poor contrast of the vert canton which lies partially on the gules field.

An augmentation that appears to be a display of independent armory, such as a charged canton, a single charged lozenge, or a single charged escutcheon, must also be evaluated as if the augmentation itself were a submission of independent armory for purposes of style, conflict, offense, and presumption. When the augmentation is a chief, it is considered a display of independent armory only if it has a peripheral ordinary or an ordinary terminating at the edge. If not part of an augmentation a chief, even if charged, is not considered a display of independent armory. Kingdoms may designate a badge as a standard augmentation for its subjects who receive augmentations. Such a badge is considered to be subject to the existing registration allowance and does not need to be further checked for style, conflict, offense, or presumption.

For example, the chief in Gules, a lion rampant and on a chief argent a rose between two mullets gules does not need to be conflict checked as it is not an augmentation and thus not considered a display of independent armory. The same chief in an augmentation, Gules, a lion rampant argent, for augmentation on a chief argent a rose between two mullets gules, does not need to be conflict checked as it has neither a peripheral ordinary nor an ordinary terminating at the edge and therefore is not considered to be a display of independent armory. However, the chief in Gules, a lion rampant argent, for augmentation on a chief argent a cross between four roses gules does need to be conflict checked as independent armory as it is an augmentation that has an ordinary (the cross) that terminates at the edge.

SENA A5C4 is updated to define when a charged chief must be checked as independent armory. The insert/delete version:

4. Augmentations: As discussed in A.3.A.3, in a submission of augmented arms where the augmentation appears to be a display of independent armory, such as a charged canton,or a single charged escutcheon, a chief with a peripheral ordinary, or a chief with an ordinary terminating at the edge, the augmentation must be checked for conflict as if it were a submission of independent armory.

SENA A6C is updated to include chiefs as a valid form of augmentation. Additionally, we are clarifying that a lozenge with a single, non-ordinary tertiary charge is not considered arms or pretense or an augmentation.

C. Claims through Arms of Pretense and Unearned Augmentations: In period and modern heraldry, an individual may assert a claim to land or property by placing the armory associated with that property on an escutcheon in the middle of their existing armory. An augmentation of honor often takes the form of a charged canton; occasionally it takes the form of a charged escutcheon. Therefore, either a canton or a single escutcheon may be used in an armorial submission only if it is uncharged and of a single tincture. Multiple escutcheons do not have to follow this limitation. The use of a charged lozenge as arms of pretense or an augmentation is vanishingly rare. We will not consider a single uncharged lozenge, a single lozenge with a single, non-ordinary, tertiary charge, or multiple lozenges to be arms of pretense or an augmentation.

For example, Argent, a fess gules surmounted by an escutcheon sable charged with a roundel argent is not allowed, because it appears to be arms of pretense. Or, in saltire five escutcheons sable each charged with three roundels argent is registerable, because multiple identical escutcheons were not used for arms of pretense or augmentations.

For example, Argent, a fess gules surmounted by an lozenge sable charged with a roundel argent is registrable as we do not consider a lozenge with a single tertiary charge to be arms of pretense or an augmentation. However, Argent, a fess gules surmounted by an lozenge sable charged with two roundels argent is not allowed because it has more than one tertiary charge and thus is considered arms of pretense or an augmentation. Argent, on a lozenge sable a cross Or and Argent, on a lozenge sable a fess Or are not allowed as the lozenges are charged with ordinaries and are therefore considered arms of pretense or augmentations.

Chiefs are a valid period form of augmentation; however, chiefs (whether charged or uncharged) are much more commonly not augmentations. As such, unless it is part of an augmentation and contains either a peripheral ordinary or an ordinary terminating at the edge, we do not consider a chief to be a display of independent armory nor its use to be presumptuous.

The rules governing earned augmentations are discussed in A.3.A.3.

* From Wreath: Clarifying Unity of Posture and Orientation

As proposed on Palimpsest's February 22rd Rules Letter, we are clarifying that SENA A3D2c does not apply to charges in a group which do not have comparable posture or orientation. These changes will be incorporated into SENA after the July 2022 BoD meeting. The insert/delete version of the updated standard:

c. Unity of Posture and Orientation: Many charges have comparable posture and/or orientation; this rule applies to a group of charges with comparable postures. This section does not apply to charges in a group which do not have comparable posture or orientation though the charges must still be in a blazonable arrangement. In general, charges that fall into different categories under A5E5 do not fall under the unity of posture and orientation requirements as they do not have comparable postures or orientations. A more complete discussion of the charges with comparable postures and orientation is found in Appendix M.

For example, unity of posture and orientation does not apply to a group containing lions and swords as animate and inanimate charges do not have comparable postures or orientations. Likewise, eagles and dolphins do not have comparable postures nor do roses and swords have comparable orientations and thus the unity requirements do not apply.

For charges in a group that do have comparable posture or orientation, theThe charges within a charge group should be in either identical postures/orientations or an arrangement that includes posture/orientation (in cross, combatant, or in pall points outward, for example). A charge group in which postures for different charges must be blazoned individually will not be allowed without period examples of that combination of postures. For purposes of this rule, default postures and orientations are treated as if they had been specified in the blazon; charges with different defaults but comparable posture/orientation must be in the same posture/orientation. For inanimate charges, the orientation of the axis is what is comparable, not the top and bottom of the charges. Some standard arrangements for period charge groups are discussed in Appendix K.

For example, three swords in pall and an arrow fesswise violates the unity requirements as all of the charges are long but the arrangement of the swords must be blazoned separately from the arrow.

For example, Per fess gules and argent, a lamb and a lion counterchanged would not be allowed as the default posture of a lamb is passant while a lion is rampant. Per fess gules and argent, a lamb and a lion passant counterchanged would be allowed even though the posture of the lion has to be blazoned while that of the lamb does not - both charges are passant. Vert, in fess a sword and arrow Or would be allowed even though the sword is point to chief and the arrow is point to base as both charges are palewise. Likewise, Vert, in saltire a sword and an arrow Or and Vert, in saltire a sword inverted and an arrow Or would both be allowed as they are in an arrangement (in saltire) that describes their orientation (bendwise and bendwise sinister) regardless of whether the top of the charge is to chief or to base.

For example, a design such as Argent, two lions passant respectant and a lion statantsejant erect affronty vert would not be allowed. Likewise, a design such as Azure, two pheons bendwise, and a pheon inverted Or would not be allowed. However, crescents, increscents, decrescents, and crescents pendant were used occasionally in the same armory, so armory which includes more than one of these is allowed.

We are also adding information on when charges have comparable postures and orientations to SENA Appendix M to make it easier for people to determine when A3D2c does and does not apply. These changes will be available at http://heraldry.sca.org/sena.html#AppendixM within the next few days.

* From Laurel: Extraordinary News!

On June 18, 2022, at Vindheim's Coronet Tourney in the kingdom of Ansteorra, Elena Wyth, Star Principal Herald, did elevate Reis ap Tuder to the rank of Herald Extraordinary, and charged him to register a personal heraldic title. As many of you know, Reis is Codex Herald, in charge of the website, as well as Silver Staple Herald, the postmeeting clerk. In addition to this Society-level work, Reis has toiled for many years in Ansteorra's College of Heralds, writing many of the programs used over the years, including the kingdom's current OP software. Huzzah!

* Society Pages

On May 21, 2022, at Calontir's Queen's Prize Tournament / Melees and Mayhem event, Their Majesties Hirsch and Magdalena awarded Giovanni Loredan, current Vert Hawk Herald (Armorial), the Order of the Calon Cross for service in heraldry amongst other things. The Calon Cross is Calontir's grant-level award for service.

On May 29, 2022, at Potrero War in the Kingdom of Caid, TRM Valrik and Drada did elevate Ariana verch Gwenllian, Decrescent Herald and former Crescent Principal Herald, to the Order of the Laurel.

On June 18, 2022, at Summits June Investiture, Their Highnesses Luciano and Tessina awarded Elisabetta Tommaso di Carduci, Pelican Queen of Arms, a Throne Favor for her scribal contributions to Their reign. The Throne Favor is given for extensive service to the Coronets.

On June 18, 2022, at June Faire in the Kingdom of An Tir, Their Majesties Sven and Rauokinn elevated Alicia du Bois to the Order of the Laurel. Alicia has been a noted scrivener in the kingdom.

In sadder news, we announce the unexpected death of Eoghan MacDuibhshithe (MacFee), the husband of Margaret Makafee, former Pelican Queen of Arms.

Also recently passed away is Salaamallah the Corpulent, a long-time baronial herald in the East Kingdom, known particularly for his heraldic version of Game of the Goose.

Please send information about happenings to major heralds and major happenings to all heralds to Laurel, so that it can be published here.

* 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. 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 Trent Le Clair, 928 Frazier Dr, Walla Walla WA 99362

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.

* Scheduling

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 meeting held on Sunday, May 15, 2022 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, May 7, 2022. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Ansteorra (05 Feb, 2022), Calontir (05 Feb, 2022), Laurel LoPaD (09 Feb, 2022), An Tir (11 Feb, 2022), Outlands (15 Feb, 2022), Laurel (19 Feb, 2022), Palimpsest Rules Letter (20 Feb, 2022), Palimpsest Rules Letter (21 Feb, 2022), Palimpsest Rules Letter (22 Feb, 2022), Ealdormere (24 Feb, 2022), East (24 Feb, 2022), Lochac (24 Feb, 2022), Atlantia (26 Feb, 2022), Atenveldt (27 Feb, 2022), Avacal (28 Feb, 2022), Caid (28 Feb, 2022), Drachenwald (28 Feb, 2022), Middle (28 Feb, 2022), Northshield (28 Feb, 2022), Laurel LoPaD (14 Apr, 2022) (redraws). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Saturday, April 30, 2022.

The June Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, June 12, 2022 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, June 4, 2022. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Calontir (07 Mar, 2022), Meridies (09 Mar, 2022), East (12 Mar, 2022), An Tir (15 Mar, 2022), Laurel LoPaD (15 Mar, 2022), Artemisia (16 Mar, 2022), Outlands (19 Mar, 2022), Ansteorra (22 Mar, 2022), Ealdormere (24 Mar, 2022), Middle (24 Mar, 2022), Palimpsest Rules Letter (24 Mar, 2022), Æthelmearc (25 Mar, 2022), Lochac (25 Mar, 2022), Atlantia (30 Mar, 2022), Avacal (30 Mar, 2022), West (30 Mar, 2022), Caid (31 Mar, 2022), Drachenwald (31 Mar, 2022), Northshield (31 Mar, 2022), Laurel LoPaD (06 May, 2022) (redraws). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

The July Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, July 10, 2022 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, July 9, 2022. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Calontir (06 Apr, 2022), Laurel LoPaD (10 Apr, 2022), Gleann Abhann (11 Apr, 2022), Meridies (12 Apr, 2022), East (16 Apr, 2022), An Tir (17 Apr, 2022), Artemisia (19 Apr, 2022), Palimpsest Rules Letter (20 Apr, 2022), Palimpsest Rules Letter (21 Apr, 2022), Æthelmearc (24 Apr, 2022), Ealdormere (24 Apr, 2022), Middle (25 Apr, 2022), Outlands (26 Apr, 2022), Avacal (27 Apr, 2022), Drachenwald (27 Apr, 2022), Lochac (27 Apr, 2022), Caid (29 Apr, 2022), Ansteorra (30 Apr, 2022), Atenveldt (30 Apr, 2022), Northshield (30 Apr, 2022), Laurel LoPaD (01 Jun, 2022) (redraws). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, June 30, 2022.

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,

In service,

Emma de Fetherstan
Laurel Queen of Arms


Created at 2022-07-04T12:57:46