The addition of the bordure, which is a standard cadency mark, to a badge which was substantially the same seemed to demand a letter of permission. (LoAR Aug 87, p. 11)

The consensus was that this was visually too reminiscent of [Name] ..., particularly given the fact that the largest visual difference between the two was the addition of the bordure, which is a standard mark of cadency. (LoAR Aug 87, p. 11)

While standard cadency marks such as the label may be used as "regular charges" in Society heraldry, i.e., not be used solely in the context of cadency, it is not feasible or appropriate to use such recognized cadency marks to provide the primary difference from mundane or Society armory. (LoAR 24 Jan 88, p. 8)

The intention [of Rule AR18a] was to allow automatic difference [between Society and mundane or fictional arms] in cases where period (and modern) heraldic practice would not perceive cadency. Thus a Society device which bore "Azure, a unicorn’s head Or, between three swords proper" would not conflict with "Azure, three swords palewise proper" because period heralds would perceive a potential cadet relationship not with the mundane coat cited, but with "Azure, a unicorn’s head Or". In the case of a charge added overall, the same situation does not exist, mundane heraldry does in fact indicate cadency by adding a charge overall. (LoAR 19 Mar 88, p. 4)

Note that this is an excellent example of Society feudal cadency since it combines elements from the devices of his mother ... and his father. (LoAR Aug 88, p. 14)

In period (and many modern) sources, it is clear that charges overall are added to a coat for cadency.... While the charge overall is certainly has significant visual weight, the addition of a charge overall to a pre-existing coat is a recognized form of indicating cadency (see the examples in Gayre, Heraldic Cadency, chapters XIV and XV) so the modifications to the charge overall should not be sufficient in and of themselves to establish difference between the two coats. (LoAR 26 Mar 89, p. 6)


[A boar] The beast was blazoned as a "grice" on the submission in a very complex allusive cant. The obscurity created for heraldic artists and researchers does not seem to be justified in view of the extreme reach of the cant. (LoAR 31 Oct 87, p. 3)

There is no difference derived from specifying the wings as those of an angel, but this is a case where it is permissible to specify to preserve the cant on the Blue Angels, whose home base is in the Shire. (LoAR 18 Sep 88, p. 5)

The cant on "dragon" or "drake" appears to be equally well-satisfied by either wyvern or dragon, if one is to judge by actual mundane examplars, English and continental. (LoAR 15 Jan 89, p. 1)


[Sable, a bordure ermine, overall a canton purpure] A canton should not overlie a bordure in this manner and, in any case, the purpure canton on the sable field breaks the well-established rules on contrast. There was a general feeling that the canton did have the appearance of an augmentation and ... the submittor should be strongly encouraged to drop it. [Device returned] (LoAR 29 May 88, p. 17

Castle and Tower

Based both on period practise and modern perception, it is clear that the difference between a single-towered tower and a multi-towered castle should be at most a minor point of difference as we currently count difference. (LoAR 29 May 88, p. 20)

After much consideration and a lot of picture comparisons, we were forced to the conclusion that the visual difference between the triple-towered castle as usually depicted in mundane heraldry and the castle depicted here (with two towers) is not enough to produce a clear minor under the old rules. (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 27)

We have traditionally allowed more difference for a tower, as opposed to a castle, as the two are depicted significantly differently in mundane heraldry (see Woodward, Plate XXXII). (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 27)

[Two towers connected by a bridge vs. a castle] When a submission for the same order was returned in February, 1988, "the strong resemblance of the conjoint charge to a standard depiction of a castle" was noted. (It is essentially two towers conjoined by an embattled wall with arches to base.) There is no clear difference visually between a castle and the bridge on this submission. (LoAR 17 Jun 90, p. 18)


The annulet of annulets far too strongly resembles an annulet of chain, which is reserved in Society usage to the Chivalry. (LoAR 27 Sep 86, p. 10)


It is not good style to charge the chape or chausse portion of a field. However, since there is ample Society precedence for the practice, I feel compelled to accept it in this case. (LoAR 25 Jan 87, p. 9)

Although a charged chape or chausse is a solecism in mundane heraldry, this has been done often enough in Society heraldry that it would probably be pedantic to quibble over the usage here. (LoAR 24 May 87, p. 4)

A field chausse should not have [a] charge overlie both the field and the "draping". (LoAR Aug 87, p. 11)

Charging a chape or vetu is extremely bad practice in itself. (LoAR 30 Oct 88, p. 14)

The charged chausse here is really something of a solecism. (LoAR 26 Feb 89, p. 16)

The Society traditionally considers "chaussé" as a field division variant. (LoAR 28 May 90, p. 21)

Charges, Dissimilar

[A rapier surmounted by two quill pens in saltire] [One commenter] noted a previous return for combining "dissimilar" charges in a single visual unit. In the case cited, however, it was two types of sword ... rather than two clearly different charges, adding and extra degree of potential visual confusion. (LoAR 30 Apr 89, p. 6)

The use of two types of charge in saltire is so well established in the Society that it is a standard arrangement that does not add to complexity so long as both charges are clearly identifiable.... Note that the sword and axe are distinct charges, both mundanely and in the Society, so that there is not the same type of potential for confusion that there would be if, for instance, a rapier and scimitar or a pike and a battle-axe were in saltire. (LoAR 30 Apr 89, p. 11)

Charges, Maintained

[A quill pen maintained by a cubit arm fesswise] Note that in the new rules (Changes to Charges on Charges, X.4.j) it is noted that "charges maintained by other charges are generally too insignificant to count towards difference at all." The qualifier was placed in this rule expressly to deal with situations like this where the object held is in fact of equal size to the being/thing maintaining it. (As opposed to the usual situation where a beast maintains a sword/flower/other artifact which is considerably smaller in size and design importance.) In terms of size and design importance the feather is equal to the cubit arm in this design and thus can be treated as having full weight for purposes of difference. (LoAR 21 Jan 90, pp. 3-4)

Charges, Polish

The use of variants of ordinaries and other charges in the Polish manner is a reasonable usage (so long as the variant is susceptible of adequate description). (LoAR 30 Apr 89, p. 19)

Charges, Reserved

The badge ... uses the crossed trumpets currently reserved to official heralds in the Society for a non-official organization, even if these are surmounted by a third trumpet.... It combines with the fleur-de-lys which appears in the insignia of the Norrey King of Arms ... with the argent lion supporters of the arms of the College of Arms itself. In this manner, the badge lays claim to symbols not only of the Society College of Arms but also of the English College of Arms as well. This is excessive. (LoAR 30 Sep 89, p. 17)

The standing precedent in the College (stated by Baldwin of Erebor, February, 1985) dictates that the name Corwin may not be used in conjunction with roses of any tincture. (LoAR 26 Nov 89, p. 35)

The orle flory counterflory is visually too close to the reserved tressure of Scotland, a decision reaffirmed as recently as September, 1989.... While [the principal herald] is correct in noting that this is not identical to the Scots tressure, its "visual weight" is essentially the same and there was a fairly strong feeling at the time this charge first was presented that it was visually tantamount to the reserved charge. (LoAR 26 Nov 89, p. 42) (See also: LoAR 30 Sep 89, p. 13)

[A chaplet of roses] While [the submitting herald] noted that the blazon had been selected specifically to distinguish it from the wreath of roses reserved to Queens and Ladies of the Rose, this is a distinction rather than a difference. Not only are chaplets regularly listed under "wreath", but several pieces of royal armoury have the wreath blazoned as a chaplet (most notably that of the Queen of the Middle).... As a territorial princess is not eligible to become a member of the Order of the Rose on the basis of her service to her principality, she may not use the wreath of roses (however blazoned) on her official or personal armoury. (LoAR 29 Apr 90, p. 15)

Charges, Specialized

[Escarbuncles ending in arrowheads] There was a very strong feeling among commentors from coast to coast and points in between that the use of the sign of Chaos from the Moorcock universe in Society armoury was quite inappropriate, not only because of its meaning but also because of its modern associations and design. (LoAR 30 Sep 89, p. 11)

The squirrel pelts are not standard heraldic charges and are not identifiable without the blazon (one member of Laurel staff blazoned this as "three Caspers in fess"!). (LoAR 30 Sep 89, p. 14)

The new rules are somewhat looser on the subject: anything that is demonstrably used in period heraldry may be used in Society heraldry. (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 14)

Laurel is aware of several armorial bearings which use a scroll with inscription as a significant part of the design (admittedly several of these are attributed arms and the remainder are mostly ecclesiastical armoury, which is occasionally weird). Thus the scroll may be used in such a design, provided that the wording is neither offensive nor used in such a way that the precise lettering is required for the design. (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 14)


The bordure is chequy since it consists of small panes formed by a grid of lines palewise and fesswise; a bordure compony-countercompony is formed with one set of lines following the edge of the shield and the others dividing the space more or less evenly with the starting points lines in saltire issuing from the upper corners of the shield. (LoAR 25 Jan 87, p. 26)

We have been unable to find any period precedent for such a multiply tinctured chequy [of three tinctures]. If such could be found, we would entertain an appeal; otherwise, we feel that this is an innovation that we would rather not make in Society heraldry. (LoAR 28 Feb 87, p. 17)

Fields checky of two colours have not been permitted for some time. (LoAR 29 Mar 87, p. 16)

Since the "perpendicular" lines of a chequy parallel the edges of a charge (examine the examples of a bend or a saltire chequy in Elvin and other sources), the proper blazon for the division the submittor desires for the bordure would seem to be "chequy", not the "lozengy" of the submitted blazon. (LoAR 26 Apr 87, p. 5)

Chequy of nine panes is, by definition, not evenly divided as to tincture: one tincture must be dominant and in this case it is [color]. This being the case, this must be treated as if it were a [color] dominant field, not an evenly divided (and hence neutral) field. (LoAR 29 Apr 90, p. 16)


"It shouldn’t be necessary to specify ‘throughout’: that’s simply one period way of drawing chevrons. It carries no heraldic difference." [Quoting Crescent PH] (LoAR 26 Apr 87, p. 11)

The "enarching" here is merely one of the standard period methods of depicting a normal chevron and therefore there is insufficient difference from the mundane arms of [Name]. (LoAR 24 May 87, p. 14)

It was ruled some time ago that the "chevron throughout" is merely a period variant of the chevron and no difference can be derived from enhancing the chevron. (LoAR 18 Jun 89, p. 9)


However this is blazoned, in appearance it includes a fimbriated chief, which is not permitted for Society usage. (LoAR 28 Dec 86, p. 18)

A bordure should not surmount a chief. (LoAR 24 May 87, p. 15)

AR2d indicates that "neutral tinctures may be used with any metal, color, or fur, except either of the component tinctures". While it is stated that the component tinctures may be used in simple cases, the underlying stricture is that a simple case only exists where the identity of the overlying charge is clearly identifiable. This is not the case with the Or chief placed on the field which is largely Or at the point where it intersects with the chief. (LoAR 24 May 87, p. 16)

Please ... draw the chief properly (i.e., not as a narrow addendum to the shield). (LoAR 26 Jul 87, p. 7)

In both period and modern heraldry a chief, when it is combined with a bordure, is not overlain by the bordure. In some older cases of chief added for cadency, the chief is added above an attenuated field completely surrounded by the bordure. More common, however, in both period and modern heraldry is a chief which simply overlies and truncates the bordure. (LoAR 26 Jul 87, p. 13)

[A chief arched] The arching here is virtually identical to that shown on period renditions of a plain chief and adds almost no visual difference. (LoAR 19 Mar 88, p. 12)

The bordure overlays the chief, which is not period practise. [Returned for this and for conflict] (LoAR 19 Mar 88, p. 15)

The exemption from the "Rule of Tincture" extended to a chief in some periods of mundane heraldry is not permissible in Society heraldry. Thus the gules chief on the sable field is "colour on colour". (LoAR 19 Mar 88, p. 19)

Although the submittor has provided some documentation for the enarched chief and base as separate elements, there is some doubt whether a base of this sort is period and certainly the "cat’s eye" effect is distinctly modern. (LoAR Aug 88, p. 17)

A chief cannot be fimbriated. (LoAR Aug 88, p. 23)

The addition of identically charged chiefs to both devices gives the appearance not of direct cadency but common membership in an order, household or fraternal organization (the mundane analogue for this would be the use of a chief bearing the arms or badge of a martial order). (LoAR 26 Feb 89, p. 14

Orles do not overlie a chief. (LoAR 30 Jul 89, p. 2)

[On a chief, a charge bendwise sinister] There was considerable feeling in the College that the unusual position of the charge on the chief was not period style. After much consideration, we have decided that it is eccentric and not advisable, but not grounds in and of itself for the return of the device. LoAR 27 Aug 89, p. 12)

Although the letter blazoned the "decoration" of the chief as "five saltires", the visual effect is one of the standard depictions of a chief fretty and is more simply blazoned in this manner. (LoAR 22 Oct 89, p. 7)

The blazon stated the design to be "per fess rayonny enhanced". As many in the College noted, there is no such thing. What we have here is a chief, properly enlarged in the period manner to allow the harp to be clearly visible. (LoAR 21 Jan 90, p. 1)

There is one clear visual difference for the addition of the chief and another for the addition of the tertiaries. (LoAR 21 Jan 90, p. 5.)

The addition of the secondary [chief] and the addition of the tertiary [charges on the chief] are separate actions and in mundane heraldry would reflect different levels of cadency. (LoAR 25 Feb 90, p. 6)

[Per pale and barry wavy argent and sable, on a chief triangular sable ...] As [the design’s] identifiability is undiminished by its being depicted in one of the field tinctures, there is no problem with this device under either set of rules. (LoAR 29 Apr 90, p. 3)

The only charge which appears to have been regularly surmounted by a chief was the bordure (and even then the practice was decidedly variable). Such period examples of orles or tressures in conjunction with a chief that we have been able to locate have the full orle placed below the chief, as in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. (LoAR 17 Jun 90, p. 13)


While we appreciate the comments of [commenters] on the interchangeability of the cinquefoil and the heraldic rose in the early period..., it is a fact that the Society has for lang and lang distinguished between them, as a glance at the Armorial or even the Pictorial Dictionary ... will reveal. (Now fraises and cinquefoils, on the other hand.) (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 10)


There is not a full point of difference between [a] shooting star and an estoile. (LoAR 28 Feb 87, p. 17)

[A comet bendwise sinister] Comets in the Society are more often than not placed in positions other than "bendwise sinister".... To guarantee the submittor the device he wishes, we must forego the most elegant blazon. (LoAR 18 Sep 88, p. 11)

Compass Needle

This charge was not identifiable. While a compass point is mentioned in Parker (p. 388), no indication is given that this was used as a charge in period. (LoAR 28 Feb 87, p. 24)

Compass Star

The primary charge was shown in the blazon on the letter of intent as an estoile, on the emblazon on the letter of intent as a compass star, and on the emblazon sheet provided by the submittor as [a billet surmounted by a lozenge fesswise surmounted by a lozenge palewise]. What the submittor has provided is four layers, even though the surmounting charges are of the same tincture.... It is not at all clear whether the submittor would prefer a compass star, an estoile (which would have six wavy rays) or neither of these. (LoAR 29 Mar 87, p. 15)

By tradition the Society has considered a compass star to differ by at least a strong minor from a mullet, this is well clear. (LoAR 24 May 87, p. 3)

A compass star is too complex a charge to fimbriate. (LoAR 26 Jul 87, p. 9)

Complete Difference of Charge

Complete difference of charge cannot exist between a woodchuck and a squirrel: the visual similarities are too great. (LoAR 25 Jan 87, p. 17)

There is not complete difference of charge [between a hexagon and a roundel of the same color]. (LoAR 29 Mar 87, p. 20)

Where two devices consist solely of any number of identical charges in a standard arrangement [including semy] upon a plain field or of such charges used in conjunction with an uncharged bordure or chief, sufficient difference shall automatically be considered to exist if the primary charges are completely different with no possibility of visual confusion between the two types of charge. (CL 25 Nov 87, p. 3)

[Experience] seems to indicate that modern sensibilities, as much as period perceptions, would consider the fleur-de-lys completely different from any variant of human or beast head. (LoAR 31 Oct 87, p. 7)

[The submitting herald] errs in considering that there is complete difference of charge between a tree eradicated vert and a tree eradicated blasted vert: at best there is a minor point of difference. (Nor is there complete difference of charge between a lion and a lion defamed: in fact, Society precedent would hold that the difference between the two types of lion would be negligible.) (LoAR 21 Feb 88, p. 6)

"Complete difference of charge" should [not] be accorded to two different types of mushroom proper: unless the tinctures are completely different only a weak minor point could be derived. (LoAR 23 Apr 88, p. 18)

[Per saltire argent and gules, four roses counterchanged vs. Per saltire Or and gules, four escallops, points to center, counterchanged] Complete difference of charge applies here. [Returned for other conflict] (LoAR Jul 88, p. 20)

[The principal herald] requested that the "Complete Difference of Charge" leniency be granted for charges which involved orles as well as those which involved bordures or chiefs. After much consideration, we have decided that this is not an advisable path to pursue.... The rationale behind this in part involved cadency: the bordure and the chief were preeminently charges added to indicate cadency in period and, as such, would be automatically "added" to a base device to indicate the "parent" armoury. This is not the case with orles which are almost always a primary design, rather than a cadency mark, and therefore are less likely to be "transparent" to an onlooker. Moreover, ... under normal circumstances, the very nature of the orle diminishes the primary charge in size, seriously reducing its identifiability. (LoAR 18 Sep 88, p. 19)

[A winged natural panther vs. a falcon] We did not feel complete difference of charge could reasonably apply here since you have two winged creatures in essentially the same posture (allowing for the differences in the bodies of the two beasts). (LoAR 30 Oct 88, p. 16)

The Complete Difference of Charge rule cannot apply between variants of crosses. (LoAR 21 May 89, p. 20)

After much soul-searching and a comparison of the emblazons, we decided that the shapes are too similar for complete difference of charge to exist between a goblet and an hourglass ... under both the old rules and the new. The visual assonance is very clear: the only difference between the two devices with the hourglass drawn in one of its standard Society depictions (i.e., without the posts) is the balance and "fatness" of the lower portion of the goblet. (LoAR 26 Nov 89, p. 36)

Under the new rules, this is definitely clear since complete difference of charge may apply to coats where a charged chief is the only accompaniment to the primary charges (Difference of Primary Charges, X.2). (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 3)

Under both sets of rules ... "complete difference of charge" cannot function where a semy is present. (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 23)

Note that complete difference of primary charge cannot apply ... because the secondaries are flaunches. (LoAR 21 Jan 90, p. 7)

The new rules do not require complete difference of charge between the ... primary charges on simple coats, merely significant difference of primary charge, as defined in the section on Significant Armorial Differences. Under that section, it is clearly stated that charges will be considered different in type which were considered clearly separate in period heraldry. Rabbits or hares and lions were so considered. (LoAR 25 Feb 90, p. 14)

It is certainly a possibility to consider that the phrase "alone on the field" should be taken literally in the new rules and the significant difference of charge license apply even where the primary charges are themselves charged.... After much wrestling with this issue, we have come to the conclusion that the letter of the law in this case is also the spirit of the law and thus section X.2 [Difference of Primary Charges rule] of the new rules can apply to charged primaries. However, it must be stressed that the tertiary charges cannot significantly diminish the identifiability of the primaries in each case (by definition, both must be charged or else the two coats would be clear under the new rules). Also, it is presumed that the "visual conflict" rule may apply in cases such as that cited above where charges of the same type and tincture are modified with no other modifications. (LoAR 29 Apr 90, p. 5)

Section X.2 of the new rules, which allow for automatic difference when there is a change of primary charge on a simple coat, is interpreted fairly strictly to allow such difference of primary charge to apply when the primary charge(s) are themselves charged, provided the other criteria outlined in that section of the rules are met.

In applying this precedent, please remember that the "visual test" still remains active. If the combination of position, tincture, arrangement, etc. of the identical items in the design creates an overwhelming visual resemblance to a piece of protected armoury, "visual conflict" may still be called. (CL 15 Jun 90, p. 3)

It was the sense of the meeting that section X.2 of the rules should apply between mice and lions used a qualifying primary charges. (LoAR 28 May 90, p. 4)


[Charge between four roundels within a bordure embattled] Note that, although the number of charges here would seem a trifle busy for a badge, the design forms a unified whole. (LoAR 27 Sep 86, p. 4)

It was the general consensus that [the primary charge’s low contrast with half the field], taken with the non-standard and rather busy position of the [quadruped secondaries], pushed this device over the edge of unacceptable complexity. (LoAR 27 Sep 86, p. 12)

The device was judged to be excessively complex [charged primary, secondary in base, and embattled bordure] and poor style to a degree which should not be accepted for group arms which precedent indicates "should set a good example". (LoAR 27 Sep 86, p. 13)

In referring to an "off-center" gyronny in [a] return ... in February, 1982, Master Wilhelm noted "this sort of division is not heraldic". Whilst this referred to a gyronny of two colours, the general principle holds true. It was the consensus of the meeting that the unequal division of the tinctures on the [primary charge] taken together with the low contrast between the [metal portions of the primary charge] and the [metal] of the field and the [tertiary charge] creates too great a complexity for a badge. (LoAR 26 Oct 86, pp. 9-10)

This is overly complex for period style, involving as it does five tinctures and four different types of charge. If would add a considerable amount of unity to the design if the [major charges] were both of the same tincture. (LoAR 28 Dec 86, p. 16) (See also: LoAR 28 Nov 87, p. 11; LoAR 27 Aug 89, p. 27)

Unfortunately, this is four layers and therefore technically too complex for a device, let alone a badge. (LoAR 25 Jan 87, p. 15) (See also: LoAR 24 Jan 88, p. 6)

[Tierced per fess of three tinctures, two identical charges and a third charge, all counterchanged] This is not period style. Even were there only two tinctures involved, the visual complexity (these appear to be two different types of charge divided per fess and overlying a fess) would make the effect confusing. This would be far better if one of the charges were placed on the fess surrounded by three of the other charge. (LoAR 25 Jan 87, p. 26)

Three different charges on a field party per pall have been ruled previously to be too complex by definition to be registered in the Society (AR 6c). (LoAR 28 Feb 87, p. 19)

The primary charge [a sword proper, blade enflamed gules, entwined by a rose vine argent slipped and seeded Or] is just too complex and displays too poor contrast to be acceptable. The hilt Or ... fades into the argent field and the vine of roses is such a minor detail combined with the visual distraction of the flames gules, that it is difficult to determine precisely what it is. (LoAR 26 Apr 87, p. 13)

[Semy field, a charge and a chief triangular semy; five tinctures] This is almost overly complex, but is legal. (LoAR 24 May 87, p. 3)

[Per fess purpure and argent ... all within a bordure counter-compony purpure and argent] This approaches the limits of visual complexity. This would be improved with a simpler bordure which did not leave islands of argent in purpure and vice versa. (LoAR 24 May 87, p. 8)

The label charged with two different charges in two tinctures is just too complex. (LoAR 24 May 87, p. 14)

The bordure countercompony of vert and argent adds an unacceptable level of complexity to the device since the vert portions of the bordure fade into the azure and the argent fades into the argent of the field, leaving an effect of isolated rectangles of tincture. (LoAR 24 May 87, p. 15)

The design, particularly the exiguous laurel wreath about the thin and complexly nowed serpent was too complex visually for group arms. (LoAR 28 Jun 87, p. 3)

This is by definition too complex for a badge since [what] it involves is three unlike charges floating on a divided field (this would be illicit for a device in fact!). (LoAR 26 Jul 87, p. 9)

[Azure, a bezant, pierced sable, between four plates, all within a bordure argent] This is right at the margin of acceptable complexity for a badge (the voiding of the bezant tried to tug it over, the unifying tincture of the outer charges pulled it back). (LoAR Aug 87, p. 4) [The badge was registered.]

[On a fess per fess sable and argent, a bar counter-compony argent and sable] There was ... a consensus that the central charge, whether it be blazoned as a charged fess or a parted fess fimbriated, was too complex to readily identify "on the field". (LoAR Aug 87, p. 10)

The collocation of charges in base [a bezant, pierced sable, between four plates within an annulet argent] is too complex to be identifiable as a component of this device. (LoAR Aug 87, p. 12)

It did not seem that the fimbriation of the crescent was enough per se to cause the submission to be returned. However, it was felt that the fimbriation in an already relatively complex design ... added an unacceptable complexity to the design. (LoAR 27 Sep 87, p. 8)

[Per pale gules and azure, a lion and a dragon combattant argent, maintaining in their forepaws a sword and a great axe crossed in saltire, in base a massacre Or] This very nearly falls over the great cliff of overcomplexity: were the charges not confined to two tinctures, this would be too complex. (LoAR 28 Nov 87, p. 1)

[A chevron and on a pale counterchanged a rapier inverted counterchanged] It [is] just too complex for Society heraldry, not only containing four layers (field + chevron + overlying pale + rapier) but reducing the rapier to a nearly unidentifiable state through the counterchanging. (LoAR 24 Jan 88, p. 7)

Even for an augmentation this adds an unacceptable level of complexity since the charged canton is placed on top of a charge overall, making the canton itself the fourth and fifth layer of the design. (LoAR 23 Apr 88, p. 16)

[A sword inverted palewise between two others in pile, all proper and issuant from a demi-trefoil vert itself issuant from a torse wreathed vert and Or, the trefoil charged with a rose Or] As the convoluted blazon suggests, this is too complex for a badge: six different charges of four types. (LoAR 23 Apr 88, p. 20)

[Per bend sinister embowed counterembowed, in fess a hammer fimbriated and a falcon striking] This submission ... is clearly too complex for a badge (in itself, the hammer is too complex a charge to fimbriate). (LoAR 29 May 88, p. 21)

[Quarterly, a (charge) bendwise surmounted by a compass star, between two flowers, within a bordure embattled counterchanged] This pushes the very outer limits of complexity [in a device]. It would be vastly improved by the removal of either or both of the central charges. (LoAR Jul 88, p. 2)

[Gules, a fess argent, overall seven mascles, four and three, counterchanged] Not only does this conflict with the arms of Austria ("Gules, a fess argent."), but it is visually confusing to an unacceptable degree. (LoAR Jul 88, p. 18)

[In pale a candle enflamed upon a flat candlestick, the latter between two natural rosebuds, slipped and leaved in chevron inverted, all within a mullet of eight points elongated to base and voided] The voiding of an inherently complex charge like the mullet of eight points is exacerbated by the elongation of the mullet to base and can be considered "thin line heraldry". Not one but three charges are framed within this voided mullet and they are so arranged as to minimize their identifiability. [Device returned] (LoAR Jul 88, p. 18)

The bordure, semy of two separate charges in alternation [is] too complex for use in the Society While such a usage does indeed occasionally occur in the Iberian peninsula..., even there it is usually done in conjunction with a bordure compony so that the alternation of the charges is made more obvious by the differentiation of the bordure tinctures (the most famous of these examples is the bordure adopted by several Spanish families which alternates the lion of Leon and the tower of Castile). (LoAR Aug 88, p. 19)

[Gyronny Or and chequy azure and argent, a spider tergiant palewise sable and in chief a faceted gem fesswise between two others in chevron gules] Most of the commenters felt that this pushed the limits of acceptable style to near the breaking point, but ultimately we decided that this fell short of unacceptability. In fact, apart from the peculiar positioning of the gems, this is a rather simple device (or would be if the field were a bit quieter). (LoAR 18 Sep 88, p. 10)

[On a chevron an increscent and a decrescent, overall a monster rampant, in chief a fleur-de-lis] This submission comes perilously close to the limit on complexity and could do with some simplification. [Device registered] (LoAR 27 Nov 88, p. 10)

[Quarterly azure and azure, ermined, on a cross floretty engrailed between in bend two (beasts) heads jessant-de-lis, a cross floretty] This device pushes close to the limits of acceptability from the point of view of complexity and presumption, but falls just this side of disaster. (LoAR 26 Feb 89, p. 9)

Added to the relatively unbalanced arrangement of the [charges in bend] on either sided of the [per pale] field, the chief itself with its "moving" charge adds an undesirable degree of complexity and lack of balance to the design. (LoAR 26 Feb 89, pp. 16-17)

The complexity of the voided and interlaced charges diminishes the visual impact of the concavity [of the lines] to negligible status. (LoAR 26 Feb 89, p. 17)

[A charged arch between two towers, between in pale two different monsters] There was a virtually unanimous opinion among the commentors that this is too complex for a badge. (LoAR 26 Feb 89, p. 22)

[Per chevron, on a chevron between two birds and a winged beast, three charges] This device pushes at the very limits of complexity, only being saved by the use of colour to tie the secondary and tertiary charges together. (LoAR 26 Mar 89, p. 3)

The style we strive for is that of an earlier period when heraldry was actually used for identification, not book plates and carriage embellishments. This is the underlying principle behind the ban on complexity and the requirements for contrast. (LoAR 30 Apr 89, p. 10)

The use of two types of charge in saltire is so well established in the Society that it is a standard arrangement that does not add to complexity so long as both charges are clearly identifiable.... Note that the sword and axe are distinct charges, both mundanely and in the Society, so that there is not the same type of potential for confusion that there would be if, for instance, a rapier and scimitar or a pike and a battle-axe were in saltire. (LoAR 30 Apr 89, p. 11)

The use of the [two] hands in different orientations together with a relatively unidentifiable charge [falcon’s hood affronty] in base [all around a charged chevron] pushes this device towards unacceptable complexity despite its simplicity of [only using two] tincture[s]. [Device returned] (LoAR 30 Apr 89, p. 15)

While the two grape bunches do lie on the [primary charge] in the emblazon, the identifying leaf portions of the [vert] vine lie almost entirely on the [color] field. Additionally, the vine adds an extra level of complexity of tincture and design that is ... "awfully busy". (LoAR 30 Apr 89, p. 17)

[Per fess potenty (color) and (fur), a (charge) between two (of another charge), in base a (beast) couchant reguardant, environed of a rose vine] This device is excessively complex. There is a low contrast complexly divided field, four different types of charge in a non-standard arrangement and, to push the whole thing over the edge, the detail of the rose vine in which the [beast] is entrapped, which is nearly unidentifiable, even though most of it does lie on the [beast] and so has reasonable contrast. (LoAR 30 Apr 89, p. 18)

[A stag salient through a heart voided] Were [the voiding of the heart] the only anomaly, the issue of complexity and style would be much dicier. However, joined to the voided heart is the design which depends on the beast "doing a circus stunt" ..., i.e., jumping through the heart. This posture inevitably obscures some of the identifying features of both the stag and the heart, since the head and antlers of the stag overlie the indentation of the heart to chief. Thus the shape of the upper portion of the heart is obscured and, since the [metal] antlers lie largely along the [metal] curve of the heart, so are the identifying antlers. (LoAR 30 Apr 89, p. 18)

There is no doubt that the addition of this augmentation raises the complexity level of an already complex device several degrees.... Adding the [augmentation] inescutcheon adds a further two layers as well as three tinctures and four types of charge, all depicted at extremely small scale.... This is just too much complexity. (LoAR 21 May 89, p. 16)

[In pale two charges in saltire and another charge, all between two pallets] It was our feeling that this sailed just this side of overcomplexity. [Device registered] (LoAR 18 Jun 89, p. 7)

[Two bendlets disjointed fimbriated] The addition of the fimbriation here adds an unacceptable degree of confusion to the visual effect which seriously reduces the overall identifiability of the unusual bend. (LoAR 18 Jun 89, p. 10)

The complex central charge, with its unusual variant of a standard charge ..., the addition of the [birds] and the mount and the gores add an unacceptable degree of complexity in type and tincture of charge. (LoAr 18 Jun 89, p. 13)

While we grant that the heart is an essentially simple charge, the fimbriation here adds a degree of complexity that is inappropriate for a badge, diminishing as it does the immediacy of the identifiability of the gules heart. (LoAR 27 Aug 89, p. 21)

[Per fess, in fess three human skeletons affronty, kneeling on their dexter knees, each maintaining in its dexter arm a book and in the sinister hand a staff palewise, and a beast, maintaining a sword bendwise] This [is] just too busy, the more so in view of the difficult-to-process charges used here. (LoAR 27 Aug 89, p. 25)

In this case, where the charged ordinary significantly affects the identifiability of the primary charge and four tinctures combined with three different types of charge increase the visual "traffic" in the design, we ... concluded that this was just too complex. (LoAR 27 Aug 89, p. 27)

[Per saltire of two colors, on a saltire bretessed between two charges in pale and a decrescent and an increscent in fess, a musical instrument] This pushes at the outer limits of complexity. [Device registered] (LoAR 30 Sep 89, p. 9)

[The submission] uses six charges of three types in a fieldless arrangement which is moderately complex for a fieldless badge. [Returned for this and other problems] (LoAR 30 Sep 89, p. 17)

[A cornucopia in annulo, atop the fruit a bird, wings displayed] While this badge pushes at the limits of acceptable complexity, the basic design is within the spirit of such period badges as the bear and ragged staff. (LoAR 26 Nov 89, p. 25)

Note that this pushes the outside limits of complexity as defined by the "rule of thumb" used in the new rules. There are four types of charges and either four tinctures (if one counts "proper" as a single tincture) or five (if one breaks the [charge] into is component black and white). (LoAR 26 Nov 89, p. 25)

The device is pushed over the edge of complexity under both rules by use of the four tinctures and four different charges with one type (the [ordinary]) diminished in identifiability because it is defined entirely by its fimbriation and two others because they are almost identical in their shapes (... which are in fact drawn almost identically). (LoAR 26 Nov 89, pp. 33-34)

The four [charges] in two tinctures, three heads and whole [beast], [are] just too complex for period style even without the anomaly of the heads holding the [charges] in their mouths.... The four tinctures with three types of charge (four, if you categorize secondary and tertiary charges of the same type as visually different in weight) are just too much. (LoAR 26 Nov 89, p. 40)

[Per pale, two monsters and a garb, on a chief three charges; four tinctures total] Note that the device pushes at the very borders of complexity under both old and new rules. (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 16)

[Two beasts combattant maintaining between them two charges, in base a charge within a charge; four tinctures] This borders on the edge of overcomplexity under either set of rules. (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 19)

This exceeds [the] limits [of complexity] under both sets of rules: five tinctures and at least four sets of charges, if you blazon the chief triangular as such to avoid the ambiguities of the two types of mullets in a group with the [primary charges]. Even without the two different types and tinctures of mullets in the same group in chief this would be dicey. (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 23)

The combinations of tinctures and charges push complexity levels under both the old rules and new. (There are five tinctures and three types of charges, even without counting the cap [on the primary] as a separate charge.) (LoAR 31 Dec 89, p. 25)

[On a pale surmounted by a bend embattled on the upper edge counterchanged, a beast’s head and an anvil] The overall design [is] just too complex and unbalanced for period style. The difficulties which were encountered ... in creating a blazon which would guarantee that the "staircase" would never overlie the charges on the pale was indicative of the problem. The counterchanging and the diminished size of the bend required by the [beast’s] head above it on the pale decreased the immediate recognizability of the bend. Additionally, while the number of layers involved here can be reduced to three by reblazoning, the overall effects is visually complex and overly confusing, creating an effect of motion as the eye follows the "staircase" from top to bottom rather than processing the charges in a normal static manner. (LoAR 21 Jan 90, pp. 20-21)

[Per pale, in saltire a sword and a trumpet between four quill pens tergiant, nibs to center] This [is] overly complex, particularly for a badge: three types of charges, four tinctures and quill pens in a position (tergiant!) which almost guarantees unrecognizability. (LoAR 21 Jan 90, p. 21)

There are just too many anomalies and too much business here. The lizard atop the rock is actually a naturalistic representation of a lizard on an obsidian-type rock and a good part of the vert lizard’s typical leg and foot structures fade into the sable stone. While the general desert effect is quite clear, when this is placed on the overcrowded [semy of] suns, the effect is overly complex. When one also considers that the sable hilts ... cause the swords to appear like hiltless blades the visual confusion just falls over the edge. (LoAR 25 Feb 90, p. 20)

This is just too busy: there are three types of charges (with two in a single group) and six tinctures (with three in a single group). (LoAR 31 Mar 90, p. 14)

[In fess two charges and on a point pointed Or, a different charge, on a chief a beast couchant] This device treads the very edge of complexity: only the fact that everything but the tertiary on the chief were in two tinctures, unifying the device, persuaded us that it did not fall over that edge. (LoAR 29 Apr 90, p. 13)

[Per pall inverted, two birds respectant and a monster; four tinctures] This totters on the edge of overcomplexity, but falls just inside the line. (LoAR 28 May 90, p. 11)

This is just too complex to meet our requirements of style.... In the first place, two different types of charge semy are placed on either side of an ordinary in identical tinctures (and not dissimilar shapes which creates a visual confusion). In the second place, the correct identification of the tertiary depends on a precise depiction and arrangement of the charges that is not period. In the third place, there is excessive complexity with four types of charges and four tinctures involved in this device. (LoAR 28 May 90, p. 14)

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