PRECEDENTS OF THE S.C.A. COLLEGE OF ARMS

The Tenure of Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme

Introduction

This collection of pages contains precedents and other relevant discussions from Baron Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme's tenure as Laurel, from the June, 1992 Symposium meeting through October, 1993.

I have tried to be reasonably consistent with the format of previous precedent collations, but some changes happened anyway. The biggest change was in the way the Laurel letters were referenced. Previously with each precedent the date of the Laurel letter and the page number was included. I have added the name attached to the relevant submission. I did so because now that the electronic versions of the Laurel letters are now available, a page number is insufficient to easily find the relevant entry. I have also included the month of the Laurel meeting with the date of the cover letters, to make it easier to find the original letter if so desired.

The categories used for the headings is my own, derived from previous collations, the subdivisions of the SCA ordinary, and my own philosophy. There is an extensive index to help find the right location. The index also includes cross references for relevant Rules for Submissions.

There is also a long bibliography [which is referenced from the citations in the text - MH]

As is standard, the text listed is taken directly from the Laurel letters. Comments within square brackets ([]) are mine. I use ellipses (...) to indicate deleted text, though I do not indicate text deleted from the beginning or end of a ruling. Words within angle brackets (<>) are also mine, where I replaced irrelevant specific charges or names with generic variants.

Some of the Bruce's rulings were very long, including useful information such as documentation from period sources. I did not want to exclude the information, but it was too unwieldy to include it more than once. So at several points, I list a short summary of the ruling with a reference to the full text.

The document is available in electronic form (in ASCII). Contact me at the address below to find out how to get a copy. Also send any comments or corrections to that address.

I wish to thank all those who helped me create this work; in particular, Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, Da'ud ibn Auda, Irene von Schmetterling, Jaelle of Armida, Zenobia Naphtali, and probably a few others I have forgotten.

In service,
Elsbeth Anne Roth

c/o Kathy Van Stone
1817 Tyburn Lane
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
kvs@cs.cmu.edu

This document is also available in hard copy form from Free Trumpet Press West as item FT-77

Laurel King of Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism
Covering the period June 1992 through October 1993
Compiled by Kathryn Van Stone
HTML markup and minor emendations by Michael Houghton
Combined into a single document and some HTML clean up and conversion to XHTML by Dave Weiner, September 2002
Copyright © 1995 by Kathy Van Stone


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Contents [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [R] [S] [T] [V] [W]

A List of Abbreviations are available, as well as an index


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ADMINISTRATIVE -- Misc


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When I accepted the Laurel post, I knew that eventually, inevitably, I'd overturn some policy or precedent of some previous Laurel. That didn't mean I'd go out of my way to look for precedents to overturn; it would just happen. Well, it just happened, at the July meeting; see the discussion on Mon, below. It will continue to happen; so I want to say a few words about the process.

In general, precedents are made during the consideration of a specific submission. The facts on hand at the time of that submission are weighed, balanced against external factors (e.g. SCA policy on, say, pretension), and a synthesis reached. The same is true for the overturning of precedent: it's triggered by a specific submission, which happens to involve a topic where the College has had problems in the recent past. It's not generally something a Laurel Sovereign plans.

For that reason, a new Laurel doesn't begin his tenure by announcing all the precedents he intends to overturn. He may not have any such intention; or he may not have identified the ones with which he disagrees, though he may have some vague ideas. I won't deny I've disagreed with some previous Laurel rulings --- as a regular commenter during the last seven years, I'd've been hard pressed not to disagree with some Laurel rulings. But I probably won't be moved to take action on those rulings until the issue is right under my nose, so to speak.

This may mean returning a submission that, under a previous Laurel's standards, might have been registerable. It's been suggested that this is unfair to the submitters, who won't know my opinion on certain issues until it's too late --- that, if I should overturn a precedent, the old precedent must still apply to the submission that sparked my decision. I can't accept this, for two reasons. First, my opinions on most matters are a matter of record (those seven years of commentary, again); they should come as no surprise to anyone who's been active long enough to become a Kingdom's submissions herald.

Second, I can't and won't tie Laurel's hands so completely. To quote a previous discussion on this point: "I feel we have an obligation to try to be fair to people whose submissions were en route at the time a change took place; but I also feel that this obligation is bidirectional. A certain amount of compromise is necessary on both sides. ...By exempting the submitter from the change he precipitates, we deny ourselves the right to correct mistakes until they have become irrevocable. By subjecting the submitter to the changes, we deny our role as a service organization. Neither extreme is acceptable as a universal solution." (LoAR cover letter of 29 Dec 85; emphasis mine.)

If the precedent being overturned is a fundamental tenet of our heraldic system, I'll exempt the submitter who sparked my action. But if my "overturning" is only a minor re-interpretation that doesn't change the Rule itself, I'll probably apply my new ruling to the submission at hand. Beyond that, I can't very well say in advance what precedents --- if any --- I may overturn; it will depend on what's submitted. (3 August, 1992 Cover Letter (July, 1992 LoAR), pg. 2)


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The Steward has recently reaffirmed that officers of the Corporation may correspond on computer bulletin boards -- but that they should be cautious in doing so, avoiding posting any message that might be taken as an Official Word. As warranted heralds are officers of the Corporation, the same stricture applies to us. I don't want to stop, or even hinder, anyone from participating in the dialogues on the nets, but they should do so as private individuals, not as members of the College of Arms. Any opinions expressed must be specifically and prominently marked as personal opinions, not as official CoA policy statements. (5 December, 1992 Cover Letter (October, 1992 LoAR), pg. 3)


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When Papworth's blazons contain ellipses [...], we assume that he simply didn't know the exact tinctures -- and in cases of possible conflict, we give the submitter the benefit of the doubt...

For the record, we'll probably extend our policy to Chesshyre & Woodcock's Dictionary of British Arms (the so-called "New Papworth"); since that work explicitly contains only devices, not badges, we can assume that a blazon with no tinctures listed shows a lack of knowledge (or perhaps the overzealousness of the compilers), not tinctureless armory. (Helena Gereman, October, 1992, pg. 9)


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At their April 93 meeting, the Board of Directors decided to accept my recommendation on how to prevent SCA members from being disadvantaged by non-members during the heraldic submission process. Corpora explicitly forbids us to consider the membership status of an armory's owner, once the armory is registered; the Board agreed that the only time a member's submission could be returned for conflict by a non-member's armory is when the two were considered at the same Laurel meeting. Beginning immediately, therefore, if two submissions at the same meeting are deemed to conflict, we will give preference to the submission from the paid member. If both submitters are (or aren't) paid members, then the first received takes priority, as before.

This gives an advantage to members' submissions, without requiring anyone to check every submitter's membership status. Laurel need only call the Registrar, on those rare occasions when membership becomes important; this happens seldom enough to impose no undue burden on Laurel, the Registrar, or the College.

I have two postscripts to this discussion, however. First, a survey of a typical Laurel meeting (Nov 92) showed something like 25% of all submissions being from non-members. (For one Kingdom, it was as high as 50%.) Our workload is constantly increasing, and we're always looking for ways to reduce it; one possible way is to limit submissions. Requiring membership remains a possible way of doing that, and would probably be more palatable than eliminating badge registration (to name another alternative). It's something to bear in mind, should the need ever arise.

Second, it remains true that we should at least encourage our submitters to become paid members of the Society; it's not unreasonable that those who take advantage of our services should help support the organization in which they apply. The College should achieve that goal through persuasion, rather than enforcement. We can begin by setting a good example: as officers of the Society, warranted heralds at every level are required to be paid members, which then puts us in a better position to explain the advantages of membership to others. (8 May, 1993 Cover Letter (March, 1993 LoAR), pg. 2)


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Japanese-style submissions should use the appropriate submission form for a device or badge. A "primary mon" is a device, and should be submitted on a device form, not a badge form. Once registered, the submitter may use the armory on any shape he chooses; but we have enough details to coordinate without also having to worry about whether a submission is or isn't a badge. The whole purpose of separate device and badge forms is to allow heralds at every level of the submission process to tell, at a glance, exactly what sort of armory is being submitted. Please cooperate with us by using them as they were intended. (8 May, 1993 Cover Letter (March, 1993 LoAR), pg. 3)


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I've recently received inquiries from a number of Society members --- none of them heralds, and from various Kingdoms --- asking questions like "when did the College of Arms start banning households?" or "how come So-and- So could register a badge when I can't?" They indicate to me that, in some places, "suggestions" about good style have become dictates.

This I find disturbing. While I know about (and usually encourage) diversity among the practices of the Known World, there are some things that should, for continuity's sake, remain constant. For the College of Arms, one such constant is in the Rules for Submission, including the Administrative Guidelines. These are equally applicable in all thirteen Kingdoms --- if only because every submitter has the right to appeal to Laurel, over the heads of their Kingdom College.

The uniform application of our Rules is self-evident in cases of disallowed practices. If a Kingdom College, for instance, were to decide on its own that sable on gules had sufficient contrast, and forward submissions based on that decision, they'd quickly find themselves corrected. Certainly, none of the forwarded submissions would be registered, as the Rules now stand. Problems where a Kingdom permits disallowed practices are self-correcting at the Laurel level.

In cases of allowed practices, however, the need for uniformity of the Rules is less evident. A Kingdom might decide on its own to forbid a poor (but legal) heraldic practice --- say, forbid the use of compass stars or garden roses --- and the effect at the Laurel level would be the same as if that Kingdom had begun a massive education program and convinced its populace not to follow that practice. Thus, no corrections would be possible at the Laurel level --- until we start getting inquiries from submitters, as I have.

Everyone has a right to an opinion as to what the College should permit, or shouldn't permit. If your opinion's strong enough, you might try to persuade, convince, or gently discourage your submitters when they suggest something in poor-but-legal style. When a practice is permitted by the Administrative Guidelines, however, it's not the place of any individual Kingdom College to disallow it. If badges, household names, and alternate personae are permitted, they should be permitted to everyone, in every Kingdom. Those who disagree with any given practice are welcome to open debate within the SCA College of Arms --- and in the meantime, exercise their salesmanship with their clients. (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 6)


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A question has arisen during a recent request for reblazon: when should an armorial submission require a miniature emblazon in the LOI? Obviously, for any new armory, or change of armory, the miniature emblazon is mandatory. But what about transfers? blazon corrections? requests for reblazon?

Taking the last first, a request for reblazon --- that is, a request that the registered (and presumably correct) blazon be changed to suit the submitter's preference --- should include a miniature emblazon. The newly submitted blazon, like the original, must be checked for accuracy. The College can't do that without a miniature emblazon.

Blazon corrections are an issue of accuracy, rather than preference, and are thus a bit thornier. If the registered emblazon has some obvious error --- a tincture omitted, say, or a word misspelled --- then the correction need not include a miniature emblazon. On the other hand, it needn't be in a Letter of Intent, either; the proper forum for such a correction is a letter to Laurel, with a copy to Morsulus. More extensive changes, involving disagreements about the correct way to blazon a design ("That's not couped! The proper term is humetty."), should involve the entire College --- and so should be in a Letter of Intent, and should include a miniature emblazon.

Finally, when armory is transferred between submitters, we don't mandate miniature emblazons. The armory is already registered, after all; this is a purely administrative action. On the other hand, such a transfer is an excellent opportunity to improve an old SCA blazon; for that reason, I like to see the miniature emblazon for the armory being transferred, even though it's not mandatory.

The cue here is the extent to which the College of Arms is involved. Minor grammatical corrections involve the College little; major changes to the blazon, be they corrections or requests for reblazon, involve the College considerably. The latter, therefore, should include the emblazon for the College's perusal. (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pp. 6-7)


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A number of submissions in the last few weeks have shown me that there's some confusion in the College of Arms about the petitions needed from SCA branches. Two points, in particular, need to be clarified:

First, petitions must accompany the name and device submissions (be they new, resubmission, or change) for any SCA branch up to Baronial status. The petition serves as a measure of the populace's support for the proposed group name and device. (Principalities and Kingdoms must likewise show evidence of popular support for name and device submissions; but as they're larger, taking petitions becomes an unwieldly process. Polls are more often used for Principality and Kingdom submissions.) Only the name and device of the group are required to be accompanied by a copy of the petition, per the Administrative Guidelines. The Laurel Office doesn't require petitions for such submissions as the names of Orders, populace badges, and the like; they're nice to get, of course, and Kingdom Colleges may choose to require petitions with such submissions, but they're not mandatory at the CoA level.

Second, the petition should state, very clearly, exactly what the petitioners approve. We had a recent submission where the petition said, simply, "Petition" --- followed by signatures. I assume that everyone was honest in this case, that the petition was meant as support for the group name, and that all the signers knew it; but for all one could tell from the paperwork, the petition could have been for ice cream to be served at the next fighting practice. As evidence of popular support for the submission, it wasn't worth much.

Petitions should include, at the top, the items the petitioners are expected to support: the name and/or device to be submitted. Only that way can the document be considered evidence of support for that particular submission. If nothing else, common sense would prevent anyone from signing a blank petition; that's as risky as signing a blank check. Let's take a little more care in the form of the petitions sent to the College from now on; please make sure that they say, in black and white, that the petitioners knew what they were supporting. (20 August, 1993 Cover Letter (July, 1993 LoAR), pg. 2)


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One of this month's submissions (Windwardshire) prompted some comments from, first, the Society Steward, and more recently, the new Society Seneschal. Their main concern was that a Kingdom's Seneschalate and College of Heralds should not be working at cross purposes: Kingdom Officers are empowered for the same purpose, the smooth running of the Kingdom --- and, ultimately, to facilitate the enjoyment of the Society's members.

The main concern here is with new or incipient groups. Duchess Sedalia, the Society Seneschal, spoke to me at Pennsic War about the issue: she was concerned that the College of Arms might register a name and device to a proto-group, only to have it dissolve away (but with the name and device protected in perpetuity). She wanted to know if there was some way wait until the group had proven itself before allowing them to register. I noted that many Kingdoms require an incipient group to have a name and device registered (or in the process) before they're considered official; moreover, if there's a problem with the name, it's far better to catch it early, when the group is new, not after they've used the name for years.

Both the Society Seneschal and I agree, however, on the need for communication between the Principal Herald and the Kingdom Seneschal. When a group first starts to form, the Seneschal should inform the Herald (so that advice can be offered on the new name and device, for instance). When a new group submits a name and device, the Herald should inform the Seneschal (who might know, from officers' reports, whether the group is viable or liable to soon disband). Duchess Sedalia agreed to send a plea to that effect to the Kingdom Seneschals; I in my turn am sending the plea to the College of Arms. If the Seneschal and the Herald simply keep each other informed, most of the potential problems concerning incipient group submissions will just fail to materialize. And isn't that a cheerful thought? (25 September, 1993 Cover Letter (August, 1993 LoAR), pp. 2-3)


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At their October meeting, the Board of Directors confirmed that, as with titles and forms of address, Laurel King of Arms has authority over the regalia of the SCA-wide orders. The next step will be the codification and publishing of current regalia standards, which task falls on Master Da'ud's shoulders ...(30 November, 1993 Cover Letter (September, 1993 LoAR), pg. 2)


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It is poor policy to give a canton, and an incipient canton at that, an heraldic title, but this is an internal matter for the kingdom involved. (East Kingdom, September, 1993, pg. 11)


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ADMINISTRATIVE -- Registrable Items


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I'd like to continue joint registration of household names and badges. My policy shall be that the first name on the submission be the main badge-holder --- who has the right to release, grant permission to conflict, etc. --- and the second name receive the cross-reference in the A&O. Moreover, to ensure that this confusion doesn't arise again, I propose to change the Section in the Administrative Handbook, Registerable Items: B.3, Household Names, to read:

"By convention, this designation is applied to the name of a group other than a Society branch or order, such as a household, guild, group fighting unit, etc. Such names may be registered either by an individual or by a Society branch, and armory may be associated with such names. In the case of a household registered by an individual, records dealing with the group's name or armory will be retained under the Primary Society Name of the group's designated representative; when the household is jointly registered by a couple, a cross-reference shall also be listed under the Primary Society Name of the other member of the couple."

The rest of the paragraph shall remain unchanged; and paragraphs D.3 and E.1 of the same Section shall be amended to refer to paragraph B.3, to include joint registration of fielded and fieldless badges as well as names. (3 August, 1992 Cover Letter (July, 1992 LoAR), pg. 2)


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The household name and badge were twice submitted on the LOI: once under [the submitter's] name, and once under the name of [another submitter]. Per our current policy on joint badge registration (LoAR cover letter of 3 Aug 92), one of these gentles must be designated the primary badge-holder. [Name and badge attached to other name and returned for unrelated reasons]. (Ursus Imminere (Jane Falada of Englewood), October, 1992, pg. 28)


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There's nothing to prevent an Order from having more than one badge; the Order of the Garter has multiple badges, and so does the SCA's Order of the Rose. (Barony of Caerthe, October, 1993, pg. 18)


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ADMINISTRATIVE -- Registration Limit


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While the current Rules and Administrative Guidelines do not explicitly permit a household to have multiple badges, neither do they explicitly prohibit it. After some thought, I've decided there's no reason a household shouldn't have as many badges as the Rules allow. Certainly, houses in period could have more than one badge --- a Scots clan, for instance, could have a crest-badge and a plant-badge. Our only restriction is that one person be the primary owner for all the household's badges --- which effectively limits the number of badges per household. (Yseult de Cherbourg, September, 1992, pg. 28)


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ADMINISTRATIVE -- Rule Changes


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Having read the discussions and commentary, I've decided to accept Lord Palimpsest's recommendations of 10 Dec 92, with some very minor changes to the examples. Thanks to all who lent their voices to the debate.

Rule X.4.a.i is amended to read:

X.4.a.i. Fieldless Difference --- A piece of fieldless armory automatically has one clear difference from any other armory, fielded or fieldless.
Tinctureless armory and Japanese mon are considered to be fieldless for this purpose

Rule VIII.4.c is amended to read:

VIII.4.c. Natural Depiction --- Excessively naturalistic use of otherwise acceptable charges may not be registered.
Excessively natural designs include those that depict animate objects in unheraldic postures, use several charges in their natural forms when heraldic equivalents exist, or overuse proper. Proper is allowed for natural flora and fauna when there is a widely understood default coloration for the charge so specified. It is not allowed if many people would have to look up the correct coloration, or if the Linnaean genus and species (or some other elaborate description) would be required to get it right. An elephant, a brown bear, or a tree could each be proper; a female American kestrel, a garden rose, or an Arctic fox in winter phase, could not.

(15 January, 1992 Cover Letter (November, 1992 LoAR), pg. 2)


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Lord Palimpsest, in his letter of 19 June 93, has formally recommended changing Rule X.2, the Difference of Primary Charge Rule, to extend (and clarify) the conditions under which it applies. I like his simplified wording, for the most part, but I believe it can be simplified even further if we note three facts:

  1. That a group of charges may contain any number of charges --- including one;
  2. That the phrase homogeneous charge group, indicating either a single charge or a group of identical charges (and requiring a new definition, either in the Rule or the Glossary), may be replaced with the self-explanatory group of identical charges if the above definition of "group" is observed;
  3. That a peripheral charge group is, in fact, a group of secondary charges; the phrase simply denotes a special class of secondaries, a class that can never be primaries, and that are automatically separate from any other secondary group in the same armory.

Rule X.2 is therefore amended to read as follows:

X.2 Difference of Primary Charges --- Simple armory does not conflict with other simple armory if the type of every primary charge is substantially changed.
This type of change was normally seen between complete strangers in blood, and wasn't usually used to indicate any form of cadency. For the purposes of this Rule, simple armory is defined by the following clauses. The word charge refers both to charged and uncharged charges unless it is specifically qualified; a group of charges may contain one or more charges.
a. Armory that has only a primary group of identical charges is simple armory.
Argent, a fess sable does not conflict with Argent, a lion rampant sable. Gules, on a pale argent three roses proper does not conflict with Gules, on a bend argent three roses proper. Or, three lozenges vert, each charged with a mullet argent does not conflict with Or, three billets vert, each charged with a mullet argent. Sable, a chevron Or does conflict with Sable, a chevron embattled Or, because the type of the primary charge group has not been substantially changed.
b. Armory that has only a group of uncharged primary charges is simple armory.
Per chevron gules and argent, three mullets counterchanged does not conflict with Per chevron gules and argent, two escallops and a roundel counterchanged. Azure, three maunches argent, each charged with a rose gules does conflict with Azure, two escallops and a heart argent, each charged with a rose gules, because the primary charges of the latter armory are neither identical nor uncharged. Per chevron gules and argent, three oak trees counterchanged does conflict with Per chevron gules and argent, three fir trees counterchanged, because the type of charge has not been substantially changed; it conflicts with Per chevron gules and argent, two mullets and a fir tree counterchanged because not all of the charges have been substantially changed.
c. Armory that has only a primary group of identical charges, accompanied only by a secondary group of identical charges, is simple armory.
Each of the following armories is simple: Argent, a chevron between three wolf's heads erased sable; Sable bezanty, three millrinds argent; Gules, a saltire between in fess two open scrolls argent, each charged with a pen sable;Vert, three gauntlets argent within a bordure Or semy-de-lys vert; Argent, a rose azure between flaunches gules; Sable, on a hand apaumy within an orle of martlets argent, a rose gules; and Argent, a greyhound courant and on a chief azure, a fleur-de-lys between two pheons argent. Gules, a fess argent charged with three mullets azure, all between three billets argent, each charged with a lozenge azure does not conflict with Gules, a chevron argent charged with three mullets azure, all between three billets argent, each charged with a lozenge azure, since both armories are simple. However, Vert, three gauntlets argent within a bordure Or semy-de-lys sable does conflict with Vert, two mullets and a clarion argent within a bordure Or semy-de-lys sable, because the latter is not simple: its primary charges are not identical. And Argent, a chevron between three wolf's heads erased sable, a chief gules does conflict with Argent, a fess between three wolf's heads erased sable, a chief gules, because neither armory is simple: the primary charge is accompanied by two groups of secondary charges.

This new wording also adds some further clarifying examples, and is more in line with our current definitions. In particular, it's more in line with our current definition of peripheral charge. I know there's been discussion in the commentary about whether peripheral charges can be primaries, whether they're always secondaries, whether they're always separate from other groups of secondaries, and so forth; some of the arguments presented are good, but I'm not yet persuaded to change our current definition of peripheral charges. If I were to change the current definition, it would require a more thorough overhaul of the Rules --- for instance, we'd probably want to add a new category to X.4, "Addition of Peripheral Charges", analogous to the current X.4.c for overall charges --- and I'd prefer it be done after complete discussion, not as a side-issue to this update of the Difference of Primary Charge Rule.

I intend to begin implementation of the revised Rule X.2 at the October Laurel meeting. My thanks to all who participated in the discussion, and especially to Lord Palimpsest for coordinating it and synthesizing a final Rule from it. (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pp. 2-3)


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ANNULET


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A number of commenters complained about the common use of annulets on fieldless badges, comparing them to bordures on devices (and, in some comments, granting no difference from bordures). I agree that annulets are added to SCA badges for the same reason bordures are added to SCA devices: to provide a quick, easy CD that doesn't greatly change the central design. Beyond that, annulets and bordures are quite different charges: the annulet is always round, where the bordure follows the outline of the display surface. The background shows on both sides of the annulet (even a fieldless badge is usually set against some background), but only on the inside of the bordure. A design may have multiple annulets, but only one bordure. And so forth.

If someone can present evidence that the use of annulets encircling other charges is non-period design, we can discuss the issue again. But as far as conflicts are concerned, an annulet and a bordure are separate charges. (Neil Greenstone, July, 1992, pg. 14)


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[A gurges vs. five annulets one within the other] As seen from the examples in Parker (p.299), Papworth (p.1122), a set of concentric annulets is simply an alternate method of drawing a gurges or whirlpool [therefore there is not a CD between them]. (Iago al Hasan, September, 1992, pg. 39)


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The consensus of the College was that a coiled match is visually too similar to an annulet to grant a CD between the two. (Kazimir Petrovich Pomeshanov, September, 1992, pg. 40)


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[On an annulet of flame sable an annulet Or] This submission engendered considerable discussion at the Symposium; many felt that the badge was post-period in style ...The full-sized emblazon did not show an annulet "fimbriated of flame", as some commenters described it, but a ring of fire charged with a gold annulet. The question was whether an annulet of flame was an acceptable motif. Our standards regarding charges made of flame have tightened over the years, but we still accept simple cases (the base of flame being the prime example). The annulet of flame seemed simple enough to accept, on a case-by-case basis. (Barony of Wiesenfeuer, June, 1993, pg. 3)


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ARACHNID -- Scorpion


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Crayfish, like lobsters and scorpions, are tergiant by default (Eckhardt zu Westfilde, October, 1993, pg. 6)


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ARACHNID -- Spider


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The black widow spider does not appear to have been known to period Europeans. It didn't even get the name until the early 20th Century; and it appears to have been introduced into America in the late 19th Century (from China, according to the best speculations). Without evidence that the black widow spider was known to period Europeans, it may not be registered. (Novia the Widow, July, 1992, pg. 20)


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[Order of Black Widows] While I concede that the words black and widow are period words, the phrase black widow is a modern construction. As with the Artemisian Tank Corps (returned Feb 91), though the parts of the name may be period, the name as a whole is decidedly modern. In previous appeals, the submitters have made clear that the Order's name specifically referred to the black widow spider; and that's certainly how the name will be perceived. No evidence has yet been produced that the spider was known to medieval Europeans, or even to anyone prior to the 19th Century. (It didn't even get the name black widow until the early 20th Century.) Without such evidence, we will not register the creature, by name or in armory. (Kingdom of Trimaris, October, 1992, pg. 33)


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ARCHITECTURE


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There's [not a CD] for castle vs. single-arched bridge. (John Quartermain, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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[A trilithon [type of dolmen] vs. a dolmen of three uprights capped by two lintels] Just as there is no difference between a tower and a castle, there is no difference between trilithons and "pentalithons". (Fiacha Suileach, January, 1993, pg. 31)


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ARM, HAND AND GUANTLET


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[A clenched gauntlet aversant] This is probably the least identifiable posture for a hand, glove or gauntlet; it's currently acceptable for SCA use, but only barely. Such charges were normally apaumy in period. (James Falconbridge, July, 1992, pg. 1)


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[Argent, a gauntlet gules] There was some concern whether this was too reminiscent of the Red Hand of Ulster, a prohibited charge in the SCA. It turns out that the Red Hand of Ulster was used as an augmentation, not as a main charge. We would certainly return a device that used a canton argent charged with a hand gules, and perhaps even a chief argent charged with a hand gules would be too suggestive; but the use of red hands, gloves, gauntlets, etc., on white backgrounds is not, in and of itself, cause for return. (Guillaume de la Rapiere, August, 1992, pg. 4)


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[a cubit arm gauntleted vs. an arm embowed and armored] After comparing the emblazons, we really couldn't grant a difference between an armored cubit arm and an armored arm. (Deryk von Halberstadt, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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[Argent, arms proper] The arms have insufficient contrast on the argent field. Human flesh "proper" was sometimes emblazoned as argent in period tomes; and in any case, carnation (pink) cannot be seen against white. (Simona Zon d'Asolo, September, 1992, pg. 51)


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[A dexter hand fesswise reversed, palm to chief, maintaining a flame] Some commenters wondered whether the central charge could be considered a hand of glory, which isn't permitted in Society heraldry. The hand of glory is essentially a hand on fire: it's usually seen apaumy, and issuant small flames (especially at its fingers). The hand shown in this submission is simply holding a flame, and is not a hand of glory [device returned for fimbriating the flame and for unidentifiability of the hand position]. (Deirdre Colintrie, March, 1993, pg. 23)


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[A foi] The charge in chief was blazoned on the LOI as two hands conjoined in fess. This would have had two default hands --- i.e. apaumy --- rather than the clasped hands shown. According to Lord Crescent, the motif of two hands clasped has an heraldic name: a foi, used in French blazons and possibly some English canting arms (Parker 305) (Lothar Freund, July, 1993, pg. 10)


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[A sinister mailed fist aversant grasping stalks of grain] This is clear of such armories as [a gauntlet]. The stalks of wheat are conceded to be worth no difference; neither is the distinction between dexter and sinister gauntlets, or for aversant vs. not aversant. However, I have to agree that the change from the default apaumy posture (i.e. with the fingers spread) to the clenched posture is worth a CD in this case. That, with the CD for fieldlessness, brings it clear. (Dietrich Kurneck von Hammerstein, August, 1993, pg. 2)


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ARRANGEMENT


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It has been ruled that an arch of charges is not period heraldic style. The ruling was originally for an arch of stars : "Stars surrounding only part of a charge is fantasy art." [BoE, 28 Sept 84] It has since been extended to any charges "in arch". (Michaela de Romeny, October, 1992, pg. 30)


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ARROW


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Arrows fesswise have their points to sinister by default, just as arrows palewise have their points to base. (Alain ap Dafydd, July, 1992, pg. 2)


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[A Maltese star cross] This ...conflicts with [six sets of arrow fletchings in annulo, points conjoined] ...the visual similarity is too great to permit a CD to be granted. (Elgar of Stonehaven, January, 1993, pg. 23)


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The arrow was drawn with small, nigh-invisible point and fletching, which has been reason for return ere now. If he uses an arrow in his resubmission, please instruct the client to draw it with large, visible fletching and point [returned for this and also for over-complexity] (Brychen Silverfist, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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ARTISTIC LICENSE


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A few of July's returns were for incorrect emblazonry: a charge was drawn in a non-period style, or couldn't be identified from the emblazon. The College can't be too fussy about emblazonry: most of our clients aren't skilled heraldic artists. But it remains true that charges must be drawn in a period, recognizable style.

At what point, then, will a problem emblazon be returned? When do we no longer feel comfortable with a simple instruction to "Draw the X wider (or bolder, or whatever)"? Several factors contribute to the decision, but the main factor is the recognizability of the submitted emblazon. If, say, a bordure is drawn too narrow, but still recognizably a bordure, I'll blame the problem on the submitter's lack of expertise --- and tell the submitter, through her Kingdom heralds, to "draw the charge correctly". But if the charge is so badly drawn as to be unrecognizable --- worse, as to be confused with some other charge --- then the submission must be returned. The policy already exists for some cases --- e.g. a pile vs. chaussé --- and I have extended it to arrows vs. any long skinny charge in this LoAR.

Modern-style drawings have the same problem of identifiability, with the additional problem of being screamingly non-medieval. This is why we insist that a unicorn be drawn as a medieval unicorn, and why the unicornate horse is banned: not only is the latter too easily confused with the horse, it's a 20th-Century rendition. If we wish to grant the period difference between unicorn and horse, we must insist on the period rendition --- which means returning unicornate horses.

Even when the modern-style drawing is identifiable, its intrusive modernity can be reason enough for return. Trian aspect, "pinking shear" lines of division, lightning flashes (shazams) --- all are non-medieval drawing styles, and all have been grounds for return in the past. Given my druthers, I'd prefer to encourage correct emblazon style through education, not regulation --- but pragmatically, I know that regulation drives the lesson home. (It took years of returning trian-aspect emblazons before our clients stopped submitting them.)

Our touchstone is this: If it can be mistaken for some other charge, it's drawn incorrectly. If it's a flagrantly modern depiction, it's drawn incorrectly. Either of these risks a return. [For examples see others in this section plus Thomas Britton, July, 1992, pg. 18, Aaron de Hameldene, July, 1992, pg. 20, Eirik Ising Stengrim, September, 1992, pg. 38, Jacobo Parige, September, 1992, pg. 43, Urluin le Garlykemongere, October, 1992, pg. 28, and John Wolfstan, January, 1993, pg. 24] (3 August, 1992 Cover Letter (July, 1992 LoAR), pg. 4)


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Eagles have ruffled feathers, and a crest atop the head; falcons are sleekly feathered. [device reblazoned] (Dun Fugol, July, 1992, pg. 10)


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Cotises should not be as wide as the ordinary they surround; their visual weight, as secondaries, should be much less than the primary's. (Gareth of Wyke, July, 1992, pg. 12)


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Portcullises in heraldic art are generally identified by their square grillwork and their dangling chains. Omitting one of those aspects might be dismissed as artistic license; omitting both of them renders the portcullises unidentifiable, and so unregisterable. (Bronwen O'Riordan, July, 1992, pg. 18)


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Charges must be drawn in their period form (per Rule VII.3), so that they can be identified (per Rule VIII.3). This is especially true when a wrongly drawn charge can be mistaken for some other charge (Federico Arcière dal Fióre, July, 1992, pg. 18)


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Nowing of the tongue ...must be considered artistic license, as is the exact style of nowing. (Morgan Etienne ap Gwalchmai Gwynedd, August, 1992, pg. 6)


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To several commenters the [water-bougets] seemed closer to torii or the Chinese character ch'ien. They are also within the variation seen for period water-bougets, though [overruled August, 1993, pg. 21] (Mochi of the Iron Horde, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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[A fess wavy with wave drawn with amplitude ‰1/4 wavelength] The wavy line was drawn too small to be considered a period rendition. Medieval wavy lines were drawn big, bold (so much that they were sometimes misblazoned nebuly by Victorian armorists). This must be returned for redrawing. (Dervilia O'Shannon, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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[Quarterly urdy azure and vert, a bear between <charges> with ‰ 20 "waves" across each side] The urdy line of division is drawn far too small, which would be reason for return even if the portions of the field had good contrast with one another. When the field is of two colors, the line of division is even more unidentifiable; when the line has a charge overall, more unidentifiable still. This must be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Sigeferd Bjørnen, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[A pile, with ‰14 indentations on each side] The indentations on the pile are too small to be considered good medieval style. For an example of a medieval pile indented, see the arms of Sire John de Forneus, 1322 (Foster, p.91). (Cailean McArdle, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[Argent, two herons statant counter-statant in saltire, and a bordure flory azure] This is not really drawn in a period style. The ripples around the (couped) legs of the herons, and the Art Deco bordure that doesn't follow the line of the shield, combine to warrant a return for redrawing. (Ander Vargskinn, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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I hold identifiability to be the criterion for judging a submission, not necessarily the school of its style. So long as the hound is recognizably a hound, it may be drawn with suggestions of "Book of Kells" style; too many such suggestions, however, can make the hound unidentifiable, and be reason for return [device returned for unrelated reason]. (Connor Malcolm O'Maoilbhreanainn, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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[Counter-ermine] There was some debate as to whether the field should be blazoned Sable goutty d'eau inverted. However, examples have been produced showing this to be a valid depiction of ermine spots. It would probably be better, however, if the submitter could be introduced to more standard ermine stylizations. (Adnar Dionadair, October, 1992, pg. 11)


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Aspen leaves should be drawn with jagged edges ...not smooth edges. (Barony of Caerthe, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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The hounds are drawn with a strong "Book of Kells" stylization, which makes them difficult to identify; and though blazoned on the LOI as azure, they are in fact multi-colored in blue, green, red and yellow, again as in the Kells style. Motifs from period art must be used sparingly at best; if they interfere with identification, they become ipso facto non-heraldic, and reason for return. (Diarmait mac Alasdair Chaomhanaigh, October, 1992, pg. 32)


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We might excuse emblazonry problems with a note to the artist; but when all the charges of a submission must be redrawn, we have no compunction about returning it. (Osric Logan, November, 1992, pg. 15)


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The charge in chief was blazoned on the LOI as an eagle, but even allowing for beginner's artistry, we cannot call that bird an eagle: it has no crest, no hooked beak, and no ornate feathers. We have simply blazoned it as a generic bird; if the submitter wishes an eagle, he'll have to provide us with a correct emblazon. (Hereward Bannerban, December, 1992, pg. 4)


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[A sea-serpent "erect"] The sea-serpent is not drawn in a style that would allow it to be reproduced from the blazon: it isn't really erect, but muliply coiled and queue-fourchy. Although we allow a certain amount of artistic leeway, reproducibility from the blazon is a requirement. (Tyne of Lostwithiel, January, 1993, pg. 35)


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Please advise the submitter to draw the gem without its "glint" of light. The "glint" is an artistic conceit that's only found in the Pictorial Dictionary (and which I intend to remove from the next edition; too many submitters seem to think that glint is mandatory). (Ælfwynn Elswith, March, 1993, pg. 7)


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The Stafford knots were blazoned as inverted on the LOI. Having seen mundane examples of Stafford knots in both orientations --- and since we grant no difference for the orientation of most knots --- we've left the exact posture of the knots to the artist's license. (Ingrid the Crafty, May, 1993, pg. 10)


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In period, the normal depiction of a [charge] enflamed showed the charge on the field, with tiny spurts of flame issuant (and also on the field) [for full discussion, see under FLAME] (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 5)


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The cartouche was drawn in this submission with pointed ends, not the rounded ends normal for the charge. We've registered this variant form in the past, usually blazoned a cartouche with pointed ends; the technical term for the shape is mandorla, or amygdaline aureole. (Metford's Dictionary of Christian Lore and Legend) (Order of the Stella Rubra (Kingdom of Meridies), July, 1993, pg. 14)


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In heraldic art, the dove is drawn with a small tuft on its head, to promote identification. (Lisette de Ville, August, 1993, pg. 10)


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The charges on the bordure are not drawn as recognizable water-bougets. Some commenters felt they resembled torii, other described them as Chinese ideograms; but in fact they are none of the above. However, the lady submitted the charges in good faith, copying the depictions of water-bougets used in the armory of Mochi of the Iron Horde (registered Sept 92). At that time, I stated that the charges were within the acceptable variation of water-bougets found in period armorial art. Upon reviewing my sources, however, I now believe that statement to have been in error. The period water-bougets closest to this form are in the arms of Rose or Ross c.1265 (Anglo-Norman Armory I, p.68); but while the torii-like tops are the same, the bottom limbs of Rose's bougets spread out in the familiar "bag" shape which is characteristic of the charge. Without those bags, this rendition of a bouget simply doesn't hold water [as it were]. [Device pended for redrawing] (Kökejin of the Iron Horde, August, 1993, pg. 21)


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Mountains, as variants of mounts, should be emblazoned to occupy no more than the lower portion of the field. (Barony of Blackstone Mountain, September, 1993, pg. 10)


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AUGMENTATION


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Augmentations in Society armory should always be blazoned as such; the bearer has the option of displaying the armory with or without the augmentation, and conflict should be checked against both versions. (Rondallyn of Golgotha, September, 1992, pg. 26)


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[Gules, an elephant passant trumpeting, on a chief raguly argent two annulets gules, and for augmentation, in center chief an inescutcheon sable charged with an annulet Or.] We will allow augmentations to use quaternary charges in simple cases, such as this one. The blazon reflects the fact that the device may be displayed either with or without the augmentation; conflict should be checked against both forms. (Fiona Averylle of Maidenhead, October, 1992, pg. 13)


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AXE


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There was some question as to whether this serpent-entwined axe was too close to the rod of Aesclepius, a reserved charge; I decided that the prominent axe-head made it quite clearly not a rod of Aesclepius. (Olaf of Forgotten Sea, October, 1992, pg. 7)


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Lochaber axes have a defined heraldic form, characterized by a long curving haft ending in a hook (Parker 29). (Magnus Rothach, October, 1992, pg. 17)


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Berdiches ...are characterized by blades mounted at the center and bottom. (Magnus Rothach, October, 1992, pg. 17)


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BADGE -- Fieldless or Tinctureless


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The ermine spot is considered a single charge, and is acceptable for fieldless badges (Eduard Halidai, July, 1992, pg. 3)


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The heraldic heart is considered a heart, not a medium for armorial display (in the way an inescutcheon would be). [Thus it can bear a tertiary when it is the sole primary charge in a fieldless badge] (Fridrich Eisenhart, July, 1992, pg. 4)


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A couple of this month's returns (Rosario di Palermo, Thorvald Redhair) involved counting difference against tinctureless badges: badges with no defined coloration, either of the background or of the charges. Such badges are occasionally found in mundane armory (the Stafford knot being the classic example), and for a short while they were registered in the Society as well. For many years the College assumed that, because tinctureless badges had no defined tinctures, they could be displayed in any tinctures --- including party tinctures. As the 1982 Rules for Submission put it (Rule XII.8): "A fieldless badge without tinctures specified for its charges is even harder to register, as both field and tincture of charges are unavailable for obtaining the necessary points of difference." The "point of difference" for tincture was defined in Rules XIV.1 and 2 as "The tinctures and/or the partitions of the field" [XIV.1] or "charges" [XIV.2].

Even after we stopped registering tinctureless badges, the principle was retained (for fieldless badges) that unspecified coloration was granted no difference against party tinctures: "Since a fieldless badge may legitimately be displayed on a divided field, the field contributes no difference." [BoE, 20 Oct 85, p.22] The current Rules for Submission state (Rule X.4.d) that "Tinctureless armory may not count difference for tincture of charges"; and the same Rule defines "the tincture or division of any group of charges" as the same type of change, with at most 1 CD for all changes (coloration and division) to a single group. Lines of division are considered part of the tincture of a charge, as of a field; so tinctureless badges could not count difference for adding or removing lines of division on a charge.

Master Da'ud altered this policy somewhat, in his LoAR of Feb 92, p.10. SCA tinctureless badges would be treated as before; but mundane tinctureless badges would now be granted difference for lines of division on the charge. "The assumption (until proven otherwise) is that mundane badges were displayed only in solid tinctures (including the furs). It is therefore reasonable that the addition of a line of division should count for difference."

Evidence on the period display of tinctureless badges is hard to come by under the best of circumstances. Most period badges had a defined tincture (the black bull of Clarence, the red rose of Lancaster, the white swan of Bohun); many of the badges blazoned without tinctures in Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges testify to Fox-Davies' lack of knowledge, not the tincturelessness of those badges. Once a truly tinctureless badge is identified, sufficient period examples of its display must then be found to give a good indication of the limits to that display. Even combining the Laurel library with my own personal library, such examples are extremely limited.

I have nonetheless managed to find instances of tinctureless armory displayed in divided tinctures. The badge of the Lords de la Warre is A crampet (that is, the metal ferrule at the end of a scabbard), commemorating the capture of the French king at Poictiers. My edition of Legh's Accedence of Armory, 1576, was originally owned by John, Lord de la Warre; he may have been one of Legh's patrons, for the de la Warre achievement and badges are prominently mentioned in the book. Legh gives the de la Warre badge as A crampet, and his illustration of it is colored Or. The frontispiece of the book, personalized by the original owner, likewise shows the de la Warre achievement and badges --- and the crampet is Party azure and argent. The same badge, tinctureless by definition, was borne either as solid metal or party metal and color.

This usage is corroborated by examples of tinctured badges whose charges were given a line of division when depicted in a tinctureless medium. The seal of William Innes, c.1295, showed his badge of A star azure with a gyronny line of division. The seal of Philip II of France, c.1200, showed his badge of A fleur-de-lys Or with a per-pale line of division. The usage may be seen at the end of period as well, with devices: the argent fess of Austria depicted Per pale, the gules cross of the Archdiocese of Trier depicted Gyronny, and the gules saltire of the Earldom of Lennox also depicted Gyronny. There's even a case (Sir Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter) where a device that should have been party was depicted in the tinctureless medium without the line of division. Plainly, when rendering a charge in a tinctureless medium, any interior lines of division must have been considered artistic license --- and therefore worth no difference. (An excellent collection of seals may be found in Siegelkunde ("Sigillography"), by Wilhelm Ewald, 1914. Other sources for the above examples are Boutell's English Heraldry, 1902; von Volborth's Decorative Heraldry , 1908; and St.John-Hope's Heraldry for Craftsmen and Designers, 1929.)

Having different standards of conflict for SCA and mundane badges is awkward, to put it mildly. With evidence in hand that period tinctureless badges were depicted with party charges, I have decided to simplify the Rules and return to our previous policy. Henceforth, all tinctureless badges receive a CD for fieldlessness (tincturelessness), and the second necessary CD must come from some category of difference that doesn't involve tincture. As lines of division and partition are included as part of the tincture of a charge, per Rule X.4.d, they will not count for difference against tinctureless badges.

There've been some complaints about this ruling in the commentary, even before it was made --- and certainly before the complainers had heard the evidence. Apparently, there's a strong perception that the lines of a party charge are "structural", integral to the design; they are shown in an uncolored outline drawing of the badge; they separate tincture within the charge in the same way the charge's edge separates its tincture from the field's. By this interpretation, the charge's division should count for difference, even against a tinctureless badge. There's an equally valid perception, however, that a charge's division is simply part and parcel of its tincture; that between a crescent gules and a crescent per pale Or and argent is one change, not two, and that the division is a direct result of the choice of coloration; and that interior lines can be added at whim, and should not therefore count for difference. The examples cited above, and the Rules, both support the latter perception. Pending further research on this topic, that's the interpretation we'll follow. Against tinctureless armory, we will not count difference for lines of division --- either of the field, or of the charges. (10 November, 1992 Cover Letter (September, 1992 LoAR), pp. 5-6)


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Placement on the field cannot be counted against a fieldless badge. [See also Gawain Blackthorne, same letter, pg. 53] (Ariel de Courtenay, September, 1992, pg. 42)


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One can't grant difference for placement on the field against a fieldless badge. (Gawain Blackthorne, September, 1992, pg. 53)


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On a fieldless badge, charges cannot issue from the edge of the field; there is no field. (Yusuf Ja'bar al-Timbuktuwwi, October, 1992, pg. 24)


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Rule X.4.a.i is amended to read:

X.4.a.i. Fieldless Difference --- A piece of fieldless armory automatically has one clear difference from any other armory, fielded or fieldless.
Tinctureless armory and Japanese mon are considered to be fieldless for this purpose

(15 January, 1992 Cover Letter (November, 1992 LoAR), pg. 2)


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I've ...decided not to implement a comprehensive ban on fieldless badges with overall charges. I will be returning cases where the underlying charge is rendered unidentifiable, per Rule VIII.3; this will include the most egregious cases of overall charges (e.g. A pheon surmounted by a hawk's head). But this can be done as an interpretation of the current Rules, and needn't involve a new policy. In cases where identifiability is maintained --- where one of the charges is a long, slender object, and the area of intersection small --- overall charges will still be permitted in fieldless badges. [For complete discussion see under CHARGE -- Overall] (15 January, 1992 Cover Letter (November, 1992 LoAR), pg. 3)


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[A thistle purpure] was returned Feb 92 for conflict with the badge of Clan Stewart (Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges , p.146): A thistle [proper]. At the time, it was assumed that the Stewart badge was tinctureless. However, in blazoning the Scots plant badges, Fox-Davies did not account for their most common use: as sprigs actually worn on the person. This makes the Scots plant badges' coloration proper in correct usage. The original submission was therefore returned in error; [the submittor] might consider resubmitting it. (Fionna Goodburne, December, 1992, pg. 19)


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[Two straight trumpets in saltire, surmounted by another palewise, the whole ensigned of a fleur-de-lys Nourrie between two lions combattant] Some commenters suggested that, because the charges were conjoined, they formed a single group. That isn't necessarily the case: A mullet within and conjoined to an annulet has an obvious primary charge surrounded by a secondary charge. As drawn here, the lions and fleur-de-lys appear to be a separate group from the trumpets; thus, this does not appear to be a group of three dissimilar types of charge (soi-disant "slot-machine heraldry"). Whether the badge's visual confusion is now at acceptable levels is a separate issue; absent any supporting arguments, this must still be considered unacceptably complex for a fieldless badge. A more standard arrangement of charges would probably solve this. [Badge returned also for presumption, see PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION] (Norrey Acadamie of Armorie (Taliesynne Nycheymwrh yr Anyghyfannedd), December, 1992, pg. 21)


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[Two wooden staves in saltire proper surmounted by a palmer's scrip or] This is acceptable under our current standards for overall charges in fieldless badges: the underlying charges are long and skinny, and readily identifiable. (Sean ua Neill the Staffmaker, March, 1993, pg. 17)


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If a charge can be considered a medium for heraldic display, it may not bear a tertiary in a fieldless badge: such a design is interpretable as a display of arms, with the tertiary as a primary. For instance, we don't permit (fieldless) On a lozenge argent a fleur-de-lys gules: since the lozenge is a medium for heraldic display, this looks like a display of Argent, a fleur-de-lys gules. Such arms-badge confusion is reason enough for return, even if the display in question doesn't conflict. In this case, the triangle inverted must be considered such a medium, comparable to the escutcheon, lozenge, or roundel. It may be considered either an early-style shield (Neubecker's Heraldry: Sources, Symbols and Meanings, p.76), or a lance-pennon [returned for this reason and also because the armory obtained by considering the badge displayed on a triangular shield was in conflict]. (Barony of Dragonsspine, March, 1993, pg. 25)


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The College does not register crests (LoAR of 20 Sept 81), partially to avoid having to decide who may or may not be entitled to them, and partially to save ourselves work. This submission is a crest by virtue of its being set atop a torse. (A joscelyn is simply a torse with bells added. On a "joscelyn fesswise", those bells are invisible, and count for nothing.) (Faustina von Schwarzwald, March, 1993, pg. 26)


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[A feather palewise surmounted by a gryphon's head] Fieldless badges may no longer use overall charges, except in cases where the overlap area is small; this is usually restricted to long, skinny charges such as a sword (LoAR cover letter of 15 Jan 93). As drawn [the feather is a wide as the gryphon's head minus the beak and ears], the feather in this badge doesn't meet that standard. (Order of the Golden Feather (Principality of Artemisia), May, 1993, pg. 14)


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[(Fieldless) A cubit arm proper issuant from the mouth of a fish's head couped close vert, maintaining a crescent gules] This was an appeal of a return on the LoAR of Sept 92. At the time, I'd judged the three charges to be of roughly equal visual weight, and considered this a single group of three dissimilar charges (so-called "slot- machine heraldry"). Such practice is in general disallowed, per Rule VIII.1.a. The appeal provided extensive documentation, intended to support the submitted design in specific and the use of three dissimilar charges in general.

Much of the documentation did not support the concept of three dissimilar charges in a single group: while the examples did show three types of charge, they generally weren't in the same group. (E.g. the badge of Nordham, c.1525: Within a fetterlock argent garnished Or, an escutcheon azure charged with a lion's head erased argent. By our definitions, the lion's head is not of the same group as the fetterlock or escutcheon --- and it's arguable whether they're in the same group.) Others of the examples, such as the rose-thistle-trefoil badge of the United Kingdom, were post-period

At least one of the examples cited, however, exactly matched the form of this submission: the badge of the Lord Chamberlain, c.1525, A cubit arm habited bendy sinister wavy of five pieces argent and azure and issuant out of a rose gules, the hand proper grasping an arrow. Additionally, it has been noted that Rule VIII.1.a describes the ban on "slot-machine heraldry" as a guideline, not an ironclad law. Finally, re-examination of the emblazon shows the crescent to be neither unarguably one of the primary charge group nor unarguably a negligible "held" charge; one could make a case for either ruling. Added to the mort of documentation, I have no qualms in now registering the badge (Simona Zon d'Asolo, August, 1993, pg. 12)


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Fieldless badges consisting only of forms of armorial display, such as escutcheons, lozenges and delfs, are not acceptable since in use the "shield" shape does not appear to be a charge, but rather the field itself. This presents an entirely different armory for view. (Stephen Wolfe, September, 1993, pg. 25)


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BADGE -- General


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For many years now, we've permitted couples to register household badges jointly, under both their names. One member of the couple was designated the main badge-holder, and the badge's blazon appeared under his/her name in the Armorial; but the badge was cross-referenced under the name of the couple's other half. (See, for instance, Rule AP5 of the 1986 Rules for Submission.)

Two such joint household badges were considered at the July meeting. It was noted in the commentary that the current Rules (1990 vintage) don't allow for joint registration: a household name and badge are specifically "retained under the Primary Society Name of the group's designated representative." I don't think this was deliberate, but was simply an oversight during the Rules revision; certainly, we've registered joint badges since then (e.g., the badge jointly registered to Jehan le Batarde and Ygraine of Preston, on the LoAR of Feb 92, p.8).

I'd like to continue joint registration of household names and badges. My policy shall be that the first name on the submission be the main badge-holder --- who has the right to release, grant permission to conflict, etc. --- and the second name receive the cross-reference in the A&O. Moreover, to ensure that this confusion doesn't arise again, I propose to change the Section in the Administrative Handbook, Registerable Items: B.3, Household Names, to read:

"By convention, this designation is applied to the name of a group other than a Society branch or order, such as a household, guild, group fighting unit, etc. Such names may be registered either by an individual or by a Society branch, and armory may be associated with such names. In the case of a household registered by an individual, records dealing with the group's name or armory will be retained under the Primary Society Name of the group's designated representative; when the household is jointly registered by a couple, a cross-reference shall also be listed under the Primary Society Name of the other member of the couple."

The rest of the paragraph shall remain unchanged; and paragraphs D.3 and E.1 of the same Section shall be amended to refer to paragraph B.3, to include joint registration of fielded and fieldless badges as well as names. (3 August, 1992 Cover Letter (July, 1992 LoAR), pg. 2)


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While the current Rules and Administrative Guidelines do not explicitly permit a household to have multiple badges, neither do they explicitly prohibit it. After some thought, I've decided there's no reason a household shouldn't have as many badges as the Rules allow. Certainly, houses in period could have more than one badge --- a Scots clan, for instance, could have a crest-badge and a plant-badge. Our only restriction is that one person be the primary owner for all the household's badges --- which effectively limits the number of badges per household. (Yseult de Cherbourg, September, 1992, pg. 28)


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The household name and badge were twice submitted on the LOI: once under [the submitter's] name, and once under the name of [another submitter]. Per our current policy on joint badge registration (LoAR cover letter of 3 Aug 92), one of these gentles must be designated the primary badge-holder. [Name and badge attached to other name and returned for unrelated reasons]. (Ursus Imminere (Jane Falada of Englewood), October, 1992, pg. 28)


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There have recently been some questions about Society branches registering badges to generic names: e.g. a badge for the Stonemarche Scribes' Guild, or for the Keeper of the Regalia of the Principality of the Sun. How are such generic names protected? Why do we register them?

To my mind, these are not names, not in the same style as Order names, household names, heraldic titles, and the like. A better term might be "job-description:" a simple declaration of the intended use of the badge. As such, we haven't held these to the same standards of conflict as other group names: for instance, both Caid and An Tir have badges registered to the Office of the Lists, without any infringement. If every branch officer who may can register a badge, then no one Kingdom may claim sole use of the name of the office; otherwise, only the West could have a Constable. By extension, the same holds true for other branch functions: Baronial Guard, King's Champion, Brewers' Guild, etc. So long as the badge is associated with a purely functional name, it's neither checked for conflict during submission or protected from conflict afterwards.

The key is for the name to be unarguably generic. Lyondemere Baronial Guard is functional, generic, and thus not held to conflict standards. The Lyondemere Levy, a deliberately alliterative name, is not generic, and must meet the normal name submission standards; once registered, it is then protected equally with Order names. (Notice that there are no generic Order names.) Generic names may only be registered by SCA branches, for common branch functions; but such generic names need not be checked for conflict, any more than the names of officers. (28 March, 1993 Cover Letter (January, 1993 LoAR), pg. 2)


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[A pheon inverted] Possible conflict was cited against the English Royal badge, (tinctureless) A broadarrow. Lord Lion's Blood has noted instances of the badge's use (e.g. the seal of the Royal Butlery, c.1330) where the broadarrow is inverted, and suggests that this is its defined orientation. Other (post-period) uses of the broadarrow show the charge in a variety of orientations: e.g., the clothing used by British prisoners until 1920 was marked with broadarrows --- essentially semy --- in random orientations. However, while the badge might be rotated in use, its default posture would be that of the charge itself, which would be point to base in English usage. (A close examination of the illustration of the Royal Butlery seal [Coat of Arms, July 56, p.93] suggests that it was printed upside down: the Latin inscription around the seal, which starts at its bottom, is depicted at the tope of the drawing.) Pending more definitive evidence, we will assume that the badge uses the charge in its default posture. Against this submission, we thus count a CD for fieldlessness (tincturelessness), and a CD for posture. (Eric Ward of Winchester, August, 1993, pg. 1)


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There's nothing to prevent an Order from having more than one badge; the Order of the Garter has multiple badges, and so does the SCA's Order of the Rose. (Barony of Caerthe, October, 1993, pg. 18)


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BEACON and BRAZIER


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There is a CD (at least) between a brazier and a beacon (Anastazia Winogrodzka, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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BEAST -- Antelope


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[An antelope vs. an ibex] According to Franklyn & Tanner (Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry, p. 179), "the heraldic ibex is indistinguishable from the heraldic antelope and may even be merely an alternative term." [Thus there is not a CD between them] (Alaric Liutpold von Steinman, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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[An antelope vs. a deer] I would grant a CD between a correctly drawn antelope and a deer; the two charges were distinct in period armory (unlike, say, the heraldic dolphin and the bottlenosed dolphin, between which we grant no difference). [Device returned for different conflict] (Alaric Liutpold von Steinman, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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The pronghorn antelope lives in the western United States; we have no evidence that it was known to period Europeans. Without such evidence, we cannot register the beast, or his attire. (Eoghan O'Neill, January, 1993, pg. 23)


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BEAST -- Bear


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[A bear sejant erect vs. a bear rampant or a bear erect] In each case, there's [not a CD] for the posture of the bear. (Henry of Three Needles, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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BEAST -- Boar


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[Boar's heads colored brown] Unfortunately, [this tincture is] unblazonable: they aren't proper, for boars in nature are dark-grey to black in color. Nor does there seem to be such a thing as a brown boar that could be rendered in this coloring. With no way to blazon the tincture of the heads, this must be returned. (Nils Rixon, October, 1992, pg. 27)


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BEAST -- Camel


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We agree there's a CD between a camel and an ypotril. (Guthfrith Yrlingsson, July, 1992, pg. 12)


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BEAST -- Cat, Lion and Tiger


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Tabby cats have no defined proper coloration. The Simon & Schuster Guide to Cats cites several different tinctures of tabby cat: silver tabby, cream tabby, blue tabby, brown tabby, and red tabby, among others. Without a fixed coloration, it cannot be blazoned "proper." (Bronwyn ferch Gwyn ap Rhys, July, 1992, pg. 9)


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The lion of St. Mark is characterized by a halo, as well as wings; it is usually, but not invariably, also shown with a book. (Vinycombe, Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art, with special reference to their use in British heraldry, 1906, pp.53-55.) (Anastasia dello Scudo Rosso, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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The catamount proper is effectively Or (Roland de Mounteney, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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[A Bengal tiger vs. a catamount] The tiger's marking is worth no heraldic difference (Roland de Mounteney, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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[An ounce rampant Or spotted of diverse tinctures] The creature is not a panther, as blazoned on the LOI (for it isn't incensed of flame), but an ounce or maneless lion. As such, it gets no difference from a standard lion; and its spots here count for no more than the spots on any other spotted cat (e.g. a natural leopard). If she resubmits with a genuine panther, charged with large roundels --- better yet, with a Continental panther --- it should [be a CD from a lion]. (Alysandria of the Fosse Way, March, 1993, pg. 22)


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While the English default for panthers is guardant, the German default is not. As it's easier to specify guardant than not-guardant (facing forwards, whatever), the SCA has not adopted the English default. (Russell Jervis, September, 1993, pg. 4)


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[A lion Or vs. a Bengal tiger Or marked sable] There is no heraldic difference between a lion and a Bengal tiger, and no difference for the markings on the tiger. (Isabeau Celeste de la Valliére, October, 1993, pg. 18)


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BEAST -- Deer


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The moose of North America is the same beast as the elk of Europe (Alces malchis). The OED dates the term moose to 1613, within our 50-year "grey area" for documentation; so either term is acceptable in SCA blazonry. (Randulf von Gelnhausen, September, 1992, pg. 26)


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[An antelope vs. an ibex] According to Franklyn & Tanner ( Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry, p. 179), "the heraldic ibex is indistinguishable from the heraldic antelope and may even be merely an alternative term." [Thus there is not a CD between them] (Alaric Liutpold von Steinman, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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[An antelope vs. a deer] I would grant a CD between a correctly drawn antelope and a deer; the two charges were distinct in period armory (unlike, say, the heraldic dolphin and the bottlenosed dolphin, between which we grant no difference). [Device returned for different conflict] (Alaric Liutpold von Steinman, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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The adult male moose is darker in coloration than most cervids; its coat is almost black, and its antlers dark brown. (Harper & Row's Complete Field Guide to North American Wildlife, plate 63) The latter thus have sufficient contrast with this [ermine] field. (Erik Norton of Helsfjord, November, 1992, pg. 4)


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BEAST -- Demi


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[Per bend sinister, a demi-panther guardant and a demi-panther inverted guardant, both issuant from the line of division] The style of this device has been registered before (Dairine Mor Ó hUigin, April 89). Similar designs are found in late-period German armory, as in the arms of Burgkmair, 1516 (Per bend sinister Or and sable, the line in the form of two bear's heads interlocked, the one in base inverted); see von Volborth's Art of Heraldry, p.55. So long as there are no other complexities (e.g. other charges), the motif is acceptable for Society use. (Michael David of Aran Island, September, 1992, pg. 29)


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BEAST -- Dog, Fox, and Wolf


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The main difference between a wolf and an enfield is in the front legs; when one of the beasts is holding a charge with those legs, it becomes impossible to tell the two creatures apart. We cannot give a second CD for type of primary here. (Briana ni Óda, July, 1992, pg. 17)


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The Great Dane is a period breed of dog, according to Mistress Ammalynne's monograph in the Meridean Symposium Proceedings, 1982. (Kristoff McLain Cameron, August, 1992, pg. 5)


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Period devices did not generally blazon an exact breed of dog; they tended lateto be more generic (talbot, mastiff, alaunt, etc.). (Kristoff McLain Cameron, August, 1992, pg. 5)


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As a breed, Welsh corgies date back to the 12th Century, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. (Rosalynde y Corgwyn, January, 1993, pg. 21)


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In general, period armory did not specify the type of dog used as charges, preferring to blazon them more generically (talbot, leveret, etc.). It's considered poor style in SCA armory, but permitted for known period breeds. (Tassine de Bretagne, January, 1993, pg. 29)


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The bouvier de Flandres does not seem to be a period breed of dog. According to Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs, #43, "There is no real agreement concerning the origin of this Franco-Belgian breed. Probably it was formed by crossing the griffon and the Beauceron..."; the griffon and Beauceron breeds, in turn, were developed in the 19th and 18th Centuries respectively. (Jean Philippe des Bouviers Noirs, August, 1993, pg. 18)


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To the best of our knowledge, period blazons did not specify an exact breed of dog; at best, they would describe a dog by its general characteristics (levrier) or for a cant (talbot). The SCA does permit known period breeds to be specified in blazon, but I consider the practice an anomaly or "weirdness"; another anomaly in the design ...might itself be sufficient grounds for return. (Jean Philippe des Bouviers Noirs, August, 1993, pg. 18)


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BEAST -- Horse


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There is at least a CD between a horse and a correctly drawn (i.e. medieval) unicorn (William Palfrey, September, 1992, pg. 14)


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Lord Crescent is correct in noting that the same rationale banning unicornate horses should also ban hornless unicorns [horses with lion's tail, cloven hooves and a beard]. In either case, the distinction between genuine horses and honest unicorns is blurred; if we wish to grant period difference between these charges, we must insist on period emblazons. (Parthalán MacPhail, August, 1993, pg. 16)


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BEAST -- Rabbit


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Hares, rabbits and coneys are sejant by default (Parker 306). (Donata Ivanovna Basistova, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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BEAST -- Rodent


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We have no evidence that the gopher was known to period Europeans: the OED, for instance, dates gopher in this context only to 1818. (There's also the Biblical gopher-wood, but that doesn't apply to this submission.) Since the gopher is a rodent from the North American plains, we can't automatically assume that it was known to period Europeans; we need some hard evidence before we can accept the charge. (Gerrich de la Foy, March, 1993, pg. 23)


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We have no evidence that chipmunks were known to period Europeans: the OED's first citation of the word is dated 1842 [device registered as problem was not noted in previous return]. (Anne de Silva, July, 1993, pg. 4)


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Hamsters were known in period: the OED cites the use of the term in 1602, well within our 50-year "grey area" of documentation. (Ammyra of House Mouse, October, 1993, pg. 8)


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BEAST -- Sheep


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[A musimon sable] The charge ...was submitted as a Jacob ram, a breed of sheep noted for its piebald coloration and double horns. (The name comes from a story in Genesis, chapter 30, where Jacob indulged in a remarkable feat of early genetic engineering.) Unfortunately, the breed dates only to the 18th Century; and since a Jacob's sheep is piebald by definition, it loses its distinctiveness when made a solid tincture, as here.

We've reblazoned this as the heraldic monster known as the musimon, defined to be a cross between a ram and a goat, with the horns of both. It is described in Guillim's


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As a rule, baby animals are not used in SCA heraldry: they're visually indistinguishable from adult animals, and period examples of their use are rare. Lambs appear to be an exception: not only is the Paschal lamb often found in period armory, but lambs were used for canting purposes (e.g. the arms of Lambert --- or the current submission). (Agnes Margaret de Grinstead, October, 1992, pg. 12)


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BEAST -- Urchin


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The urchin proper is...brown, with a white face and belly (Mairghread of Ryvel, August, 1992, pg. 16)


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BEAST -- Weasel


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[A ferret vs. an otter] There's ...nothing for [type of beast]. (Stevyn Gaoler, September, 1992, pg. 42)


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[A ferret statant erect vs. a mink rampant] There's nothing for ...posture. (Nadya Gornastaevna Chorkova, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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BELL


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We're willing to grant a CD between a bezant and a hawk's bell, although perhaps not Complete Difference of Charge. (Meurisse de Blois, January, 1993, pg. 20)


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BEND


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Neither the period discussions of Per bend bevilled nor an extrapolation from a bend bevilled would support the emblazon shown here; nor can it be accurately blazoned without resorting to barbarisms such as Per bend sinister bevilled fesswise. I'd be willing to accept Per bend (sinister) bevilled, as being one logical step from period evidence --- if drawn in a correct manner, with the middle "zag" palewise. The form shown here is two steps removed from the evidence, which is correspondingly harder to swallow. Given evidence that such bevilled fields were never used with charges, the whole becomes unacceptable. (Radulfr Arnason, August, 1992, pg. 25)


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The College's ban on the international "no" symbol (a bend and bordure gules in combination) only applies when the combination is actually used as a "no" symbol: surmounting the symbol of whatever's being forbidden. The bend-bordure combination is not banned when there is no underlying charge. In this case [Vairy, a bend and a bordure gules], since vair isn't a charge, we find no stylistic problems here [device returned for conflict]. (Chryse Raptes, January, 1993, pg. 32)


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BEND SINISTER


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[a <charges> and in sinister chief three bendlets] The device is excessivly imbalanced, which is not period heraldic style. A similar device (Penelope of the Quill, Vert, a quill pen bendwise and three bendlets enhanced Or) was returned Jan 92 for the same reason. [See also Keridwen of Caermarthen, same letter, pg. 53 (and below); the lowest bendlet in both cases issues from the center of the chief] (Brendan Hugh Guarin, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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[a bend sinister bevilled between in pale a skull and a skull inverted] The bend sinister in the device is not correctly drawn: it does not issue from the sinister chief, as the ordinary should, nor is it correctly bevilled [the two pieces of the bend sinister significantly overlap] (see the LoAR cover letter of 18 Sept 92 for a complete discussion on bevilling). Combined with the inversion of the lower skull, the whole device is unacceptably poor style. (Juan Sanchez Ramirez, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[Three <charges> and three bendlets enhanced] The device is excessively imbalanced, which is not period heraldic style. A similar device (Penelope of the Quill, Vert, a quill pen bendwise and three bendlets enhanced Or) was returned Jan 92 for the same reason. [The submitter] might try putting another set of bendlets in sinister base to balance the design. [The lowest bendlet ussued from center chief] (Keridwen of Caermarthen, September, 1992, pg. 53)


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BILLET


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The billet is one of the charges used for armorial display, and thus (per Rule XI.4) may not be charged with more than one tertiary. This is especially true for fieldless badges, where such charged billets look like displays of independent armory. (See also the LoAR of 8 June 86, p.7.) (Tostig Logiosophia, September, 1992, pg. 42)


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BIRD -- CHICKEN


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The term dunghill cock means simply "rooster"; Parker, p.120, attests to its use in blazon. While dunghill may seem to be an unnecessary modifier, it is no more a problem than the modifiers in the terms domestic cat or sewing needle; it distinguishes the barnyard fowl from the moorcock and peacock; and it helps avoid some of the modern connotations of the unmodified term cock. (Artorius Conchobhar, June, 1993, pg. 4)


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BIRD -- Crow


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The Cornish chough proper is black with red beak and feet; like a sword proper, it's a shorthand description of heraldic tinctures, not a complex Linnaean depiction. (George of Mousehole, October, 1992, pg. 1)


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BIRD -- Dodo


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We can see granting a CD between a dodo and a parrot. (Brian of Leichester, January, 1993, pg. 10)


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BIRD -- Dove


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[An eagle close vs. a dove close] Prior Laurel precedent (LoAR of Nov 90, p.16) has granted no difference for bird type, when the birds are in identical postures. In this case, when the eagle isn't displayed, it loses most of the traits that let it be identified as an eagle. Almost the only such trait visible on an eagle close is its head crest --- and the heraldic dove has one, too. (Cecilia MacInnes, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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In heraldic art, the dove is drawn with a small tuft on its head, to promote identification. (Lisette de Ville, August, 1993, pg. 10)


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BIRD -- Duck, Goose, or Swan


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[Argent, a swan displayed sable] Against the ...possible conflicts cited (Argent, [some type of bird] displayed sable, etc.), I'd grant a CD between a swan and the birds in question. (Sveyn Egilsson, November, 1992, pg. 3)


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The heraldic swan is rousant by default. (Estrella de La Trinite, March, 1993, pg. 11)


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There is a CD ...for the difference between a goose and a swallow (though not between a goose and a generic bird). (Brighid of Lindisfarne, September, 1993, pg. 16)


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BIRD -- Eagle and Falcon


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[An eagle close vs. a dove close] Prior Laurel precedent (LoAR of Nov 90, p.16) has granted no difference for bird type, when the birds are in identical postures. In this case, when the eagle isn't displayed, it loses most of the traits that let it be identified as an eagle. Almost the only such trait visible on an eagle close is its head crest --- and the heraldic dove has one, too. (Cecilia MacInnes, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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[An eagle displayed vs. owl displayed] The owl and the eagle are both raptors, and the main difference between them --- the head posture --- is specifically worth no CDs per Rule X.4.h. [See also Keja Tselebnik, May, 1993, pp. 16-17 below] (Cecilia MacInnes, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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The charge in chief was blazoned on the LOI as an eagle, but even allowing for beginner's artistry, we cannot call that bird an eagle: it has no crest, no hooked beak, and no ornate feathers. We have simply blazoned it as a generic bird; if the submitter wishes an eagle, he'll have to provide us with a correct emblazon. (Hereward Bannerban, December, 1992, pg. 4)


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[An owl displayed vs. an eagle displayed] [There is not a CD] for type of raptor in similar postures. (Keja Tselebnik, March, 1993, pg. 24)


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[A two-headed double-queued eagle-winged wyvern displayed vs. a double headed eagle displayed] The changes to the wyvern (notably, the use of eagle's wings) prevent finding difference between the primary charges. (Alex of Kintail, May, 1993, pp. 16-17)


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[In pale a bird migrant and a <charge>] This conflicts with [An eagle displayed]. There's a CD for the charge in base. There's no heraldic difference between displayed and migrant. That leaves only the possible difference between an eagle and a generic bird. After some thought, we decided we couldn't grant a CD between a generic bird and any specific type of bird. (Rowena MacDonald, June, 1993, pp. 19-20)


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[An owl affronty vs. an eagle displayed] There's a CD for the change in the bird's posture, but nothing for its type: eagles and owls are both raptors, and the main heraldic difference --- the head posture --- is specifically worth no difference under the Rules (as well as having been subsumed into the rest of the posture change). (Stanwulf the Stern, August, 1993, pg. 17)


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Note: the fact that [the harpy or frauenadler] were considered distinct charges in period allows us to grant a CD against eagles. (Barony of Red Spears, September, 1993, pg. 25)


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Recall that falcons default to the close position, both mundanely and in the SCA. (Jamie Amalthea Rowan, October, 1993, pg. 4)


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BIRD -- Hummingbird


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Hummingbirds are a New World species, but they appear to have been known to period Europeans. The OED cites the first use of the English word to 1637, within our fifty-year "grey zone" for documentation, and I suspect the Spaniards or Portuguese were familiar with the bird even earlier. (Caitriona Keavy ni Ainle, September, 1992, pg. 4)


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BIRD -- Misc


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[A "firebird"] The ...charge does not appear to be a valid period usage. It is not a Russian firebird; that is essentially a variant of peacock, is found in period art, and has been accepted for SCA use. As drawn here, the bird is composed of flame, which is unattested in either period art or period armory. Since it is so easily confused with either a bird or a flame, I must rule this "firebird" unacceptable, pending solid evidence of itsperiod use [returned also for conflict] (Katharina von der Waldwiese, December, 1992, pg. 18)


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[In pale a bird migrant and a <charge>] This conflicts with [An eagle displayed]. There's a CD for the charge in base. There's no heraldic difference between displayed and migrant. That leaves only the possible difference between an eagle and a generic bird. After some thought, we decided we couldn't grant a CD between a generic bird and any specific type of bird.

Against [A falcon rising, wings expanded], we would grant a CD between migrant and rising, wings displayed [expanded]. (Rowena MacDonald, June, 1993, pp. 19-20)


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There is a CD ...for the difference between a goose and a swallow (though not between a goose and a generic bird). (Brighid of Lindisfarne, September, 1993, pg. 16)


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[Falcons rising displayed, each with the dexter wing inverted] A similar wing posture is found in the arms of the English College of Arms: Argent, a cross gules between four doves, each with the dexter wing displayed and inverted azure. (Oxford Guide to Heraldry , plate 4). (Dunecan Falkenar de la Leie, October, 1993, pg. 6)


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BIRD -- Owl


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[An owl affronty guardant vs. an owl statant guardant] The "blobbiness" of the owl's body, and the fact that the owl is guardant in all cases, leads me to conclude that there is no visual difference for turning the owl's body affronty. [See also Gundric Fawkes, October 1992 LoAR, pg. 29] (Stanwulf the Stern, August, 1992, pg. 26)


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The owl was submitted as a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) --- which, as the Latin implies, is a North American species. With no evidence that it was known to period Europeans, we have substituted the eagle owl (Bubo bubo), known through most of Western Europe; it has the same tufts of feathers on the head, and much the same brown coloration. (Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe, pp.165, 194) (Laurencia the Fletcher, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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[An eagle displayed vs. owl displayed] The owl and the eagle are both raptors, and the main difference between them --- the head posture --- is specifically worth no CDs per Rule X.4.h. [See also Keja Tselebnik, May, 1993, pp. 16-17, below] (Cecilia MacInnes, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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The owls were blazoned on the LOI as brown owls ...proper, but no such type of owl exists. The submitter insisted on having owls as drawn on her submission forms (brown, without spots or streaks, and without ear tufts), while we insisted on a species of owl known to period Europeans. The tawny owl (Strix aluco) meets all these requirements, according to Cerny's Field Guide to Birds, pp.140-141. (Danielis Pyrsokomos, January, 1993, pg. 17)


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[An owl displayed vs. an eagle displayed] [There is not a CD] for type of raptor in similar postures. (Keja Tselebnik, March, 1993, pg. 24)


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[An owl affronty vs. an eagle displayed] There's a CD for the change in the bird's posture, but nothing for its type: eagles and owls are both raptors, and the main heraldic difference --- the head posture --- is specifically worth no difference under the Rules (as well as having been subsumed into the rest of the posture change). (Stanwulf the Stern, August, 1993, pg. 17)


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Note that in heraldry, the owl is guardant by default, even when the rest of the posture is blazoned. (Deborah of Gryphon's Lair, October, 1993, pg. 2)


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BIRD -- Parrot and Popinjay


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A popinjay proper is green with red details; it's a shorthand term for heraldic tinctures, not a Linnaean proper. Moreover, unlike many such terms, popinjays proper are period. (Aeruin ní hEaráin ó Chonemara, October, 1992, pg. 10)


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We can see granting a CD between a dodo and a parrot. (Brian of Leichester, January, 1993, pg. 10)


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BIRD -- Peacock


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Peacocks proper have green bodies. (Fernando Juan Carlos Remesal, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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The Russian firebird is a creature of Eastern European folklore, represented in art from the late 16th and early 17th Centuries. Heraldically, it is indistinguishable from a peacock. (Krzysia Wanda Kazimirova, August, 1993, pg. 6)


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There [is] little difference between a peacock proper and a peacock azure [i.e., not a CD]. (Caitlyn Emrys, September, 1993, pg. 20)


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BIRD -- Pheasant


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[Two pheasants vert] The pheasants had been previously registered as ring-necked pheasants. Since there's no way to tell the breed of pheasant when solidly tinctured vert, and since the ring-tailed [-necked? mjh] pheasant appears to be a 19th Century import from China, we decided to remove the problem from the blazon. These are simply pheasants, and we'll leave the exact ornithological details to the artist. (Wilhelmina Brant, December, 1992, pg. 13)


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The ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus torquatus) appears to be a 19th Century import from China, according to the 1911 E.Brit. , vol.XXI, p.361. This wasn't noticed for her original submission, probably because the birds were heraldically tinctured; they could as easily have been any kind of pheasant, and indeed we've amended her current blazon accordingly. But when tinctured proper, the problem of compatibility can no longer be ignored; we would need evidence that this breed of pheasant was known to period Europeans before we could register it. (Wilhelmina Brant, December, 1992, pg. 20)


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BIRD -- Swallow


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There is a CD ...for the difference between a goose and a swallow (though not between a goose and a generic bird). (Brighid of Lindisfarne, September, 1993, pg. 16)


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BLAZON


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The blazonry term sustaining is used when an animate charge (e.g. a lion) is holding another charge of comparable size. The term supporting could be used as well, but sustaining has this virtue: it's a known period term, used in the arms of Winstone, Per pale gules and azure, a lion rampant argent sustaining a tree eradicated vert. The coat is found as the second quartering of Sir William Cecil (b.1520), Queen Elizabeth's main counsellor. (Bossewell's Workes of Armorie, 1572, fo.107; Wagner's Historic Heraldry of Britain, p.67.)

Either sustaining or supporting will be used when a "held" charge is of comparable size to the beast holding it; maintaining will continue to be used when the held charge is of negligible heraldic difference. (Brayden Avenel Durrant, July, 1992, pg. 6)


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[A commenter] has suggested countercolored to describe a charge counterchanged in tinctures other than the field's. I have never seen that term actually used in blazon; whereas in Scots heraldry, it is perfectly correct to say, e.g. Per pale X and Y, a mullet counterchanged W and Z. This style of blazon is fine. ( Franklyn & Tanner, p.90) (Rosamund d'Alewareton, July, 1992, pg. 8)


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When in combination with a stringed musical instrument, bow is understood to mean a musical bow (Rebekah of Hillsview, July, 1992, pg. 15)


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Period devices did not generally blazon an exact breed of dog; they tended lateto be more generic (talbot, mastiff, alaunt, etc.). (Kristoff McLain Cameron, August, 1992, pg. 5)


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[Lozengy vert and argent, three ships sable] Possible conflict was cited against the armory of the town of Wexford; Papworth (p.1092) blazons it as Three three-masted ships two and one, without the ellipses he normally uses to indicate unknown tinctures. However, the current arms of Wexford have an argent field and proper ships, according to Lord Crescent (who cites Louda's European Civic Coats of Arms). The citation in Papworth would appear to have been taken from a tinctureless depiction of those arms, a seal or church carving. Under the circumstances, we're willing to grant the submitter the benefit of the doubt here. (Eskil Eskilsson Örn, August, 1992, pg. 15)


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Cornucopiae, by definition, are horns of plenty; an empty cornucopia is an oxymoron. (Giovanna di Piacensa, August, 1992, pg. 20)


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Estencely is the Norman French term for what is also blazoned "semy of sparks". Either term is correct. (Meliora of Snowshill, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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The moose of North America is the same beast as the elk of Europe (Alces malchis). The OED dates the term moose to 1613, within our 50-year "grey area" for documentation; so either term is acceptable in SCA blazonry. (Randulf von Gelnhausen, September, 1992, pg. 26)


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Augmentations in Society armory should always be blazoned as such; the bearer has the option of displaying the armory with or without the augmentation, and conflict should be checked against both versions. (Rondallyn of Golgotha, September, 1992, pg. 26)


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When Papworth's blazons contain ellipses [...], we assume that he simply didn't know the exact tinctures -- and in cases of possible conflict, we give the submitter the benefit of the doubt...

For the record, we'll probably extend our policy to Chesshyre & Woodcock's Dictionary of British Arms (the so-called "New Papworth"); since that work explicitly contains only devices, not badges, we can assume that a blazon with no tinctures listed shows a lack of knowledge (or perhaps the overzealousness of the compilers), not tinctureless armory. (Helena Gereman, October, 1992, pg. 9)


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Lochaber axes have a defined heraldic form, characterized by a long curving haft ending in a hook (Parker 29). (Magnus Rothach, October, 1992, pg. 17)


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Lord Crux Australis has advocated renaming the mullet of four points (elongated to base or not) as a cross estoile. The cross estoile is indeed an heraldic charge, found in the arms of van Toulon, of Utrecht; but the earliest citation I've found for it is 19th Century. (I note that Rietstap, who cites van Toulon as his exemplar for the charge, blazons it une croix étoilée (étoile à quatre rais) --- that is, even he gives mullet of four points as an alternate blazon for the charge!) Without evidence that the charge is period, I'm reluctant to start using its Victorian name --- particularly when our current usage is equally good (or bad). (Egill Gunnbjarnarson, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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A hulk is a boat's hull, without sails, mast, or oars (Franklyn & Tanner 179). (Anastasia Germain, October, 1992, pg. 31)


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[Purpure, three palets Or, overall two flaunches] We were tempted to blazon this as Paly purpure and Or, two flaunches That's the visual effect of the traits' regular widths and the overall charges. There are instances of period arms blazoned and emblazoned, interchangeably, as paly and three palets: cf. the armory of Valoines found in Foster, p.196. Certainly, we grant no heraldic difference between the two renditions. The above blazon does more accurately describe the submitted emblazon, however. (Eleonora Vittoria Alberti di Calabria, December, 1992, pg. 8)


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When a human figure's vesting is not part of its definition (e.g. the savage, the Saracen), the vesting or lack of same is normally blazoned. (Austrechild von Mondsee, December, 1992, pg. 11)


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[Two pheasants vert] The pheasants had been previously registered as ring-necked pheasants. Since there's no way to tell the breed of pheasant when solidly tinctured vert, and since the ring-tailed [-necked? mjh] pheasant appears to be a 19th Century import from China, we decided to remove the problem from the blazon. These are simply pheasants, and we'll leave the exact ornithological details to the artist. (Wilhelmina Brant, December, 1992, pg. 13)


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A "rolag" is the tuft of fibres waiting to be spun into yarn. While the term is found in the Supplement to the OED , I decided it was sufficiently obscure that, barring cants or other compelling reasons, it should not be used in blazon. We've simply called the tuft a tuft. (Maryam al-Baghdadi, January, 1993, pg. 2)


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The owls were blazoned on the LOI as snowy owls argent marked sable, which is excessive precision in medieval blazon: the black spots were so small as to be heraldically negligible, and the exact type of owl here makes no difference. (It's the same distinction as that between bear argent and polar bear proper: the tinctures are identical, and the slight change in shape well within artistic license.) [owls registered as owls argent] (Beorhtric von Adlerheim, January, 1993, pg. 10)


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In general, period armory did not specify the type of dog used as charges, preferring to blazon them more generically (talbot, leveret, etc.). It's considered poor style in SCA armory, but permitted for known period breeds. (Tassine de Bretagne, January, 1993, pg. 29)


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Drawer-handles are found in Japanese Design Motifs (compiled by the Matsuya Piece-Goods Store) and Dower's Elements of Japanese Design; but neither of these works describe actual Mon, but simply designs suitable for Mon. Dower's book, however, notes the origin of the charge: kan (handles) seem to be an artistic variant of the mokko, a slice of segmented melon. Hawley's Mon, p.18, gives several examples of actual use under that blazon. We don't object, in this case, to using a modern term for a period charge, and it does make the blazon more readily renderable. (Kimura Tetsuo, March, 1993, pg. 1)


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The charge in base was submitted as a sea-turtle; but that term in heraldry would refer to a fish-tailed demi-turtle, not the natural sea-turtle. Since there's no heraldic difference between a natural sea-turtle and a regular turtle, we've used the latter term. (Alexander Michael Connor O'Malley, March, 1993, pg. 1)


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The charge ...was blazoned as a morningstar, for canting purposes. We will make great allowances in a blazon for the sake of a cant, but nonetheless insist that they be correct. In this case, the charge is neither the morningstar as defined in Stone's Glossary of Arms and Armor (which we'd call a spiked mace in the SCA) nor the morningstar as defined in SCA armory (which is the submitted charge with a long wooden handle attached --- essentially a spiky flail). If the submitter wishes to keep her cant, she'll have to resubmit with one of the above types of morningstar [reblazoned as a spiked ball and chain]. (Linnet Morningstar, March, 1993, pg. 2)


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[A cat-a-mountain couchant guardant, tail "reflexed to base"] The submitter wishes her device's blazon to specify the exact placement of the cat's tail. (She's also added the tincture of the eyes, which isn't in the current blazon, registered 31 Oct 82.) While I sympathize with the submitter's wish to have her emblazon rendered as she prefers, this can't be done at the expense of correct blazonry. The posture of the tail is heraldically insignificant; moreover, the proposed reblazon doesn't use standard heraldic terms. Reflexed to base is not to be found in Franklyn & Tanner, Woodward, or any of our normal texts; nor is it found in the OED. As Lord Crescent noted, it seems pointless to "clarify" a blazon with an ambiguous phrase. This seems to be a problem more easily solved by communication with the artists than by torturous reblazon. (Leah Kasmira of Natterhelm, March, 1993, pg. 26)


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The Stafford knots were blazoned as inverted on the LOI. Having seen mundane examples of Stafford knots in both orientations --- and since we grant no difference for the orientation of most knots --- we've left the exact posture of the knots to the artist's license. (Ingrid the Crafty, May, 1993, pg. 10)


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The charge ...was blazoned a yin-yang on the LOI, at the submitter's insistence. The term does not appear to be correct. Yin-yang is the Chinese philosophy of opposing cosmic forces; the motif in this submission is a yin-yang symbol, according to the OED Supplement. (The submitter's own documentation refers to the motif as a "yang-yin disc".) The OED Supplement also gives t'ai chi as the name for this fusion of forces, the Supreme Ultimate --- but also as the name for the symbol of that concept. (The martial art characterized as "low- impact aerobics" on the LOI is properly called t'ai chi ch'uan.) The term t'ai-chi is correct for the motif; it's been used in previous SCA blazons; so long as we register the symbol, we will continue to so blazon it. (Randwulf the Hermit, June, 1993, pg. 2)


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According to Franklyn & Tanner, a maiden in her modesty is nude, with one arm flexed across and covering the breasts. (Taliesin O Sionnaigh o Pholl na tSionnaigh, June, 1993, pg. 2)


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The term dunghill cock means simply "rooster"; Parker, p.120, attests to its use in blazon. While dunghill may seem to be an unnecessary modifier, it is no more a problem than the modifiers in the terms domestic cat or sewing needle; it distinguishes the barnyard fowl from the moorcock and peacock; and it helps avoid some of the modern connotations of the unmodified term cock. (Artorius Conchobhar, June, 1993, pg. 4)


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One of this month's submissions (Shire of Vair Couvert) raised some questions about exactly which artistic details are (or should be) explicitly blazoned. There's no question that any detail worth heraldic difference, that isn't a default, should certainly be blazoned. But which details don't get blazoned, and how do we decide?

There's no simple answer here. In general, I try to balance several competing principles. For instance, I won't blazon too many artistic details, for fear that someone might consider them "important" enough to be worth heraldic difference. ("Well, the arming, languing and pizzling wouldn't have been mentioned if they weren't important...") Nor will I blazon so many details as to make the blazon more difficult to interpret; such clutter is not usually found in period blazonry.

In fact, period blazonry provides the best model for our own. I may blazon items worth no heraldic difference, depending on whether they're large enough to be immediately noticeable, or whether they were included in period blazons. An example of the first criterion might be head posture: though we'd grant no difference between, e.g., lion rampant vs. lion rampant guardant, it's a large visual change, and deserves mention in the blazon. (And who knows? If someone uncovers evidence to support it, we might someday grant difference for head posture -- and on that day, we'd be glad we blazoned it.) An example of the second criterion might be tail posture: though we'd grant no difference between, e.g., lion rampant vs. lion rampant coward, it was blazoned in period and should probably be blazoned in the Society as well.

Occasionally, the very diversity of the Society dictates that some details shouldn't be blazoned. For instance, we don't normally blazon the local drawing style: a fleur-de-lys is blazoned a fleur-de-lys, whether drawn in the Italian style (sometimes blazoned a fleur-de-lys florencée by modern heralds) or the French style. In this way, we permit the broadest mix of cultures; we don't micro-manage the scribes, but allow them the fullest creativity and expression; and we make it possible for someone to change persona without requiring a reblazon. Other examples of this policy include the eagle displayed (the current English style) vs. the eagle displayed, wingtips inverted (the German style); and the case that prompted the discussion, vair (modern) vs. vair ancient, where the change in style is temporal rather than geographic.

Finally, when all other factors are equal, the submitter's preference (if any) may be taken into account. I will go to great lengths to preserve a cant, for instance; or, if a client insists on shamrocks, not trefoils, I see no reason not to accommodate her (both terms are period, and it makes the blazon no longer). But I won't register a patently incorrect blazon, even if it's what the submitter wants. Nor will I blazon myriad artistic details that ought to be solely between the client and the scribe. If our blazons don't distinguish between Or and Gold, they oughtn't distinguish the period of a rendition of vair. Let's do our best to Keep It Simple, shall we? (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pp. 4-5)


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In period, the normal depiction of a [charge] enflamed showed the charge on the field, with tiny spurts of flame issuant (and also on the field) [for full discussion, see under FLAME] (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 5)


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The difference granted for the slipping and leaving of flowers is one of our perennial problems [as it were]. The practice seems to have been uncommon in medieval armory; of the rare examples that had been discovered, none seemed to demonstrate a cadency change --- that is, the change one would expect to see between the arms of a cadet branch of a family and those of the main branch. For that reason, we've granted no difference between, say, a rose and a rose slipped and leaved.

Nonetheless, there have been suggestions that we should grant a CD for slipping and leaving, when the slip is so large as to constitute the majority of the charge --- in effect, when the charge is better blazoned a branch with a flower rather than a flower with a stem. I've found period evidence supporting this suggestion, in the arms of the Counts of Rapperswil, c.1232: D'or a treis rosers sur checkune roser une rose de goules checkune roser verte (Or, three rose branches vert, on each rose branch a rose gules). The comital line went extinct in 1283, but rosiers (rose branches) are still found in the modern arms of Rapperswilstadt, in the Swiss canton of St. Gall: Argent, in fess two rose branches vert, each with a rose gules. These are drawn just as they're blazoned: large stems (few or no leaves) with small roses. They are clearly artistic variations on branches, nor roses. (Anglo-Norman Armory II, p.442; Early Blazon, p.270; 10000 Wappen von Staaten und Städten, p.288.)

In cases that follow this example, I will register the plant as a branch with a flower. Moreover, I intend to grant a Substantial Difference (i.e., sufficient to invoke Rule X.2) between a branch (flowered or not) and a flower. Slipped flowers drawn with the flower dominant will still be considered negligibly different from a plain flower. Flowers whose slips are part of the definition (e.g., trefoil, thistle) will not get extra difference for the slip. I welcome suggestions on how we should count difference between flowered branches (e.g., between a branch vert with a rose gules and a branch vert with an iris gules); it should be at most a single CD, but I'm not convinced we could even grant that.

I think this new definition will bring us closer to period usage, and ease up a bit on conflict. It will also, I concede, make it temporarily harder to interpret old SCA blazons ("It says rose slipped. Does this conflict with a rose, or with a branch?"), but we can reblazon devices with branches as they come up in commentary. (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 7)


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[On a bordure seven <charges>] Normally, the [<charges>] on the bordure would be blazoned as semy. In this case, however, we have period examples of seven charges being explicitly numbered in the blazon: e.g. the arms of the Earls of Winchester, blazoned in Glover's Roll (c.1258) as De gules a set fauses losenges de or (Gules, seven mascles Or). Added to the cant on the name [des Sept Monts] (which we always like to encourage), there seemed sufficient reason to blazon the number here. (Anne des Sept Monts, June, 1993, pg. 12)


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[A serpent nowed] The serpent was blazoned in the LOI as nowed in a Heneage knot. That wasn't strictly true --- at best, it would have been a Heneage knot fesswise --- and in any case, the exact form of a serpent's nowing is normally left to the license of the artist. We've done so here. (Ragnvald Bloodaxe, July, 1993, pg. 3)


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[A foi] The charge in chief was blazoned on the LOI as two hands conjoined in fess. This would have had two default hands --- i.e. apaumy --- rather than the clasped hands shown. According to Lord Crescent, the motif of two hands clasped has an heraldic name: a foi, used in French blazons and possibly some English canting arms (Parker 305) (Lothar Freund, July, 1993, pg. 10)


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The charges on the chief were blazoned on the LOI as roses. The heraldic rose is typically drawn with five petals; there are a few examples with six, but we know of no instances using only four [charges reblazoned as quatrefoils barbed]. (Myghchaell Loughlin, August, 1993, pg. 3)


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The phrase cross of Cleves is synonymous with "Latin cross flory". We will accept whichever blazon is submitted. (Jonathus of Santiago de Compostela, August, 1993, pg. 8)


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The majority of charges, when couped, are couped in base by default (heads, hands apaumy, mountains, demi-lions, &c). The fact need not be blazoned here. (Gwydion of Blackmoore, August, 1993, pg. 10)


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Some commenters raised the question of whether the hammered dulcimer is a period instrument. The exact form shown in this submission, played with hammers, is found in the Flemish painting "Mary Queen of Heaven", c.1485. (Mary Remnant, Musical Instruments: An Illustrated History, p.117) In theory, the modifier hammered is superfluous; this was the only period form of dulcimer. In practice, enough people are acquainted only with the post-period Appalachian dulcimer that it seems safer to specify. (Dulcinea Margarita Teresa Velazquez de Ribera, August, 1993, pg. 11)


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To the best of our knowledge, period blazons did not specify an exact breed of dog; at best, they would describe a dog by its general characteristics (levrier) or for a cant (talbot). The SCA does permit known period breeds to be specified in blazon, but I consider the practice an anomaly or "weirdness"; another anomaly in the design ...might itself be sufficient grounds for return. (Jean Philippe des Bouviers Noirs, August, 1993, pg. 18)


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It was announced in the cover letter of the July 93 LoAR that vair is vair, whether drawn in an earlier, undulating style or in a late-period, angular form; the difference is purely artistic, and shouldn't even merit mention in the blazon. This has raised a question from some commenters as to which varieties of vair we should blazon, and why ...we should recognize only those varieties of vair that period heralds recognized. That excludes, e.g., vair en pal, vair ancient, and the German Gespaltenesfeh. Other varietal forms, however, were making their appearance toward the end of period; they should be acceptable, both as motifs and in blazon [For the full discussion, see under FIELD DIVISION -- Vairy]. (30 November, 1993 Cover Letter (September, 1993 LoAR), pg. 3)


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[Per fess wavy azure and barry wavy Or and azure, two scythes in saltire argent] ...although the LOI blazoned this again as a per fess field with a wavy bar in base, the visual effect is still of a per fess azure and barry wavy field. It was not unusual for barry or paly fields in period to be drawn with an odd number of traits (which we'd blazon as bars or palets); see, for example, the arms of Mouton (Multon, Moleton) found both as Barry argent and gules and Argent, three bars gules (Dictionary of British Arms, pp 59, 88; Foster, p. 145). The distinction is even less noticeable when covering only a portion of the shield, as here; see, for example, the arms of von Rosenberg, whose Per fess field has in base either three bends or bendy depending upon the artist's whim (Siebmacher, p. 8; Neubecker and Rentzmann, p. 290). Even when the distiction is worth blazoning, it's worth no difference.

This remains a conflict with [Gules, two scythes in saltire argent] (Aidan Aileran O'Comhraidhe, September, 1993, pg. 18)


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In general, we don't blazon the exact nationality of the drawing style, preferring to leave that to the artist; the few exceptions to this rule are just that, exceptions. (Miguel Tamut de Aldea, September, 1993, pg. 20)


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[A pale sable, overall a Lakenvelder bull proper] Prior Laurel rulings have banned the use of animate charges counterchanged over an ordinary. While the submitter has tried to get around this ban by using a striped breed of bull, the visual effect is still that of a bull counterchanged over a pale. Heraldry is a visual art; the visual effect cannot be avoided by clever reblazons. This violates our ban on complex counterchanging and must be returned for redesign. (John MacGuire, September, 1993, pg. 24)


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[An arrow argent enfiling a serpent involved] The definition of the term enfile has changed over the years. Boutell (English Heraldry, 1902) equates it with "pierce": a sword passing through a crown would enfile the crown. Brooke-Little (An Heraldic Alphabet , 1975) equates it with "encircle": a sword passing through a crown would be enfiled by the crown. The confusion is sufficient reason to avoid the use of the term, but sometimes (as with this submission) it's hard to avoid. Friar (Dictionary of Heraldry, 1987, p.137) agrees with Boutell's definition; and that definition does follow more naturally from the etymology of the word (from French fil, "thread": beads are threaded on a string, crowns are enfiled on [by] a sword). That is the definition used here. (Audrey Wormsbane of Brittany, October, 1993, pg. 8)


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[A bordure argent, overall on a chief <charges>] "The chief does not, as a rule, surmount other chargers, and consequently, such have often to be debased...when associated with a bordure (unless there is direct statement to the contrary) the bordure would be turned and continued beneath the base line of the chief." (Parker 112) The term overall in the blazon above is the "direct statement to the contrary" needed here. (Basilla la Merciere, October, 1993, pg. 11)


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BODY PARTS


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Nowing of the tongue ...must be considered artistic license, as is the exact style of nowing. (Morgan Etienne ap Gwalchmai Gwynedd, August, 1992, pg. 6)


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In heraldry, a foot is a human foot by default. (Eoin Eardstapa, August, 1992, pg. 11)


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The one registration of a "dragon's tongue" in the SCA, back in 1973, does not make it an identifiable charge. Nor does it seem in keeping with period armory: tongues were not used as charges, so far as I know.

Several commenters suggested that these be reblazoned "dragon's tails." Conceptually, this would be much more acceptable: lion's tails and fox's tails were used as period charges, and I'd have no problem with correctly drawn dragon's tails. But the feature that marks these charges as dragon's tails are the barbs at the ends --- which were not found on period dragons. (See the dragons and wyverns in Dennys' Heraldic Imagination, pp.190-191 and the plate opposite p.177; or the Oxford Guide to Heraldry, pp.102, 109, and plate 16.) I might consider tail's barbs to be artistic license, when the tail is part of a full dragon; but I cannot accept a charge whose identifying feature is a post-period artistic detail.

Either as dragon's tongues or dragon's tails, the charges here may not be registered. Dragon's tails drawn in a period style should be acceptable. (Aaron Clearwater, August, 1992, pg. 27)


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[A hawk's gambes bendwise sinister couped vs. an eagle's leg erased à la quise] The gambes shown here are not inverted: eagle's legs, unlike lions' legs, have their claws to base by default. However, since eagle's legs à la quise are somewhat embowed, they are often depicted with a bendwise sinister slant; so we can't get a CD for posture. (Shire of Blackhawk, January, 1993, pg. 30)


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While we have no period evidence for the use of lips as charges, we do have examples of other body parts: hands, arms, feet, legs, heads, eyes, teeth and mustaches. On the basis of these, we've registered ears and toes in the SCA. Lips thus appear to be compatible with period armory, though I'd be willing to count them a "weirdness" pending better documentation. (Saundra the Incorrigible, March, 1993, pg. 1)


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[A pig rampant, its dexter hind limb a peg-leg] Several commenters wondered whether the porcine prosthesis was compatible with period armory. I consider this on a par with the arms of Finland (Gules semy of roses argent, a lion rampant crowned Or, its dexter limb an armored arm brandishing a sword, standing atop a scimitar fesswise reversed argent). There should be no problem with the peg-leg [device returned for other reasons]. (Inigo Needham Bledsoe, March, 1993, pg. 26)


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I would grant Substantial Difference between a human arm and a beast's jambe. (Caomh Beathan Crubach, June, 1993, pg. 13)


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...we grant difference between a dragon and an eagle -- but none between a dragon's foot and an eagle's foot. (Laeghaire O Laverty, August, 1993, pg. 5)


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BOOK


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[Or, an open book argent bound sable] the book is essentially argent on Or, in violation of the Rule of Contrast. The black binding does not remove the problem, as fimbriation might --- for it doesn't completely surround the charge. (Caelina Lærd Reisende, December, 1992, pg. 15)


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BORDURE


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A number of commenters complained about the common use of annulets on fieldless badges, comparing them to bordures on devices (and, in some comments, granting no difference from bordures). I agree that annulets are added to SCA badges for the same reason bordures are added to SCA devices: to provide a quick, easy CD that doesn't greatly change the central design. Beyond that, annulets and bordures are quite different charges: the annulet is always round, where the bordure follows the outline of the display surface. The background shows on both sides of the annulet (even a fieldless badge is usually set against some background), but only on the inside of the bordure. A design may have multiple annulets, but only one bordure. And so forth.

If someone can present evidence that the use of annulets encircling other charges is non-period design, we can discuss the issue again. But as far as conflicts are concerned, an annulet and a bordure are separate charges. (Neil Greenstone, July, 1992, pg. 14)


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[A sinister gore argent and a bordure ermine] The lack of contrast between the gore and the bordure causes them to blend together, reducing the identifiability of both. It's true, as Lord Crescent notes, that since contrast of each charge is measured against the field, they cannot have good contrast with one another. But, if anything, that argues against any use of a gore with a bordure whatsoever.

This case might have been acceptable had the bordure been, say, Or; there would still have been enough contrast to allow its distinction from the gore. But the contrast between argent and ermine is exactly the same as between argent and argent goutty sable: nonexistent. We cannot concede that the two charges will be distinguished from any distance. This must therefore be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Khasar of the Keshik, November, 1992, pp. 15-16)


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The use of azure semy-de-lys Or has been prohibited in Society armory for many years; it is too strongly suggestive of a claim to a French royal connection. The prohibition was reaffirmed on the LoAR of July 92, p.23. The bordure azure semy-de-lys Or has been specifically disallowed: "A bordure of France (ancient or modern) may not be used in SCA heraldry." [LoAR of 20 Oct 85] (Rhiannon Saint Chamberlayne, November, 1992, pg. 16)


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When a bordure and chief are used together, the chief almost invariably overlies the bordure (Parker 73). The rare exceptions generally don't have tertiaries on the chief; they would be crowded by the bordure, rendering them harder to identify. The handful of SCA registrations with bordures surmounting charged chiefs have subsequently been disallowed as precedent (LoAR of Oct 91, p.17); far more often, such designs have been returned as non-period practice. [Device also returned for conflict] (Justin of Kent, December, 1992, pg. 20)


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The College's ban on the international "no" symbol (a bend and bordure gules in combination) only applies when the combination is actually used as a "no" symbol: surmounting the symbol of whatever's being forbidden. The bend-bordure combination is not banned when there is no underlying charge. In this case [Vairy, a bend and a bordure gules], since vair isn't a charge, we find no stylistic problems here [device returned for conflict]. (Chryse Raptes, January, 1993, pg. 32)


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[Per fess purpure and vert, a <charge> within a bordure argent charged with a tressure per fess purpure and vert, originally blazoned as an orle and a bordure] The submission caused us a few minutes of heartburn. The equal width of the outer three stripes, and the fact that the central stripe is of the field, gave this the appearance of a bordure voided, not of an orle within a bordure. Bordures voided and fimbriated have been disallowed since Aug 83. Playing with the widths a bit, to make this a bordure cotised, would be equally unacceptable. On the other hand, a bordure charged with a tressure is a perfectly legal design. In the end, we decided that the latter blazon is the most accurate and reproducible description of the submitted emblazon --- and since it appears to be legal, we've accepted it. It also guarantees the device to be clear of [Azure, a <same charge> within a double tressure argent]. (Lisette de Ville, August, 1993, pg. 10)


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A <charged> nesselblatt is not equivalent to a <charge> within an indented bordure. This would be more apparent if the armory were displayed on a rectangular banner: the nesselblatt would keep its triangular shape, where the bordure would follow the line of the field. (Mielikki Kantelensoittajatar, October, 1993, pg. 1)


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[A bordure argent, overall on a chief <charges>] "The chief does not, as a rule, surmount other chargers, and consequently, such have often to be debased...when associated with a bordure (unless there is direct statement to the contrary) the bordure would be turned and continued beneath the base line of the chief." (Parker 112) The term overall in the blazon above is the "direct statement to the contrary" needed here. (Basilla la Merciere, October, 1993, pg. 11)


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BOW


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When in combination with a stringed musical instrument, bow is understood to mean a musical bow (Rebekah of Hillsview, July, 1992, pg. 15)


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BRANCH


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[Per chevron inverted argent and vert, in chief an oak branch [inverted] fructed proper vs. Argent, an oak branch fructed proper] There's a CD for the field, but none for the movement of the mostly-vert charge to chief (since that's required by making the field half-vert), and in this case, none for orientation (since the visual difference between a branch and a branch inverted is well-nigh invisible). (Judith Anne of Durmast, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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In cases [where a slipped and leaved flower consists primarily of the branch portion rather than the flower portion], I will register the plant as a branch with a flower. Moreover, I intend to grant a Substantial Difference (i.e., sufficient to invoke Rule X.2) between a branch (flowered or not) and a flower. Slipped flowers drawn with the flower dominant will still be considered negligibly different from a plain flower. Flowers whose slips are part of the definition (e.g., trefoil, thistle) will not get extra difference for the slip [for full discussion, see under BLAZON] (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 7)


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CANTON


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Charged cantons may not be used except in the case of augmentations of arms. This prohibition dates from at least 28 Dec 82 and is still in force. This must be returned, per Rule XI.1. (Aurora Ashland of Woolhaven, January, 1993, pg. 25)


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CARTOUCHE


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The charges considered media for heraldic display --- the delf, lozenge, cartouche, etc. --- when used in a fieldless badge may not be charged. This ruling has been in force since 1986, and is itself reason enough for return. (Order of the Stella Rubra (Kingdom of Meridies), July, 1993, pg. 14)


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The cartouche was drawn in this submission with pointed ends, not the rounded ends normal for the charge. We've registered this variant form in the past, usually blazoned a cartouche with pointed ends; the technical term for the shape is mandorla, or amygdaline aureole. (Metford's Dictionary of Christian Lore and Legend) (Order of the Stella Rubra (Kingdom of Meridies), July, 1993, pg. 14)


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CASTLE AND TOWER


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[In the doorway of a tower, a lion couchant guardant] The lion in the doorway is effectively a tertiary [in terms of calling conflict]. (Seeker's Keep (Aelfric se Droflic), September, 1992, pg. 1)


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[A portcullis between and conjoined to two towers] The primary charge is blazoned [as noted] for the sake of the cant [with Gate's Edge], but is indistinguishable from a castle (Canton of Gate's Edge, September, 1992, pg. 7)


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There's [not a CD] for castle vs. single-arched bridge. (John Quartermain, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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There's no heraldic difference between a tower and a castle. [See also Irwyn of Hartwich, same leter, pg. 21, Sela nic a'Phearsoin of Clan Chattan, January, 1993, LoAR, pg. 29, and Maelgwn McCain, August, 1993 LoAR, pg. 20] (Konner MacPherson, October, 1992, pg. 27)


We have granted no difference in the past between a bridge and a castle, considering both to be stonework surmounted by towers. (Canton of Pont y Saeth, July, 1993, pg. 15)


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CHARGE -- Compatible


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The dovetailed line is currently allowed, as compatible with period practice. We grant it no difference from embattled or raguly, however. (Ariel Giboul des Montagnes, July, 1992, pg. 4)


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This sort of wavy ordinary, with the waves opposed instead of parallel ("wavy bretessed" instead of "wavy-counter-wavy"), was returned on the LoAR of Dec 91 as a non-period depiction. The strangeness of the motif would have been more obvious here, had the wavy lines been drawn in a bold medieval style; the fact that they weren't contributes to the non-period depiction. (Brighid Aileen O'Hagan, July, 1992, pg. 17)


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The [mascle-knot] is unique to Society armory, defined in the device of Leonard the Younger [Gules, within the head of a mjolnir inverted and voided, a mascle-knot argent]. This is a case where an SCA-invented charge is still acceptable: the name does not apply to any other charge in mundane heraldic texts (not even Elvin ), the charge is not readily confused with any other, and it is conceptually similar to period charges (i.e. angular Bowen knots, 1530; v. the Oxford Guide to Heraldry, p.149). (Cynthia Tregeare., August, 1992, pg. 11)


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The Norse serpents (or "Norse twisty-beasties", as they're sometimes called) currently defined for SCA use are still permitted; the Laurel precedent that everyone half-remembers (LoAR cover letter of 12 July 86, p.3) banned any new types of Norse serpent. (Katherine Dun na nGall of Westmeath, August, 1992, pg. 12)


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[Leonard the Younger: Gules, within the head of a mjolnir inverted and voided, a mascle-knot argent] This is the defining instance of the SCA charge, the mascle-knot. When the device was registered back in Oct 76, it was blazoned Gules, a Mjollnir-pendant inverted, pierced, and within the head a mascle-knot of six corners argent. It was reblazoned Feb 89 by Mistress Alisoun as Gules, on the head of a Mjollnir inverted gules, fimbriated, a mascle-knot of six corners argent. Both blazons specified the mascle-knot as having six corners; but after a little experimentation, it's hard to see that it could have any other number. A "mascle-knot of four corners" would be blazoned a Bowen cross in SCA armory, or four mascles-fretted by Elvin; a mascle-knot of eight corners would actually be a saltire parted, voided and interlaced; and a mascle-knot of more than eight corners would probably not be permitted.

I am therefore restricting the definition of "mascle-knot" to six corners, no more or less, and reblazoning the orginal registration accordingly. The mascle-knot, so defined, is still acceptable for SCA use. (Leonard the Younger, August, 1992, pg. 16)


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A "chief indented singly" is not, to the best of our knowledge, a period charge. Nor could we, in good conscience, reblazon this "Per chevron sable and erminois:" not only does it not seem to be the submitter's intent, the point is too high and shallow to be a real per-chevron division. This is being returned for redrawing. (Gryphon ap Bedwyr, August, 1992, pg. 22)


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Neither the period discussions of Per bend bevilled nor an extrapolation from a bend bevilled would support the emblazon shown here; nor can it be accurately blazoned without resorting to barbarisms such as Per bend sinister bevilled fesswise. I'd be willing to accept Per bend (sinister) bevilled, as being one logical step from period evidence --- if drawn in a correct manner, with the middle "zag" palewise. The form shown here is two steps removed from the evidence, which is correspondingly harder to swallow. Given evidence that such bevilled fields were never used with charges, the whole becomes unacceptable. (Radulfr Arnason, August, 1992, pg. 25)


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The one registration of a "dragon's tongue" in the SCA, back in 1973, does not make it an identifiable charge. Nor does it seem in keeping with period armory: tongues were not used as charges, so far as I know.

Several commenters suggested that these be reblazoned "dragon's tails." Conceptually, this would be much more acceptable: lion's tails and fox's tails were used as period charges, and I'd have no problem with correctly drawn dragon's tails. But the feature that marks these charges as dragon's tails are the barbs at the ends --- which were not found on period dragons. (See the dragons and wyverns in Dennys' Heraldic Imagination, pp.190-191 and the plate opposite p.177; or the Oxford Guide to Heraldry, pp.102, 109, and plate 16.) I might consider tail's barbs to be artistic license, when the tail is part of a full dragon; but I cannot accept a charge whose identifying feature is a post-period artistic detail.

Either as dragon's tongues or dragon's tails, the charges here may not be registered. Dragon's tails drawn in a period style should be acceptable. (Aaron Clearwater, August, 1992, pg. 27)


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[A rainbow emitting lightning flashes] There are indeed lightning flashes in this submission. The fact that they are worth no heraldic difference does not mean they aren't there. Modern comic-book lightning flashes (so-called "shazams") have been disallowed for a decade. (Yvon Bater of Darkwood, August, 1992, pg. 29)


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The commentary was strongly in favor of disallowing the rivenstar (save only to the Barony of Rivenstar, to whom it would be grandfathered), as a non-period charge. Lord Pale suggested that the charge continue to be permitted, for the sake of residents of Rivenstar who wished to show their allegiance in their armory. This suggestion would carry more weight if some Rivenstarites had ever actually registered armory with rivenstars; but according to Lord Morsulus, except for the armory of the Barony there's only one SCA registration of a rivenstar. Consequently, we have no qualms about disallowing the charge, pending evidence that it's period, or at least formed in a period manner. (Galen O'Loingsigh, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[A heart attired of stag's attires reblazoned to a stag's massacre surmounted by a heart] As noted in the case of Erc Mortagh the Pict (LoAR of August 92), adding horns to inanimate charges doesn't appear to have been a period usage; certainly, I'd like to see some evidence for the practice. In this case, the visual effect is of a set of antlers and a heart overall, and that's how we've blazoned it. (Gabriel Gertrude Gyles, September, 1992, pg. 7)


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[Sea-urchins] (= "fish-tailed demi-hedgehog") has been registered before, in the armory of Rufus the Short of Burgundy. In Society armory, "the sea-urchin should be assumed to be a heraldic sea-urchin unless otherwise specified." [AmCoE, 25 Jan 87] (Order of the Sea Urchin (Kingdom of Atlantia), September, 1992, pg. 18)


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The orm is a charge unique to the Society, more complex than a simple serpent, not as complex as the Norse serpent nowed. It has been registered recently (Elina Grimmsdottir, June 91); without stronger evidence than has yet been presented, I hesitate to disallow a charge that was so recently accepted. (Canton of Fjarska Holt, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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[A slip eradicated joined to a snake's head] The monster doesn't appear to have been formed in a period style; the only comparable example in period (non-armorial) art was the vegetable lamb, a tree that bore sheep as its "fruit". It was described by Sir John Mandeville, c.1371, and was evidently an attempt to describe cotton, not a mythical beast. The example of the vegetable lamb does not support the monster shown here. (Brian di Caffa, September, 1992, pg. 51)


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Grafting unicorn's horns onto random animals is not period practice. It has been decried by previous Laurels (LoAR of 3 Aug 86, p.15), and always discouraged; I am taking the final step and, except for Grandfathered cases, disallowing it entirely. (Sorcha ni Mhurchadha, October, 1992, pg. 22)


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[A dragon with lion's hindquarters] The dragon-lion monster is unusual -- the accepted period hybrid of those creatures is the lion-dragon, with a lion's forequarters and wyvern's tail -- but would probably be acceptable by itself (Dafydd ap Bleiddudd, October, 1992, pg. 32)


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[A Maltese star cross] While SCA-variant charges are often considered acceptable ("period-compatible", as it were), we draw the line at variants of SCA-variants. This submission is a case in point: the star-cross is a Society invention, unattested in medieval armory. While it's still acceptable for SCA use, variations of it are two steps removed from medieval armory, which is an unacceptably broad leap of faith. Without evidence of period compatibility, the Maltese star-cross is unacceptable [see also Elgar of Stonehaven, January 1993 LoAR, pg. 23]. (Elgar of Stonehaven, November, 1992, pg. 14)


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[A monster ccomposed of the head of a wolf, the forelegs of a hawk, and the body and hindquarters of a stag] The monster is similar enough to the heraldic enfield to be considered acceptable style (Serafina de Kalais, December, 1992, pg. 3)


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[A "firebird"] The ...charge does not appear to be a valid period usage. It is not a Russian firebird; that is essentially a variant of peacock, is found in period art, and has been accepted for SCA use. As drawn here, the bird is composed of flame, which is unattested in either period art or period armory. Since it is so easil yconfused with either a bird or a flame, I must rule this "firebird" unacceptable, pending solid evidence of itsperiod use [returned also for conflict] (Katharina von der Waldwiese, December, 1992, pg. 18)


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[A mullet pierced, the points moline] The "mullet moline" is unorthodox, to put it mildly. Before we can accept this, we need some evidence of its period use -- at the very least, that the moline treatment could be applied to anything other than crosses (and of course millrinds). Pending such evidence, this must be returned. (Roland Witt, December, 1992, pg. 18)


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[A chief triangular embattled] With very rare exceptions (e.g. in combination with enarched lines), the use of two or more complex lines on the same charge is confusing, and unattested in period armory. (Wavy raguly? Embattled rayonny? I think not.) In this case, the chief could be either embattled or triangular --- but not both. (Johann Götz Kauffman von Erfurt, December, 1992, pg. 20)


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The bog beast is a charge unique to Society heraldry, with a talbot's head, boar's tusks, dragon's body, cloven forefeet, lion's hindfeet, and a housefly's wings. As the submitter has one in his registered device, its use here is Grandfathered; otherwise I wouldn't be inclined to permit the charge. (Nikolai Andreeov, January, 1993, pg. 2)


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There was a strong feeling in the College that the double tressure dancetty braced was non-period style, and at first I was inclined to agree. On reflection, however, I found I couldn't put a name to exactly why I felt so. Visually, this is not so different from an orle masculy, or saltorels couped and conjoined in orle, either of which would have raised far less objection. It's balanced, blazonable, and reproducible. The College has in the past registered bars dancetty braced (Katherine d'Argentigny, July 86), so we even have a precedent for this.

I suspect most of the College's objection arose from our long-standing ban on Celtic knotwork, which sometimes extends to anything even resembling Celtic knotwork. As noted in the commentary, though, this isn't Celtic knotwork: the sharp corners and lack of braiding make that clear.

With no substantive reason to return the motif, I've decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. I'm open to further arguments for or against it, and I would definitely count it a "weirdness" --- but not reason for return. (Shire of Otherhill, January, 1993, pg. 4)


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Pending evidence one way or the other, we will assume that flaunches are as susceptible to complex lines of division as any other ordinary or subordinary. Papworth's citation of the arms of Daniell (Sable, two flaunches indented argent) is inconclusive: he doesn't date it from 1404, but rather cites it from Harleian MS number 1404. (Foster's Dictionary of Heraldry gives the same armory as Argent, a pile indented sable, affording much food for speculation...) (Brandwyn Alston of the Rift, January, 1993, pg. 5)


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The Norse sun cross had at one time been treated as an alphanumeric symbol (that of the planet Earth), and so unacceptable for use in SCA devices. Under the current Rules, such symbols are now acceptable; indeed, a Norse sun cross was registered to Etain MacDhomhnuill on the LoAR of April 90. (Kenneth MacQuarrie of Tobermory, January, 1993, pg. 12)


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[On a pale, a <charge> beneath seven mullets points in chevron] When compressed on the pale in this manner, the mullets in chevron strongly resemble an arch of mullets. This motif has been returned before now (in the LoARs of Sept 84 and Feb 91), and there seems to be no reason not to continue this policy. (Johann Mathern, January, 1993, pg. 33)


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While we have no period evidence for the use of lips as charges, we do have examples of other body parts: hands, arms, feet, legs, heads, eyes, teeth and mustaches. On the basis of these, we've registered ears and toes in the SCA. Lips thus appear to be compatible with period armory, though I'd be willing to count them a "weirdness" pending better documentation. (Saundra the Incorrigible, March, 1993, pg. 1)


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[A pig rampant, its dexter hind limb a peg-leg] Several commenters wondered whether the porcine prosthesis was compatible with period armory. I consider this on a par with the arms of Finland (Gules semy of roses argent, a lion rampant crowned Or, its dexter limb an armored arm brandishing a sword, standing atop a scimitar fesswise reversed argent). There should be no problem with the peg-leg [device returned for other reasons]. (Inigo Needham Bledsoe, March, 1993, pg. 26)


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[Per pale Or and sable, a monster composed of the body of a horse with lion's feet rampant purpure] While newly-invented chimerical monsters are usually permitted, they must be recognizable in all their parts. This monster is unidentifiable, and so unacceptable. Half the monster has extremely poor contrast against the black half of the field. The part with good contrast, against the gold half of the field, has its outline obscured by the non-standard stylization of the mane. That might not have been fatal, had this been a horse or a lion; but when the creature is a composite of the two, identifiability is paramount. This must be returned. (Lachlan O'Sheridan of Falconhold, March, 1993, pg. 26)


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The charges in chief were blazoned as unicorns on the LOI. In fact, they are unicornate horses, which have been disallowed since at least Feb 85. Unicornate horses are not only a 20th Century fantasy rendition, they blur the distinctions between horses and genuine unicorns; for both reasons, they are unacceptable in SCA armory. Please have the client resubmit with genuine medieval unicorns: with beards, lions' tails, and tufted cloven hooves. (Meaghan Catherine McKenna, May, 1993, pg. 20)


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[On an annulet of flame sable an annulet Or] This submission engendered considerable discussion at the Symposium; many felt that the badge was post-period in style ...The full-sized emblazon did not show an annulet "fimbriated of flame", as some commenters described it, but a ring of fire charged with a gold annulet. The question was whether an annulet of flame was an acceptable motif. Our standards regarding charges made of flame have tightened over the years, but we still accept simple cases (the base of flame being the prime example). The annulet of flame seemed simple enough to accept, on a case-by-case basis. (Barony of Wiesenfeuer, June, 1993, pg. 3)


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[Two towers, between them a pair of swinging doors] The charge ...was blazoned as a gateway on the LOI. The gateway is a Society invention, defined the arms of the Shire of Stormgate. As such, it does not appear to follow the medieval exemplars of gates. We will blazon the charge by parts for this submission, but do not intend to accept it in the future. (Rian MacFinn, August, 1993, pg. 8)


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Some commenters have urged that the valknut be disallowed. However, it's been quietly but continuously registered, during my tenure and those of my two immediate predecessors (v. the armory of Thorhalla Carlsdottir Broberg); it's a documented period artistic motif that has been accepted for Society armorial use. To disallow it at this point would require some better documented reason than "we don't like it". (Halvdan Stormulv, September, 1993, pg. 3)


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The use of astrological glyphs heraldically in period can be seen on the crest of Bull, watchmaker to Queen Elizabeth I: On a wreath argent and gules, a cloud proper, thereon a celestial sphere azure, with the circles or; on the zodiac the signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer (Parker, A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, p. 547). It has long been the College's policy to allow the use of elements from crests and supporters, if period usage is documented, as charges for SCA armory although there is no documentation of their use as charges in period armory (cf. yales). (Cadell ap Hubert, September, 1993, pg. 11)


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Though blazoned on the LOI as rayonny, the bordure is in fact wavy crested. This line of division was introduced to heraldry in the 20th Century, and is thoroughly modern; it has not been accepted in Society armory for over a decade. (Luisa of the Willows, September, 1993, pg. 21)


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CHARGE -- Documentable


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Charges must be drawn in their period form (per Rule VII.3), so that they can be identified (per Rule VIII.3). This is especially true when a wrongly drawn charge can be mistaken for some other charge (Federico Arcière dal Fióre, July, 1992, pg. 18)


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The black widow spider does not appear to have been known to period Europeans. It didn't even get the name until the early 20th Century; and it appears to have been introduced into America in the late 19th Century (from China, according to the best speculations). Without evidence that the black widow spider was known to period Europeans, it may not be registered. (Novia the Widow, July, 1992, pg. 20)


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The Great Dane is a period breed of dog, according to Mistress Ammalynne's monograph in the Meridean Symposium Proceedings, 1982. (Kristoff McLain Cameron, August, 1992, pg. 5)


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Adding horns to inanimate objects doesn't appear to have been a period treatment; certainly, we would like to see some evidence of what is, at first glance, a highly improbable usage ...the reason for its improbability --- the fact that the elk-horned mask cannot be identified as such --- is ...grounds for return. (Erc Mortagh the Pict, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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Hummingbirds are a New World species, but they appear to have been known to period Europeans. The OED cites the first use of the English word to 1637, within our fifty-year "grey zone" for documentation, and I suspect the Spaniards or Portuguese were familiar with the bird even earlier. (Caitriona Keavy ni Ainle, September, 1992, pg. 4)


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[A musimon sable] The charge ...was submitted as a Jacob ram, a breed of sheep noted for its piebald coloration and double horns. (The name comes from a story in Genesis, chapter 30, where Jacob indulged in a remarkable feat of early genetic engineering.) Unfortunately, the breed dates only to the 18th Century; and since a Jacob's sheep is piebald by definition, it loses its distinctiveness when made a solid tincture, as here.

We've reblazoned this as the heraldic monster known as the musimon, defined to be a cross between a ram and a goat, with the horns of both. It is described in Guillim's Displaie of Heraldry, 1632. (Deborah bat Yosef, September, 1992, pg. 5)


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The owl was submitted as a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) --- which, as the Latin implies, is a North American species. With no evidence that it was known to period Europeans, we have substituted the eagle owl (Bubo bubo), known through most of Western Europe; it has the same tufts of feathers on the head, and much the same brown coloration. (Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe, pp.165, 194) (Laurencia the Fletcher, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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The demon is a period heraldic charge, as found in the arms of the city of Brussels (Gules, the archangel Michael Or vanquishing a demon underfoot sable). (Asher Truefriend, September, 1992, pg. 30)


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[A winch] Since this seems to be the defining instance of a winch in SCA armory, we need some documentation of this form as a period charge or artifact. [returned for this and for being drawn in trian aspect] (Sylvia Schirenhoferin, September, 1992, pg. 42)


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It hasn't yet been established that the humpback whale (as a distinct species) was known in period; the OED 's first citation of humpback whale dates to 1725. [Device returned for this and for artistic problems] (Canton of Berley Court, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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The charges on the chief were blazoned as rapiers, but drawn as modern fencing foils. While the LOI noted that the submitter would be told how to draw the charges henceforth, this doesn't make the device, as submitted, acceptable. We can wink at minor emblazonry problems, but not blatantly non-period artifacts. [See also Fernando Juan Carlos Remesal, October 1992 LoAR, pg. 29] (Thorun Geiri, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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Bagpipes in period had at most two drones. Specifically, Scots bagpipes did not add the third, longer drone until the 18th Century. The set shown here [with three drones] is no more period than a saxophone. (Connor Mac Loghan, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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[A mariner's astrolabe] Lord Green Anchor has provided ample documentation for this form of astrolabe, dating it to c.1480. Visually, it differs from an astronomer's astrolabe in the large cutout areas (so the wind won't keep blowing it aside and make readings more difficult). Where the astronomer's astrolabe is visually a roundel with diapering, the mariner's astrolabe is visually a wheel with diapering (Vincent McThomas, October, 1992, pg. 5)


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As a rule, baby animals are not used in SCA heraldry: they're visually indistinguishable from adult animals, and period examples of their use are rare. Lambs appear to be an exception: not only is the Paschal lamb often found in period armory, but lambs were used for canting purposes (e.g. the arms of Lambert --- or the current submission). (Agnes Margaret de Grinstead, October, 1992, pg. 12)


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The starfish is not, to the best of our knowledge, a period heraldic charge; it seems to have started use in Victorian heraldry (Elvin, plate 32) [reblazoned as mullets, leaving internal markings as artistic license, see also pg. 19] [See also Ríoghnach Sláine ní Chonaill, same letter, pg. 19, and Meulsine d'Argent, same letter, pg. 21](Branwen ferch Madoc, October, 1992, pg. 18)


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[a "Mongol helm"] We were given no evidence to support this form of helm as a "Mongol helm", or indeed as any nationality of helm. Such examples of Mongol helms as we could uncover did not show the submitted helm's fur trim or the hanging drapery; our best contemporary example (from an illustrated history of the Mongols by Rashid ad-Din, c.1300) showed a plain pointed cap with "ear muffs" on either side. Since this submission would be the SCA's defining instance of a Mongol helm, it's important that it be documented in this form. (Raven Helmsplitter, December, 1992, pg. 15)


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The ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus torquatus) appears to be a 19th Century import from China, according to the 1911 E.Brit., vol.XXI, p.361. This wasn't noticed for her original submission, probably because the birds were heraldically tinctured; they could as easily have been any kind of pheasant, and indeed we've amended her current blazon accordingly. But when tinctured proper, the problem of compatibility can no longer be ignored; we would need evidence that this breed of pheasant was known to period Europeans before we could register it. (Wilhelmina Brant, December, 1992, pg. 20)


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The Venus-hair fern was known by that name in period, according to the OED; it's also called maiden-hair. (Kateline MacFarlane, January, 1993, pg. 2)


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While the standard heraldic spindle has its weight to base by default, this submission uses a drop spindle with its weighted disk in chief. Evidently, this is a valid variety of drop spindle: usually called a "high whorl spindle", it dates from ancient Egyptian times. (The Spinner's Encyclopedia, Enid Anderson) The term inverted drop spindle can apply either to this variety, or to an heraldic spindle inverted --- the results are equivalent, technically and visually. (Maryam al-Baghdadi, January, 1993, pg. 2)


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As a breed, Welsh corgies date back to the 12th Century, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. (Rosalynde y Corgwyn, January, 1993, pg. 21)


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The pronghorn antelope lives in the western United States; we have no evidence that it was known to period Europeans. Without such evidence, we cannot register the beast, or his attire. (Eoghan O'Neill, January, 1993, pg. 23)


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We were given no documentation of the zalktis [a squared off `S' shape, set on its side] as an heraldic charge, or even as a religious symbol. It cannot be found in our standard references --- the OED, for instance, has no entry for it. As this would have been the defining instance of the charge in SCA heraldry, documentation becomes even more important; pending such documentation, this must be returned. (Gundras no Dzintara Krasta, January, 1993, pg. 28)


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No documentation was provided to support a grinding wheel as a period charge, or indeed as a period artifact. As this submission would be the defining instance of the charge in SCA heraldry, such documentation is necessary. (Wolfric Hammerfestning, January, 1993, pg. 35)


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The step-cut gem is found in period jewelry, if not armory; see some of Holbein's portraits of Henry VIII, for instance. (Ælfwynn Elswith, March, 1993, pg. 7)


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The Arabic ceremonial saddle (qubbah) is a highly stylized charge from Moslem heraldry, according to the article by Lord Clarion in The Islamic World (Complete Anachronist #51, p.63). (Salim ibn abd al-Rahman al-Rashid, March, 1993, pg. 17)


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We have no evidence that the gopher was known to period Europeans: the OED, for instance, dates gopher in this context only to 1818. (There's also the Biblical gopher-wood, but that doesn't apply to this submission.) Since the gopher is a rodent from the North American plains, we can't automatically assume that it was known to period Europeans; we need some hard evidence before we can accept the charge. (Gerrich de la Foy, March, 1993, pg. 23)


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[A cross "formy convexed"] This badge had been returned on the LoAR of May 92 for lack of documentation on the type of cross. (It had been blazoned in the previous submission as a cross formy globate, which term we couldn't find in any of our references.) The submitter has appealed that return, providing evidence of this cross as an artistic motif on a suit of armor c.1630. The term "convexed", referring to the bulge of the outer edges of the cross's limbs, is documented in Elvin's Dictionary of Heraldry.

Unfortunately, my main concerns about this cross remain unaddressed. It's not readily blazonable: as drawn, it resembles a roundel with four semi-elliptical notches, not a variant of a cross formy. It's been documented only to within our 50-year "grey area", and only as an artistic motif, not an heraldic charge. The only terms that adequately describe it are found in a 19th Century work, compiled by an author whose lack of scholarship is legend. I simply have no grounds for believing this cross to be compatible with period heraldic style.

This cross has been submitted before, and returned for the above reasons; v. Jamys Ellyn Rothesay of Bannatyne Hall, LoAR of Sept 92, p.49. I'm tempted, I admit, to simply give the cross its own SCA name. (In the immortal words of Baldwin of Erebor, "Spring is in the air, and the fit is upon me; let me name but one cross before I die!") But this would do no service to the heralds and scribes who will follow us; we need some assurance that any blazon we devised would be reconstructable. In this case, at the very least we'd need to find this cross mentioned by name in some accessible reference. Failing that, or better evidence that it's a period motif, I must continue to return it. (Stanislaw Jan Ossolinski, March, 1993, pg. 28)


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The device had been returned on the LoAR of March 92 for lack of identifiability of the aloe vera plant ...The submitter has appealed that return, providing evidence that the aloe vera was known in period, and that it was used in (post-period) armory in the form shown here. I agree that the charge would probably have been as recognizable as, say, the lotus flower; it should be acceptable for SCA use. (Randwulf the Hermit, June, 1993, pg. 2)


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We have no evidence that chipmunks were known to period Europeans: the OED's first citation of the word is dated 1842 [device registered as problem was not noted in previous return]. (Anne de Silva, July, 1993, pg. 4)


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The stag's horn or stag's attire --- singular, as opposed to the full rack of antlers -- is a period charge; the arms of the Duchy of Wuerttemberg are the most famous example of its use. (Alberto Accorsi, July, 1993, pg. 7)


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The Russian firebird is a creature of Eastern European folklore, represented in art from the late 16th and early 17th Centuries. Heraldically, it is indistinguishable from a peacock. (Krzysia Wanda Kazimirova, August, 1993, pg. 6)


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Some commenters raised the question of whether the hammered dulcimer is a period instrument. The exact form shown in this submission, played with hammers, is found in the Flemish painting "Mary Queen of Heaven", c.1485. (Mary Remnant, Musical Instruments: An Illustrated History, p.117) In theory, the modifier hammered is superfluous; this was the only period form of dulcimer. In practice, enough people are acquainted only with the post-period Appalachian dulcimer that it seems safer to specify. (Dulcinea Margarita Teresa Velazquez de Ribera, August, 1993, pg. 11)


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The bouvier de Flandres does not seem to be a period breed of dog. According to Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs, #43, "There is no real agreement concerning the origin of this Franco-Belgian breed. Probably it was formed by crossing the griffon and the Beauceron..."; the griffon and Beauceron breeds, in turn, were developed in the 19th and 18th Centuries respectively. (Jean Philippe des Bouviers Noirs, August, 1993, pg. 18)


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The mandrake is a plant of the genus Mandragora and is native to Southern Europe and the East. It is characterized by very short stems, thick fleshy, often forked, roots, and by fetid lance-shaped leaves (OED). Of the two examples cited in Parker, p. 390, one (de Champs) blazons them as plantes de mandragore (plants of mandrake). The other cited example, the only one in English armory, is actually shown in Rodney Dennys' The Heraldic Imagination, p.130, as more humanoid. Dennys states that "the Mandrake is not, of course, a monster or chimerical creature in the strict sense of the term, but in heraldic art it has acquired such anthropomorphic characteristics that it can be rated as one of the more fanciful of the fabulous creatures of heraldry" (p. 129). We feel there is a CD between a mandrake and human figures as there is between other fanciful heraldic creatures (e.g. angels) and human figures. (Leandra Plumieg, September, 1993, pg. 12)


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The primary charge was submitted as a broach. The broach (more fully blazoned an embroiderer's broach) is a period charge, dating to 1558, in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Broderers; but it should be drawn with a pointed tip, not with the U-shaped tip drawn here. The charge drawn on the emblazon is also found in period armory in the arms of Waldstromer von Reichelsdorf (Siebmacher, plate 108); but I don't know what it's called. Rietstap blazons it simply as forche (fork), which in French can refer to almost any bifurcated artifact. Society blazonry calls the charge a handgun rest and we have so blazoned it here. (Alina Mika Kobyakovna, September, 1993, pg. 15)


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Hamsters were known in period: the OED cites the use of the term in 1602, well within our 50-year "grey area" of documentation. (Ammyra of House Mouse, October, 1993, pg. 8)


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Claddagh rings (also called fede rings or friendship rings) are found in period in a variety of forms. (David Hinton, Medieval Jewellery, plates 13, 14) The motif is quite period. The claddagh ring normally used today shows the heart conjoined to a crown; so even were it a protected design, this submission [In fess a heart supported by a pair of hands issuant from the flanks argent] would be clear of it [badge returned for having hands issue from the edge of a fieldless badge]. (Myles of Falkon Hold, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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The chevron écimé [with a blunted top] does not appear to be a period charge. The single registration in the SCA of the term was in 1973 (Eiolf Eriksson); and that wasn't even a correct blazon for the device (which has been reblazoned elsewhere in this LoAR). The current submission would thus be the defining instance of the charge, and we need to see evidence of its use in period before allowing its registration. We will defer any discussion of its difference versus an ordinary chevron until its validity as a period charge has been demonstrated. (Vladimir Heraldsson, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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CHARGE -- Maintained


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The blazonry term sustaining is used when an animate charge (e.g. a lion) is holding another charge of comparable size. The term supporting could be used as well, but sustaining has this virtue: it's a known period term, used in the arms of Winstone, Per pale gules and azure, a lion rampant argent sustaining a tree eradicated vert. The coat is found as the second quartering of Sir William Cecil (b.1520), Queen Elizabeth's main counsellor. (Bossewell's Workes of Armorie , 1572, fo.107; Wagner's Historic Heraldry of Britain, p.67)

Either sustaining or supporting will be used when a "held" charge is of comparable size to the beast holding it; maintaining will continue to be used when the held charge is of negligible heraldic difference. (Brayden Avenel Durrant, July, 1992, pg. 6)


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[Checky Or and gules, a <beast> maintaining a <charge> Or] The Or <charge> has insufficient contrast against the (partially) Or field. While maintained charges aren't as strictly bound by the Rule of Contrast as other charges, they still can't share a tincture with the field (v. Phillippa MacCallum, Sept 88). [See also Luke of Caerleon, November 1992 LoAR, pg. 16 and Eleri Langdoun, March 1993 LoAR, pg. 23] (Tanarian Brenaur ferch Owain fab Bran, October, 1992, pg. 33)


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[A tree trunk couped azure, its top bound by a chain sable] The sable chain has insufficient contrast on the azure trunk. While artistic details are not as strictly bound by the Rule of Tincture as are primary charges, this submission still does not permit ready identification of all its charges. (Dofinn-Hallr Morrisson, August, 1993, pg. 18)


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CHARGE -- Overall


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There are a few period examples of overall charges counterchanged: e.g. Alwell, c.1586, Argent, a pile sable, overall a chevron counterchanged. These examples all seem to use ordinaries surmounting ordinaries. I am perfectly willing to permit overall charges in the SCA to be counterchanged, so long as they too are ordinaries (or charges of similar simplicity, such as roundels). [see also Aaron de Hameldene, July, 1992 LoAR, pg. 20] (Kendric of Black Water., July, 1992, pg. 13)


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[On an estoile, a phoenix] This was blazoned on the LOI as An estoile ...and overall a phoenix. However, an examination of the full-sized emblazon showed this to be incorrect: the "overlap" of the phoenix over the estoile's edge was so small as to be negligible. This in itself is reason for return: the Laurel office has long insisted that overall charges be truly overall, not barely overlapping the edge of their underlying charge. (LoAR of 17 June 83) [Returned for this reason and for conflict] (Eirikr Sigurdharson, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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Ermine fimbriation is disallowed (LoAR of 3 Aug 86, p.17), as are overall charges surmounting fimbriated ordinaries (9 March 86, p.12). (Cerridwen nic Alister, October, 1992, pg. 26)


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[On a pale, a <charge>, overall a laurel wreath] Our general policy (LoAR of July 92, p.20), based on period practice, is that only ordinaries (or similarly simple charges, such as roundels) may be counterchanged across ordinaries. The laurel wreath is not a simple charge, and may not be counterchanged here. While we were tempted to be lenient in this case (considering the arms of the Shire's parent Kingdom contain a laurel wreath counterchanged across a pale), I decided that making an exception here would open a larger can of worms than I could contemplate with equanimity. (Shire of Blackmoor Keep, October, 1992, pg. 28)


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In my LoAR cover letter of 3 August 1992, I suggested a ban on fieldless badges with overall charges. My reasons were that overall charges obscured the underlying charges into unidentifiability; that I could find no period examples of badges with overall charges; and that such badges, as they're often registered in the SCA, used overall charges of a different tincture class than the underlying charges, making it impossible to display the badges on any plain field.

There were some objections to my proposal, mostly fixating on the last (and least important) of my three points. There were also complaints that the ban would make it more difficult to register armory in the SCA, an objection that's been raised every time we try to improve our stylistic standards. The most substantive objection came from Lord Eclipse, who noted the badge of Baron Sudeley (Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges, p.147): A fire-beacon and in front thereof and chained thereto, a panther ducally gorged, the tail nowed. This is emblazoned in Foster's Dictionary of Heraldry, p.221, and seems to be drawn with the panther overlying the stem of the beacon.

However, as a counter-example to my proposed ban, the Sudeley badge is doubly flawed. First, it's considerably post-period; Fox-Davies dates it to 1906. Second, the panther and beacon have a very small area of intersection; Sudeley's badge uses an overall charge to the same degree that, say, In saltire a sword and a lute uses an overall charge.

Eclipse's example got me to thinking, however, and I've realized that there are cases where a fieldless badge could acceptably use an overall charge. The cases are those where one or both of the charges were long and slender, making the area of intersection small --- e.g. A sword, blade surmounted by an anvil. Such a badge would have all its charges identifiable, and be well in keeping with period style.

I've therefore decided not to implement a comprehensive ban on fieldless badges with overall charges. I will be returning cases where the underlying charge is rendered unidentifiable, per Rule VIII.3; this will include the most egregious cases of overall charges (e.g. A pheon surmounted by a hawk's head). But this can be done as an interpretation of the current Rules, and needn't involve a new policy. In cases where identifiability is maintained --- where one of the charges is a long, slender object, and the area of intersection small --- overall charges will still be permitted in fieldless badges. (15 January, 1992 Cover Letter (November, 1992 LoAR), pg. 3)


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Some commenters have asked about our current policy on overall charges: specifically, whether overall charges are the primary charge group in a design. The answer depends on whether we speak of Society or mundane armory --- or even which portion of mundane armory. Herewith, my best stab at answers:

Overall charges were uncommon in period armory. Most of the examples we have involve brisures: direct cadency between generations. Prince Arthur's Book (c.1520) gives examples of England with a [brisure]: a label overall, or a bend overall, or even an escarbuncle overall. (Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 1) In those cases, since the overall brisures were additions to a base coat, the underlying charges were the obvious primary charges. [Laurel Footnote: "There was a least one exception to this general rule: a case where the added brisure was the underlying charge, and the overall charge the primary! The original armes of Burnell were Argent, a lion rampant sable, as used by Robert Burnell c.1270. His descendants added a variety of changes (e.g. William added a label of five points overall gules); Philip Burnell, c.1280, added a bend gules, which in one roll was surmounting the lion --- and in another roll was surmounted by it! (Anglo-Norman Armory II, pp.58, 128) In each case the lion was the primary charge, whether underlying or overall.]

Once direct cadency cases are removed, there are still a few period cases of overall charges; in those cases, the overall charge is part of the original design of the armory. Examples include the Duchy of Cleves, c.1370 (Gules, an inescutcheon argent, overall an escarbuncle Or); the arms of Sweden, or more precisely, the Folkunga dynasty of Sweden, c.1290 (Azure, three scarpes wavy argent, overall a lion crowned Or); the Archbishopric of Canterbury, c.1350 (Azure, an archepiscopal staff Or, overall a pallium argent fringed Or and charged with four crosses formy fitchy at the foot sable); von Könige, c.1605 (Azure, a column Or, overall a horse courant argent); and a handful of others. It's not as easy to determine the primary charge in all these designs, but we can tell for some cases -- because their owners used that charge in other armory as well. Thus Anne of Cleves used a badge that incorporated the escarbuncle of her arms (Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges); and the lion of the arms of Sweden are found again, as Sweden's supporters. (And I would certainly opine that the pallium was the primary charge in Canterbury's arms; the episcopal crozier is well-nigh invisible.)

In period armory, then, there is no hard and simple rule for determining whether an overall charge is the primary charge; it depends on what cadency changes have been made, if any. A rule of thumb might be that, if an animate charge (e.g. a lion) and an ordinary are used together, the animate charge is the primary charge, whether overall or underlying; but I wouldn't back that rule with money in any particular case. (Sources for the above examples include Siebmacher's Wappenbuch , 1605; the Anglo-Norman Armory II, Dictionary of British Arms.)

SCA armory is different. Under previous Rules, the overall charge was always the primary charge, by defintion: "[Against mundane arms] the addition of a major overall charge ...is sufficient difference. The overall charge must be drawn large enough to make it the primary visual charge. The relegation of the [underlying charge] to secondary status will constitute the extra half point needed." [WvS, 20 Oct 80, p.6]

Under the current Rules, the situation is reversed, but equally universal in scope: the underlying charge is always the primary charge, again by definition. There were hints, prior to the current Rules, that the change was forthcoming: "Primary charges should not be `demoted' when a charge is placed overall: in mundane usage it is the charge overall which is considered to have been added for cadency, just as are the secondaries around the primary charge. The blazon represents reality: the primary charge will remain the charge which lies closest to the center of the field in the plane closest to the field." [AmCoE, 26 April 87, p.10] Currently, the addition of overall charges is explicitly deemed worth only a single CD, per Rule X.4.c; it is not Sufficient Difference, as the addition of a primary charge would be.

Neither of these policy extremes is a perfect approximation to period style. But I'd be hard-pressed to devise a policy on overall charges that was a better approximation --- or if I could, it would likely be so complicated as to be unusable. And given the frequency of overall charges in Society heraldry, some policy we must have. The current policy --- that overall charges are secondaries, and underlying charges primaries --- has at least one advantage: it doesn't unduly encourage the addition of overall charges, which was at best a rare practice in period. I'm always open to suggestions, but for now, I'm enclined to let the current policy stand. (22 February, 1993 Cover Letter (December, 1992 LoAR), pp. 3-4)


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[Or, a bend sinister, overall a bear] ...this is clear of [Or, a bear]. By our current Rules, the overall charge is considered a secondary, and the underlying charge a primary; Rule X.1 brings this clear (Conrad Erich von Brixen, January, 1993, pg. 6)


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[A compass star, overall a decrescent] It had been announced (LoAR cover letter of 3 Aug 92) that, starting with this meeting, we would no longer register fieldless badges using overall charges. Except for designs with long, skinny charges (e.g. a sword, blade surmounted by an anvil), in general that ban is still in effect. In this particular case, it takes a very careful arrangement of the crescent and mullet to guarantee the identifiability of both; and any design that depends on the exact proportions of its charges is generally not good style. (James Adare MacCarthaigh of Derrybawn, January, 1993, pg. 24)


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[Two spears in saltire argent hafted proper, surmounted by a serpent in annulo, with a head at either end argent.] The overall charge is acceptable in this design, per the LoAR cover letter of 15 Jan 93: the charges are slender, and the area of intersection small [badge returned for unidentifiably drawn spears] (Christof Gately, January, 1993, pg. 31)


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[Two quill pens in saltire sable surmounted by a butterfly argent] The overall charge renders the pens unidentifiable, in violation of Rule VIII.3. Indeed, this submission is a textbook example of why I suggested a ban on overall charges in fieldless badges, in my cover letter of 3 Aug 92: the pens, far from being identifiable as pens, instead look like extensions of the butterfly's wings. The visual effect would be blazoned A butterfly argent, wings tipped sable; and therefore, this conflicts with [A butterfly argent, wings tipped gules]. (Sidonia of Seven Oaks, January, 1993, pg. 32)


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[Two wooden staves in saltire proper surmounted by a palmer's scrip or] This is acceptable under our current standards for overall charges in fieldless badges: the underlying charges are long and skinny, and readily identifiable. (Sean ua Neill the Staffmaker, March, 1993, pg. 17)


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Some commenters had wondered whether the presence of an overall charge automatically brings a design outside the scope of X.4.j.ii. As currently worded, Rule X.4.j.ii.b applies to "an ordinary ...accompanied only by a single group of identical charges on the field." Overall charges, in most cases, are not considered in the same class as charges on the field: they are separate categories of difference (X.4.b and X.4.c), for instance, and VIII.2.b.i refers to contrast between the field and "every charge placed directly on it and with charges placed overall", implying these are separate. Since the Rules don't seem to consider overall charges to be "directly on the field", X.4.j.ii.b doesn't apply to overall charges.

Lord Owen gives another argument: Rule X.4.j.ii.b only applies if the ordinary is charged, not the accompanying secondary charge. If the secondary charge were to overlie the ordinary, it would crowd the tertiaries and render them harder to identify. That seems to contradict the intended purpose of the Rule, that simple armorial design meet less stringent difference standards. I have to agree with this. The presence of the overall charge prevents this design from being considered "simple armory" within the meaning of Rule X.4.j.ii. No CDs can be granted for type alone of tertiary. (College of Cathair Dhaibhaidh, March, 1993, pg. 20)


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[A feather palewise surmounted by a gryphon's head] Fieldless badges may no longer use overall charges, except in cases where the overlap area is small; this is usually restricted to long, skinny charges such as a sword (LoAR cover letter of 15 Jan 93). As drawn [the feather is a wide as the gryphon's head minus the beak and ears], the feather in this badge doesn't meet that standard. (Order of the Golden Feather (Principality of Artemisia), May, 1993, pg. 14)


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[Sable, a bend sinister argent, overall a wolf's head caboshed, grasping in its mouth an arrow fesswise reversed counterchanged, a bordure embattled argent] The counterchanging of the complex charges over the ordinary is visually confusing, and disallowed per Rule VIII.3. This interpretation has been in force since April 90; it was most recently reaffirmed in the case of the Shire of Blackmoor Keep, LoAR of Oct 92.

This submission is an appeal of a return by the Atlantian College of Heralds. The submitter has been informed of the abovementioned policy; his appeal is based on two period examples, each showing a lion counterchanged over an ordinary. One example, from King René's Tournament Book, mid-15th Century, seems to have been invented for illustration purposes; while it might be argued to be acceptable style (by its inclusion in the book), it might also be argued to be obviously nonsensical style (to show that it's not real armory). King René's illustration is therefore inconclusive evidence.

The other example is a device found in the Mandeville Roll, c.1450 (Dictionary of British Arms 218): Azure, a lion argent and a bend counterchanged. No owner was named for this armory; we might reasonably assume it to have been an actual coat, but it's a weak example on which to overturn our present policy.

Moreover, the current submission isn't of comparable simplicity to the example in the Mandeville Roll. The latter had a single ordinary, with a single counterchanged charge. The current submission has two counterchanged charges plus an additional bordure, increasing its visual complexity. (We also note that the bend surmounts the bordure, which is a further anomaly. It isn't reason for return in this case; as both the bend and bordure are argent, they'll tend to blend together in any case. However, should he resubmit with this motif, please instruct the submitter to have the bordure surmount the bend.)

To sum up: by longstanding policy, the College disallows complex charges counterchanged over other charges. The examples given in this appeal don't apply to this case: the submitted device has more counterchanged charges than the examples, and an anomalous bordure as well. Even were the submission as simple as the examples, the latter are too nebulous (neither being attributable to a specific historical person) to warrant overturning our policy. This must be returned; he might consider making the bend Or and the wolf's head argent, assuming no conflicts. (Grethfurth Wulfstan, May, 1993, pg. 15)


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CHARGE -- Peripheral


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Neither [Argent, a chief indented purpure] nor [Argent, a sinister canton purpure] armory contains a primary charge, so Rule X.2 does not apply ...I'm unhappy with the latter conflict, but I see no way around it as the Rules currently stand. Rule X.2, subtitled "Difference of Primary Charges", specifically applies only when "the type of primary charge is substantially changed." Neither the chief, nor the canton, nor any peripheral ordinary, can be a primary charge; otherwise, by Rule X.1 Lozengy bendwise azure and argent, a canton gules would be clear of Bavaria, and Gyronny sable and Or, a bordure gules would be clear of Campbell. That would be unacceptable; therefore a peripheral ordinary can't be the primary charge, even when it's the only charge in the design (Tristram du Bois, July, 1992, pp. 23-24)


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[Gyronny azure and argent, an orle vs. Gyronny azure and argent] The orle, as a peripheral ordinary, is by definition not a primary charge; Rule X.1 cannot be invoked here. (Galen MacDonald, August, 1992, pg. 29)


[Per pale argent and sable, a pair of flaunches sable] This conflicts, alas, with [Per pale argent and sable]. Flaunches do not appear to be primary charges, so Rule X.1 does not apply here; there is a single CD for their addition.

This was a very tough decision; evidence was available supporting either side of the question. The main issue boiled down to whether flaunches can ever be primary charges. If they can't, then the conflict is valid (as discussed in the LoAR of July 92, pp.23-24). Like the bordure, our prime example of a peripheral charge that can never be primary, the addition of flaunches need not disturb the placement of other charges on the field (July 92, p.6). On the other hand, unlike the bordure, flaunches can legitimately extend quite a ways into the field, increasing their visual dominance over a design.

In the end, the fact that flaunches are usually considered ordinaries (or sub-ordinaries, depending on the text) proved decisive. Ordinaries may be classed either as central ordinaries (e.g., the pale, fess, cross, etc.) or as peripheral ordinaries (e.g., the bordure, chief, base, etc.). No matter how they intrude into the field, flaunches do not cross its center, as central ordinaries would; therefore, they must be peripheral ordinaries. (Another peripheral ordinary, the chief, can legitimately extend into an unoccupied field quite as much as can flaunches.)

In the case of Eleonora Vittoria Alberti di Calabria (LoAR of Dec 92), it was decided that Rule X.4.j.ii applies to charged flaunches alone on the field. Since flaunches aren't in the center of the field, the only examples of the Rule that support the decision are those of X.4.j.ii (d), the examples involving peripheral charges. This confirms the general impression among the College that flaunches are peripheral --- and therefore cannot be primary, and cannot invoke Rule X.1. (Ceidyrch ap Llywelyn, June, 1993, pg. 19)


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CHARGE -- Restricted and Reserved


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[Gyronny gules and argent, in saltire four roses counterchanged] The Tudor rose, defined to be a combination of a red and a white rose, is a prohibited charge in SCA heraldry. One period form of Tudor rose was a rose per pale gules and argent (or argent and gules) (Boutell); this submission's charges could be equally well blazoned four Tudor roses saltirewise. (Kiera Lye d'Alessandria, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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Neither France Ancient (Azure semy-de-lys Or) nor France Modern (Azure, three fleurs-de-lys Or) may be used in SCA heraldry, either as the field (or part thereof) or on a charge. To do so constitutes a claim to connection to French royalty, prohibited under Rule XI.1. [For full discussion, see under FLOWER -- Fleur-de-lys] (Raoul de Chenonceaux, July, 1992, pg. 23)


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I must conclude that, in Germany, the field of Bavaria is used in very much the same way as the arms of France were used in France. I therefore restore the prohibition of Lozengy bendwise azure and argent in Society heraldry, as well as artistic variants such as Paly bendy azure and argent. [For full discussion, see under ROYAL ARMORY] (18 September, 1992 Cover Letter (August, 1992 LoAR), pg. 3)


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[Argent, a gauntlet gules] There was some concern whether this was too reminiscent of the Red Hand of Ulster, a prohibited charge in the SCA. It turns out that the Red Hand of Ulster was used as an augmentation, not as a main charge. We would certainly return a device that used a canton argent charged with a hand gules, and perhaps even a chief argent charged with a hand gules would be too suggestive; but the use of red hands, gloves, gauntlets, etc., on white backgrounds is not, in and of itself, cause for return. (Guillaume de la Rapière, August, 1992, pg. 4)


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[Quarterly gules and azure, the whole seme-de-lys Or, a <charge>] The use of Azure, semy-de-lys Or has been reason for return for the last ten years; it was reaffirmed on the LoAR of July 92. This must be returned for use of a prohibited treatment (Connor Malcolm O'Maoilbhreanainn, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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The use of azure semy-de-lys Or has been prohibited in Society armory for many years; it is too strongly suggestive of a claim to a French royal connection. The prohibition was reaffirmed on the LoAR of July 92, p.23. The bordure azure semy-de-lys Or has been specifically disallowed: "A bordure of France (ancient or modern) may not be used in SCA heraldry." [LoAR of 20 Oct 85] (Rhiannon Saint Chamberlayne, November, 1992, pg. 16)


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The use of paly bendy azure and argent has been prohibited in Society armory since 1984; it is too strongly suggestive of a claim to a connection to the rulers of Bavaria. The prohibition was reaffirmed on the LoAR cover letter of 18 Sept 92, p.3. In this case, the problem is particularly acute: the bordure is drawn so wide that this might be blazoned more accurately as Bavaria with an inescutcheon per pale Or and gules, thereon a castle counterchanged. This makes the problem of presumption more obvious, but either way, the use of the Bavarian field is unacceptable. (Siegfried Rupert Stanislaus, November, 1992, pg. 17)


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[Two straight trumpets in saltire, surmounted by another palewise, the whole ensigned of a fleur-de-lys Nourrie between two lions combattant] The ...badge [has] been previously returned in 1984 and 1989 .. .for complexity and infringement on the badge of the SCA College of Arms ...The submitter contends ...that, since the new Rules did not republish the List of Reserved Charges (which included the crossed trumpets of the College of Arms), those charges were no longer prohibited to him. ...The List of Reserved Charges is still available, in the Glossary of Terms sold by the Stock Clerk, and is still in force. The use of the crossed trumpets is still reserved to the College of Arms; the only new submissions that may use them are the seals of Principal Heralds. Nor can one argue that the current submission, by using three trumpets instead of two, is clear of the problem. The design uses a reserved motif, and additional charges don't remove the presumption; that would be like saying that the use of one crown is reserved to Royal Peers, but the use of two crowns is not. [badge returned for this, complexity and other presumption problems] (Norrey Acadamie of Armorie (Taliesynne Nycheymwrh yr Anyghyfannedd), December, 1992, pg. 21)


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The argument for exclusivity --- that the motif of a white crux stellata on a blue background is uniquely associated with the Eureka Stockade --- is weakened by Crux Australis' citations of its use by modern Australian trade unions and the Australian Republican movement, and by Hund's citation of its use by the Australian Army Pay Corps. With so many Australian institutions using the motif, it can be considered no more exclusive than, say, a black swan naiant on a gold background (the badge of Western Australia).[For the full discussion, see under CROSS] (Southkeep Brewers and Vintners Guild (Shire of Southkeep), December, 1992, pg. 23)


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Charged cantons may not be used except in the case of augmentations of arms. This prohibition dates from at least 28 Dec 82 and is still in force. This must be returned, per Rule XI.1. (Aurora Ashland of Woolhaven, January, 1993, pg. 25)


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[A dexter hand fesswise reversed, palm to chief, maintaining a flame] Some commenters wondered whether the central charge could be considered a hand of glory, which isn't permitted in Society heraldry. The hand of glory is essentially a hand on fire: it's usually seen apaumy, and issuant small flames (especially at its fingers). The hand shown in this submission is simply holding a flame, and is not a hand of glory [device returned for fimbriating the flame and for unidentifiability of the hand position]. (Deirdre Colintrie, March, 1993, pg. 23)


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The use of two straight trumpets in saltire is reserved to the seals of Principal Heralds, and has been since at least 1983. It is the motif itself that's reserved; changes of tincture, addition of charges, or (as here) inversion of the trumpets, don't affect the reservation of that motif, any more than they affect the reservation of crowns to the armory of royal peers. (John Skinner of Rivenstar, March, 1993, pg. 24)


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Lord Palimpsest's other formal recommendation was that the College lift the reservation of the motif Two straight trumpets crossed in saltire to the seals of the Principal Heralds --- that is, permit the use of the motif by non-heralds. In this he had the concurrence of nearly all the members of the College. Nearly all, but not quite: Lord Laurel, for one, dissents.

The use of the crossed trumpets has, for many years, been strongly identified with the College of Arms --- far more strongly than, say, the key has been identified with the Seneschalate, or a pale checky gules and argent with the Exchequer. This identification has been promoted by the College: the nature of our job makes us highly visible, and our badge (besides being an example of the heraldic display we encourage) tells onlookers that our pronouncements in court and field are official. As a result, the College with its badge is probably more visible than any other group of officers with theirs.

This identification has led to submissions (at least two in recent memory) that used the crossed trumpets to deliberately invoke a connection with the College of Arms. I can recall no comparable examples with the other officers' badges --- e.g., former seneschals don't submit armory with keys in an attempt to emphasize their political clout (or at least, they haven't yet). Since our usefulness to the Society hinges on our reputation, it's in our interest to protect that reputation, by restricting to the College of Arms the use of a motif uniquely identified in the public mind with the College.

It's been argued that the reservation of the crossed trumpets represents an intolerable "perk": a privilege we permit ourselves but deny others. Folks, if I had to choose a special privilege for the College, I think I'd have picked something a bit more special. The crossed trumpets are restricted, even within the College, to the seals of the Principal Heralds --- which means that there can be only about fifteen registered armories with crossed trumpets at any given time. The effect on possible conflicts is so close to nil that God Himself couldn't tell the difference. We don't see a flood of submissions from Kingdom Colleges demanding seals, so it doesn't affect our workload. The reservation's only effect is on those submitters who want to capitalize on the College's reputation --- and while cynics may argue that such submitters deserve what they get, on the whole I'd rather not see the problem arise in the first place. (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 4)


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The orle flory has been disallowed for SCA use: it's too reminiscent of the double tressure flory counter-flory, which is an augmentation from the Scots crown. This precedent has been affirmed as recently as the LoAR of Sept 89. Indeed, given period renditions of the arms of Scotland with an orle flory instead of a double tressure flory counter-flory (e.g. Siebmacher, plate 2), and given a recent statement from the Lyon Office of Scotland declining to register orles flory without the Queen's express command, the precedent seems worth keeping. (Patrick Drake, August, 1993, pg. 19)


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CHARGE GROUP


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[Per bend sinister, an willow tree and an llama's head vs. Per bend sinister, an ash tree and a spearhead] In each device, the two charges form a single group of primaries. Changes are counted against the entire group: One cannot count a CD for a change to half a group, and another CD for the same category of change to the other half of the same group. Because both devices contain a tree, Rule X.2 does not apply; there is a single CD, for changing the types of charges of a single group. (Edward of Willowwood, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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[A <bird> debruised by a fess] Under our current definition of primary charges, Rule X.1 brings this clear of [A fess]. (Gregory of Loch Swan, September, 1992, pg. 32)


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[Azure goutty d'eau in chief a cloud] This conflicts with [Azure, goutty de eau]. This conflict call engendered much discussion in the commentary, centering on whether the cloud was a peripheral secondary charge (thereby making this a conflict with [above]) or a primary charge (thereby clearing the conflict per Rule X.1). One might argue either way: Had this been, e.g., Azure, in chief a cloud argent, the cloud would probably be the primary; had this been, e.g., Argent goutty d'eau, a chief nebuly argent, it would definitely be a conflict. In this case, the gouts are the primary charge group, and the cloud a secondary charge. Approach it by approximations: Comparing Azure, a gout argent vs. Azure, a gout and in chief a cloud argent, there would certainly be a conflict; likewise Azure, three gouts argent vs. Azure, three gouts and in chief a cloud argent, and Azure, six gouts argent vs. Azure, six gouts and in chief a cloud argent. In none of these hypothetical cases could Rule X.1 be invoked for adding the cloud in chief; the gouts are the primary charges. Increasing the number of gouts even further (to goutty, the present submission) does not change this. This is a conflict ...with a single CD for adding the secondary charge in chief. (Jon of the Mists, September, 1992, pp. 39-40)


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[A drawn bow fesswise, nocked of a double-bitted axe, and sustained by two bears combattant] The device has a single group of charges, of three different types, in violation of Rule VIII.1.a. This must be returned (Big Bear of Haven, September, 1992, pg. 48)


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[A castle, in chief three barrulets wavy azure surmounted by two escallops] The charges in chief were blazoned in the LOI as on a chief [wavy] barry wavy argent and azure, two escallops gules. However, the use of the field as one of the tinctures of the chief renders this as barrulets in chief rather than a chief barry. That this was the submitter's intent is shown by the emblazon, which had the escallops overlying the edge of the "chief" ...The correct blazon is with a primary castle, and a single group of charges in chief; and therefore, this conflicts with [Argent, a castle gules]. (Randulf von Gelnhausen, September, 1992, pg. 49)


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[A serpent and a bordure vs. A serpent debruised by a fess] By current definitions, in each case the serpent is the primary charge; there is thus a single CD, per Rule X.4.e, for changing the type of secondary charge. (Konall Rogersson, October, 1992, pg. 23)


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[Party of six pieces, three bells] This was blazoned on the LOI as [Per fess, on a pale counterchanged between two bells, a bell]. That would be the normal modern blazon, but not the period blazon. In period, this was considered a field division, not a counterchanged pale ...this [is] a conflict with [Gules, three bells]. [For full discussion, see under FIELD DIVISION -- General] (Laeghaire ua'Laverty, October, 1992, pg. 25)


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[A lion's head azure jessant-de-lys vert vs. leopard's head jessant-de-lys gules] After much thought, we decided that the leopard's head jessant-de-lys was common enough in period armory to be considered a single charge, in the same way a penner and inkhorn would be. It could equally well be considered a single group of conjoined charges. Either way, there's a single CD, for the tincture of the primary charge group. (Ginevra Cecilia da Firenze, October, 1992, pg. 25)


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I'd suggested in the [August, 1992] LoAR that we might consider the line of division to divide the group into "halves", regardless of the numbers involved. The College in general disapproved of my proposal, saying it would encourage poor style; and after reading the arguments, I'm inclined to agree. (Ríognhach MacLeod, October, 1992, pg. 34)


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[A decrescent within an arch stooped between three mullets] As drawn here, the decrescent is the primary charge, just as it would be were it encircled by a wreath or an annulet. (Luanmaise nic Ailithir, November, 1992, pg. 12)


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[In chief a boar's head and in base a bow and a sword in saltire] The use of a single group of three dissimilar charges is not permitted, per Rule VIII.1.a. The exact arrangement of the three charges within the group (whether 2&1, a sheaf, or whatever) does not change this (Colin Douglas of Greysmarch, November, 1992, pg. 14)


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[A key bendwise sinisiter between two Welsh corgies] As drawn, the key and the corgies are separate groups of charges. Therefore, this doesn't conflict with [three wolves] or with [three wolves in pale]. (Rosalynde y Corgwyn, January, 1993, pg. 21)


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[Per chevron azure and argent, all mullety counterchanged] This is clear of [Azure, six mullets argent, three, two and one. Semy charges, by definition, are evenly strewn across the field. When the field is divided in half by a field partition (such as Per chevron), then half the semy charges are on each half of the field --- again, by definition. We thus count a CD for the tincture of the field, and a CD for the tincture of half the primary charge group. (Ariane la Fileuse, July, 1993, pg. 4)


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CHEVRON


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[A chevron inverted debased] The chevron inverted is definitely debased, so much that the fact must be blazoned; but no evidence has been presented chevrons (inverted or not) were blazoned or drawn "debased" in period. (Charles of the Painted Glen, November, 1992, pg. 15)


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There are no period examples of inserting charges within the interlacing of braced chevrons; usually, such interlacing was done so tightly as to leave no room for charges between the gaps. While we might permit charges in the gaps between braced chevrons in a Society design, the other problems in this design combine to warrant return for non-period style. (Gwendolyn æt Faegerlea, May, 1993, pg. 14)


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The chevron écimé [with a blunted top] does not appear to be a period charge. The single registration in the SCA of the term was in 1973 (Eiolf Eriksson); and that wasn't even a correct blazon for the device (which has been reblazoned elsewhere in this LoAR). The current submission would thus be the defining instance of the charge, and we need to see evidence of its use in period before allowing its registration. We will defer any discussion of its difference versus an ordinary chevron until its validity as a period charge has been demonstrated. (Vladimir Heraldsson, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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CHIEF


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This is the correct placement of an orle with a chief: the orle runs parallel to the edge of the chief, and is not surmounted by it. See the arms of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, used by them c.1590. (Bromley & Child, Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London, p.180). (Guillaume de la Rapière, August, 1992, pg. 4)


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[Per pale, a harp and a cross of four lozenges, a chief embattled] The chief was a mark of primary cadency in period (Gayre's Heraldic Cadency, p.153), and it became part of the Stodart system of cadency used today in Scotland. Thus, the addition of a chief to quartered armory would not remove the appearance of marshalling. However, the chief's use as a brisure was never as widespread as the bordure's; where the bordure would be used to cadence all forms of marshalling, the chief would only be used to cadence quartering. In the case of impalement --- which implies a marital coat, not an inherited one --- the addition of the chief is sufficient to remove the appearance of marshalling. (Æthelstan von Ransbergen, September, 1992, pg. 1)


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[Argent maily sable, on a chief a scroll charged with quill pens] This was blazoned on the LOI as [Per fess, in chief on an scroll quill pens]. However, the full emblazon didn't quite show a Per fess division, but rather a charged chief. The quill pens are therefore quaternary charges, which are disallowed per Rule VIII.1.c.ii.

The distinction between, say, Argent, a chief gules and Per fess gules and argent was not often observed in early heraldry; indeed, the first examples of Per-fess emblazons were blazoned a chief. (See Wagner's Historic Heraldry of Britain, plate II, for such an example.) However, the distinction was observed by the mid-15th Century, and is observed in the SCA. This may make it easier for us to avoid conflict, but it also requires us to insist on correct emblazons. If this is resubmitted with an undoubted Per fess field, there should be no stylistic problems. (August Kroll, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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When a bordure and chief are used together, the chief almost invariably overlies the bordure (Parker 73). The rare exceptions generally don't have tertiaries on the chief; they would be crowded by the bordure, rendering them harder to identify. The handful of SCA registrations with bordures surmounting charged chiefs have subsequently been disallowed as precedent (LoAR of Oct 91, p.17); far more often, such designs have been returned as non-period practice. [Device also returned for conflict] (Justin of Kent, December, 1992, pg. 20)


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[Three piles and in base a <charge>] There was some question as to whether this could be considered a chief indented. Roger Pye, in a series of articles ("Evolution of the Arms of Douglas of Lochleven", Coat of Arms, N.S. vol.III No.107, Autumn 78; "Development of the Pile in Certain Graham Arms", Coat of Arms, N.S. vol.III No.110, Summer 79), has shown that the indented chief in some Scots arms came to be drawn as three piles palewise, as in this submission. However, the earliest example he cites of such a variation dates from 1672, which puts it beyond our use. If this were resubmitted with a true chief indented, it would probably be acceptable; but I can't see any way to register this with piles, so long as there's a charge in base. (Içiar Albarez de Montesinos, January, 1993, pg. 28)


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[A chief Or vs. On a chief double enarched Or, three mullets] There is clearly a CD for the addition of the mullets, but is the double arching of the chief worth a second CD? It has been previously ruled that there is not a CD between a chief singly arched and a plain chief: "the arching here is virtually identical to that shown on period renditions of a plain chief and adds almost no visual difference" (AMoE, LoAR 19 March 1988, p. 12)

Chiefs double arched have been acceptable in the S.C.A. for over twelve years. According to J.P. Brooke- Little, the first use of this line of partition seems to have been in 1806 in a grant to William Proctor Smith: Gules, on a chief double arched Or, three trefoils proper. (Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry, 1969 revision, footnote, p. 75) Therefore, there is no period evidence upon which to base a decision. However, from this example, we can infer that nineteenth century heralds viewed double arching to be different from a straight line of partition; at least a blazonable difference.

From a visual perspective, single arching has been used to give representation to the curvature of a shield, especially with bends. Double arching does not appear to be an artistic method of denoting curvature. It involves a distinct action in the drawing of the line of partition in the same way as bevilling. This makes it one step removed from a plain line of partition. Therefore, we feel a clear difference can be counted between a chief plain and a chief double arched. (Richard Stanley Greybeard, September, 1993, pg. 13)


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[A bordure argent, overall on a chief <charges>] "The chief does not, as a rule, surmount other chargers, and consequently, such have often to be debased...when associated with a bordure (unless there is direct statement to the contrary) the bordure would be turned and continued beneath the base line of the chief." (Parker 112) The term overall in the blazon above is the "direct statement to the contrary" needed here. (Basilla la Merciere, October, 1993, pg. 11)


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CHOBAN (Japanese Gong)


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I consider the choban [Japanese gong] to be distinct from an escallop, certainly enough to be worth a CD of difference. (Roberto de Jerez, November, 1992, pg. 9)


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CLEAVER


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As drawn, the charge was not identifiable as a cleaver. Various guesses, by commenters and Laurel's staff, included crescent wrench, half-eaten ice cream stick, plastic oil can, and a spout from a gasoline hose. If it can't be identified, it can't be used as an heraldic charge.

Most of the cleavers shown in period documents (including Jost Amman's Ständebuch, cited in the LOI) have a massive, square blade. The sole exception was the submitter's source, Workers in the Mendel Housebook by the Nuremburg Masters, c.1436: it showed a cleaver similar (though not identical) to that in this submission. However, the documented cleaver had a proportionately broader blade, with a smaller notch, than the submitted emblazon; and we note that even a misshapen cleaver is more readily identified when shown in a butcher's hand, in the process of hacking meat.

We suggest the submitter use a more standard form of cleaver when he resubmits. (Erich Küchengehilfe, May, 1993, pg. 16)


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CLOTHING


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We would grant a CD between a fool's cap and most other types of hat (Catherine the Merry, May, 1993, pg. 11)


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COILED MATCH


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The consensus of the College was that a coiled match is visually too similar to an annulet to grant a CD between the two. (Kazimir Petrovich Pomeshanov, September, 1992, pg. 40)


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COINS


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In period, coins could be depicted in one of several ways. Plain bezants originally represented Byzantine gold pieces; bezants charged with crosses couped were a more exact representation, used in the arms of the Latin Kingdom of Constantinople c.1275. (Brault's Early Blazon, p.160) Finally, there's an example in late-period English armory of penny-yard pence proper (in the canting arms of Spence); these had cruciform designs stamped on them, without being explicitly blazoned. The pattern on the pence is considered detailing, of no more heraldic import than diapering. (Ian Cnulle, August, 1992, pg. 22)


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COMET


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We can see granting a CD between a comet and a mullet. This therefore does not suffer from the stylistic problem of using the same charge in both the semy and the primary groups. (Barony of Three Mountains, January, 1993, pg. 3)


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[A comet bendwise sinister, head to chief] This had been returned on the LoAR of May 92 for conflict with the arms of [an eight-pointed estoile]. The submitter has appealed this decision, arguing that (a) estoiles and comets are separate charges, so Rule X.2 should apply here; and that (b) even if X.2 doesn't apply, there should be a CD for type of charge and a CD for placement on the field. (Honsard's estoile is centered on the shield, while the submitter's comet has its head in sinister chief.)

On the first point, I find no evidence that an estoile and a comet are so distinct charges as to permit Rule X.2, the Sufficient Difference Rule, to apply between them. All my sources define the comet as a modified estoile: an estoile with a flaming tail appended. (Parker 130; Franklyn & Tanner 82) Indeed, Lord Crescent notes examples from Papworth suggesting that the change from estoile to comet is a single cadency step: e.g. Waldock (Or, an estoile flaming [i.e. a comet] sable) and Waldeck (Or, an eight-pointed estoile sable). I am willing to grant a CD between the two charges, but I cannot see granting Sufficient Difference between them.

On the second point, the submitter overlooks the fact that, if we elongate the charge, parts of it must be displaced; that's included in the definition of elongation. One cannot count one CD for the first change, and another CD for the second: the second follows automatically from the first. It's analogous to the change between, say, a compass star and a compass star elongated to base, or a Greek cross and a Latin cross. So long as both charges are drawn to fill the available space, the change in type (from symmetrical to elongated) cannot also be counted as a change in placement. (Styvyn Longshanks, January, 1993, pg. 34)


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There's [not a CD] for comet vs. mullet elongated to base. [charge actually attempted was a compass star elongated to base] (Ysmay de Chaldon, September, 1993, pg. 20)


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COMPASS STAR


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[Per chevron inverted, three compass stars one and two] The charge in chief was blazoned a compass star elongated to base in the LOI. The full emblazon showed only a slight elongation, well within the variation permitted for a charge filling the available space; we have left it unblazoned. Were the [compass star] significantly elongated (enough to mandate mention in the blazon), this would have to be returned for using two almost-but-not-quite-identical charges. (Angeline Aldwyne, September, 1992, pg. 2)


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[A mullet vs. a compass star] Prior rulings on this point were a bit ambiguous, but in general, when there's a small change (5 vs. 6) in the number of points, we grant no difference for type of mullet --- and we do grant difference when there's a large change (5 vs. 8 or more). In this case, we have a specific precedent (LoAR of Dec 89, p.30) granting a CD between mullet and compass star, which matches the general policy. ...Pending [new] evidence, I will continue the current policy. (Steven of Mountain's Gate, September, 1992, pg. 35)


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[A compass star and overall a lion's head cabossed] As drawn, the compass star is almost completely obscured by the lion's head, rendering it unidentifiable. Charges must be drawn so as to be recognizable, per Rule VIII.3. Visually, the star's rays blend with the lion's mane, making it almost a sun in splendour Or; as such, it's very close to [a charged sun].

Some of the commentary mentioned possible conflict between this "irradiated lion's face" and a lion's face jessant-de-lys --- e.g. [a leopard's head jessant a fleur-de-lys]. I believe there's a visible difference between the straight rays shown here and a fleur-de-lys' curved petals. (Tirlach Kinsella, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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There's ...no difference between suns and multi-pointed mullets --- which includes compass stars. (Friedrich von Rabenstein, June, 1993, pg. 18)


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We grant no difference between a compass star and a rivenstar, and no difference between a compass star and a sun. (Jacques Gilbert de Gascogne, September, 1993, pg. 23)


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[A garden rose slipped and leaved and on a chief three garden rosebuds] There is a longstanding policy that one may not use two close variants of the same charge in one design. It creates visual confusion, where the whole purpose of heraldry is instant identification. The almost-but-not-quite identical charges need not be a single group; this is not related to our ban on "slot-machine heraldry." (We wouldn't allow, for example, a sun between three compass stars either.) If there's not a CD between the two charges, they should not be used together in the same design. (Joanna d'Oléron, September, 1993, pg. 24)


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We grant no difference between mullets of six points and compass stars, nor between compass stars and suns, so all three are considered as variations on the same charge. Using them all in a single device is not acceptable style. (Isabella Julietta Diego y Vega, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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COMPONY and COUNTER-COMPONY


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[Per pale, a pale compony counterchanged] The use of a compony ordinary that shares a tincture with its field has been disallowed since at least the LoAR of July 85; the precedent was confirmed Sept 87, April 89, and Aug 90. This submission is an excellent illustration of the reason for the ban: the visual appearance is not of a pale, but of a group of billets straddling the field division. The lack of identifiability is sufficient reason for return. We suggest making the pale a solid tincture. (Darius of Jaxartes, August, 1993, pg. 20)


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CONTRAST


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[Checky Or and gules, a <beast> maintaining a <charge> Or] The Or <charge> has insufficient contrast against the (partially) Or field. While maintained charges aren't as strictly bound by the Rule of Contrast as other charges, they still can't share a tincture with the field (v. Phillippa MacCallum, Sept 88). [See also Luke of Caerleon, November 1992 LoAR, pg. 16 and Eleri Langdoun, March 1993 LoAR, pg. 23] (Tanarian Brenaur ferch Owain fab Bran, October, 1992, pg. 33)


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[A brock's head cabossed vert marked sable] The markings on the badger are considered artistic license, worth no difference: for conflict purposes, the head is mostly vert. The markings aren't considered a violation of the Rule of Contrast, any more than A brock's head per pale vert and sable would break contrast. (Brocc of the Isles, May, 1993, pg. 6)


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[On a <charge> argent, three infants swaddled azure, heads proper] The infants' bodies are swaddled in blue, with only their heads showing. The charge is often found in medieval armory; and the contrast in this case is acceptable. (Michaela Nuernberger, June, 1993, pg. 4)


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[Party of six pieces gules and Or, three <charges> Or and a chief sable] The addition of the chief removes the conflict from the previous return. However, there's now a lack of contrast between the sable chief and the field. The field is equally gules and Or, and technically neutral with respect to contrast --- for charges that are equally supported by the gules and Or traits. A centrally placed sable charge, or a sable bordure, would have sufficient contrast; but a sable chief might not. (The problem is not unique to this field division: Per bend gules and Or is a neutral field, but Per bend gules and Or, a chief sable still suffers a lack of contrast.)

In this case, the chief's contrast is exactly the same as with a hypothetical Gules, a pale Or and a chief sable. We would return the latter, were it submitted; we must likewise return this. The client might consider counterchanging the tinctures of the field, or using a bordure. (Geoffrey Peal (Laeghaire ua'Laverty), June, 1993, pg. 18)


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[A tree trunk couped azure, its top bound by a chain sable] The sable chain has insufficient contrast on the azure trunk. While artistic details are not as strictly bound by the Rule of Tincture as are primary charges, this submission still does not permit ready identification of all its charges. (Dofinn-Hallr Morrisson, August, 1993, pg. 18)


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CORNUCOPIA


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Cornucopiae, by definition, are horns of plenty; an empty cornucopia is an oxymoron. (Giovanna di Piacensa, August, 1992, pg. 20)


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COTISES


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Cotises should not be as wide as the ordinary they surround; their visual weight, as secondaries, should be much less than the primary's. (Gareth of Wyke, July, 1992, pg. 12)


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Cotises follow the line of their central ordinary by default; thus a bend wavy cotised will have wavy cotises, parallel to the wavy bend (Custodia de Montemor, September, 1992, pg. 30)


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[Gules, on a bend sinister cotised Or, a fox sable] Against [Gules, on a bend sinister cotised argent, a fox gules,] there's a CD for the tincture of the bend, and (since they're considered a group of secondary charges) another for the tincture of the cotises [device returned for differenct conflict]. (Louisa Reynell, January, 1993, pg. 34)


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COTTON HANK


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[Knots of four loops and four tassels vs. cotton hanks] After looking at the examples of cotton hanks in Parker and Elvin, I've decided there is a CD between them and [the submitter's] knots of four loops and four tassels: even assuming the hanks were drawn with their loops slightly separate, Rowan's knots could be considered equivalent to "demi-hanks". (Rowan O Curry, August, 1993, pg. 4)


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COUNTERCHANGING


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[Per saltire gules and sable, a saltire counterchanged, fimbriated argent] Much of the commentary opposed this submission, as over-complex and having insufficient contrast. However, it's acceptable by both period and SCA standards: period, as illustrated by the arms of Say, c. 1586 (Per pale azure and gules, three chevronels counterchanged, fimbriated argent); SCA, as illustrated by the acceptance of Tristan Blackmoor of Darkwoods, April 92 (Per bend sinister gules and sable, a bend sinister counterchanged, fimbriated argent). This submission meets the same standards of simplicity: an ordinary, no complex lines, straight counterchanging, a choice of colors that (for two dark tinctures) maximizes visibility, and no other charges (or even types of charges) in the design.

Moreover, if necessary, this could be reblazoned "Per saltire gules and sable, a saltire argent charged with another per saltire sable and gules;" by that blazon, this would have raised far fewer objections. We opted for the more elegant blazon. [See also David van den Storm, Nov. 1992 LoAR, pg. 2] (Nesta Gwilt, June, 1992, pg. 2)


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There are a few period examples of overall charges counterchanged: e.g. Alwell, c.1586, Argent, a pile sable, overall a chevron counterchanged. These examples all seem to use ordinaries surmounting ordinaries. I am perfectly willing to permit overall charges in the SCA to be counterchanged, so long as they too are ordinaries (or charges of similar simplicity, such as roundels). [see also Aaron of Hameldene, July, 1992 LoAR, pg. 20] (Kendric of Black Water., July, 1992, pg. 13)


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[Per pale and per chevron purpure and argent, three roses counterchanged] Visual conflict with [Per pale and per chevron azure and argent, three roses counterchanged]. Though we concede sufficient technical difference, the consensus of those at the Laurel meeting was that the two were too similar. Some attributed it to the similarity of blue and purple, others to the identical complex patterns of light and dark; but all agreed that the visual similarity overrode the CDs for field and charge tincture. (Grainne of Starmount, January, 1993, pg. 33)


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A complex charge such as a laurel wreath cannot be counterchanged over an ordinary. This was last reaffirmed with the submission of the Shire of Blackmoor Keep (LoAR of Oct 92). (Shire of Turmstadt, October, 1993, pg. 16)


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CRESCENT


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[Per pale, a decrescent and an increscent] The consensus seems to be that this is not impaled armory; it's no different than, say, two beasts combattant on the same field (Eirikr Fence Splitter, August, 1992, pg. 8)


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CRESTS


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The College does not register crests (LoAR of 20 Sept 81), partially to avoid having to decide who may or may not be entitled to them, and partially to save ourselves work. This submission is a crest by virtue of its being set atop a torse. (A joscelyn is simply a torse with bells added. On a "joscelyn fesswise", those bells are invisible, and count for nothing.) (Faustina von Schwarzwald, March, 1993, pg. 26)


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The use of astrological glyphs heraldically in period can be seen on the crest of Bull, watchmaker to Queen Elizabeth I: On a wreath argent and gules, a cloud proper, thereon a celestial sphere azure, with the circles or; on the zodiac the signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer (Parker, A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, p. 547). It has long been the College's policy to allow the use of elements from crests and supporters, if period usage is documented, as charges for SCA armory although there is no documentation of their use as charges in period armory (cf. yales). (Cadell ap Hubert, September, 1993, pg. 11)


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CROSS


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[A pair of angles fesswise interlaced in pale vs. a chevronel interlaced with another inverted] [There is a CD] for ...type of "chevronel" --- just as there's a CD between a cross (throughout) and a cross annuletted. (September, 1992, pg. 33)


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[Three crosses crosslet fitchy vs. three crosses botonny] There's ...no difference for fitching the crosses, and no difference for crosslet vs. botonny. (Geoffroi de la Marche, September, 1992, pg. 39)


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[A Celtic cross vs. a Celtic cross equal-armed, quarterly pierced and throughout] There is no heraldic difference for the charge being throughout, or not. However, there's a CD ...for the quarter-piercing, which is visually equivalent to adding a tertiary delf. (Toirrdelbach Ua Máel Doraid, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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[A Maltese star cross] While SCA-variant charges are often considered acceptable ("period-compatible", as it were), we draw the line at variants of SCA-variants. This submission is a case in point: the star-cross is a Society invention, unattested in medieval armory. While it's still acceptable for SCA use, variations of it are two steps removed from medieval armory, which is an unacceptably broad leap of faith. Without evidence of period compatibility, the Maltese star-cross is unacceptable [see also Elgar of Stonehaven, January 1993 LoAR, pg. 23]. (Elgar of Stonehaven, November, 1992, pg. 14)


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We can certainly see granting a CD between a cross moline and a cross patonce. (Dyryke Raleigh, November, 1992, pg. 19)


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[On an amphora azure, a crux stellata argent] Lords Hund and Crux Australis had protested this badge when it was previously submitted, and have done so again for the current submission. They feel this infringes on the flag of the Eureka Stockade rebellion of 1854: Azure, a crux stellata argent. The Eureka rebellion was evidently a turning point in Australian history, and our Lochac colleagues opine that the motif itself is uniquely associated with it.

I sympathize with their concerns; but I can neither agree with their arguments of exclusivity nor consider this an infringement on the Eureka flag.

The argument for exclusivity --- that the motif of a white crux stellata on a blue background is uniquely associated with the Eureka Stockade --- is weakened by Crux Australis' citations of its use by modern Australian trade unions and the Australian Republican movement, and by Hund's citation of its use by the Australian Army Pay Corps. With so many Australian institutions using the motif, it can be considered no more exclusive than, say, a black swan naiant on a gold background (the badge of Western Australia).

Arguments for infringement or presumption require us to consider the amphora (or, for the other Southkeep badge submitted on this LOI, the tower) as a medium for heraldic display --- equivalent to an escutcheon, a lozenge, or a ship's sail. No evidence has been presented to support such a radical change in our policy. We didn't consider a hand argent charged with a rose gules, registered to Eglentyne Merryweather last month, to be a display of the arms of the Princes of Lippe (Argent, a rose gules); we didn't consider a crescent per fess gules and sable, charged [with] a fess argent, registered to Yngvar the Dismal in June 92, to be a display of the flag of the Pan-Arab Union of 1917 (Per fess gules and sable, a fess argent).

Many other examples could be found in the A&O of mundane armory "displayed" on some charge: an escallop, an eagle, whatever. Those charges, and the vast majority of charges, are not considered oddly-shaped shields; when bearing tertiary charges, they do not become displays of arms with the tertiaries seen as primaries. To do otherwise is to effectively ban the use of tertiary charges.

If An amphora argent charged with a fleur-de-lys gules doesn't infringe on the arms of the city of Florence, then the current submission cannot infringe on the flag of the Eureka Stockade rebellion. Our policy doesn't disparage this symbol from Australian history; rather, we set it on the same level of protection as any other armory. [Badge pended for missing a blazon]. (Southkeep Brewers and Vintners Guild (Shire of Southkeep), December, 1992, pg. 23)


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The Norse sun cross had at one time been treated as an alphanumeric symbol (that of the planet Earth), and so unacceptable for use in SCA devices. Under the current Rules, such symbols are now acceptable; indeed, a Norse sun cross was registered to Etain MacDhomhnuill on the LoAR of April 90. (Kenneth MacQuarrie of Tobermory, January, 1993, pg. 12)


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[A Maltese star cross] This conflicts with [a snowflake]. The visual similarity between the Maltese star cross and a snowflake is too large to ignore. It also conflicts with [six sets of arrow fletchings in annulo, points conjoined]. Again, the visual similarity is too great to permit a CD to be granted. (Elgar of Stonehaven, January, 1993, pg. 23)


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[A cross swallowtailed] I'd grant a CD between this cross and a cross flory or a cross patonce (which were considered the same charge by medieval heralds). I might not have granted difference against a Maltese cross or a cross fourchy, but no conflicts were cited containing such crosses. (Donata Ivanovna Basistova, March, 1993, pg. 17)


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[A cross "formy convexed"] This badge had been returned on the LoAR of May 92 for lack of documentation on the type of cross. (It had been blazoned in the previous submission as a cross formy globate, which term we couldn't find in any of our references.) The submitter has appealed that return, providing evidence of this cross as an artistic motif on a suit of armor c.1630. The term "convexed", referring to the bulge of the outer edges of the cross's limbs, is documented in Elvin's Dictionary of Heraldry.

Unfortunately, my main concerns about this cross remain unaddressed. It's not readily blazonable: as drawn, it resembles a roundel with four semi-elliptical notches, not a variant of a cross formy. It's been documented only to within our 50-year "grey area", and only as an artistic motif, not an heraldic charge. The only terms that adequately describe it are found in a 19th Century work, compiled by an author whose lack of scholarship is legend. I simply have no grounds for believing this cross to be compatible with period heraldic style.

This cross has been submitted before, and returned for the above reasons; v. Jamys Ellyn Rothesay of Bannatyne Hall, LoAR of Sept 92, p.49. I'm tempted, I admit, to simply give the cross its own SCA name. (In the immortal words of Baldwin of Erebor, "Spring is in the air, and the fit is upon me; let me name but one cross before I die!") But this would do no service to the heralds and scribes who will follow us; we need some assurance that any blazon we devised would be reconstructable. In this case, at the very least we'd need to find this cross mentioned by name in some accessible reference. Failing that, or better evidence that it's a period motif, I must continue to return it. (Stanislaw Jan Ossolinski, March, 1993, pg. 28)




[Four fleurs-de-lys in cross, bases to center] The previous return (LoAR of Sept 91) determined that there was not Sufficient Difference between this arrangement of fleurs-de-lys and a cross flory. Had it been intended that the difference be negligible, however, I suspect the then-Laurel would have come out and said so. I believe there is a CD for type of primary charge group in this case. (Cara Michelle DuValier, August, 1993, pg. 6)


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The phrase cross of Cleves is synonymous with "Latin cross flory". We will accept whichever blazon is submitted. (Jonathus of Santiago de Compostela, August, 1993, pg. 8)


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DELF


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Embattling the delf reduces its appearance as a medium for heraldic display -- just as a roundel indented (visually equivalent to a sun) no longer appears to be a medium for heraldic display. (Sabel Saer ferch Maredudd ap Rhosier, December, 1992, pg. 10)


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The charges considered media for heraldic display --- the delf, lozenge, cartouche, etc. --- when used in a fieldless badge may not be charged. This ruling has been in force since 1986, and is itself reason enough for return. (Order of the Stella Rubra (Kingdom of Meridies), July, 1993, pg. 14)


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DIFFERENCE -- Armory, Arrangement


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[Three crescents in pale between two flaunches] The in-pale placement of the crescents is not forced by adding the flaunches; this therefore does not conflict with [<field>, three crescents]. (Bevin O'Sullivan, July, 1992, pg. 6)


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[Quarterly Or and sable, a lion counterchanged vs. Quarterly Or and sable, in the first quarter a lion] There's a CD for the placement of the lion, from center to dexter chief; but the change of tincture is required by the change of placement, and so cannot be counted as the second necessary CD. (A lion quarterly Or and sable could not be entirely on the sable portion of the field; if the lion is moved there, its tincture must change.)

Or, alternatively, there's a CD for the tincture of the lion, from quarterly Or and sable to Or; but as a solid Or lion could not be centered on the field, the change of placement is required by the change of tincture. Either the tincture or the placement may be counted as a difference; but not both, since to change one requires us to change the other.

I confess not being satisfied with this return, but could find no way around it as the Rules now stand. (Moreach nic Mhaolain, August, 1992, pp. 22-23)


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[Per fess rayonny azure and Or, in base a dolphin vert vs. Sable, a dolphin vert] This is clear ...with a CD for the field and a CD for the non-forced change of placement of the [charge]. (Aodhán Doilfín, September, 1992, pg. 18)


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Placement on the field cannot be counted against a fieldless badge. [See also Gawain Blackthorne, same letter, pg. 53] (Ariel de Courtenay, September, 1992, pg. 42)


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[Per chevron inverted argent and vert, in chief an oak branch [inverted] fructed proper vs. Argent, an oak branch fructed proper] There's a CD for the field, but none for the movement of the mostly-vert charge to chief (since that's required by making the field half-vert), and in this case, none for orientation (since the visual difference between a branch and a branch inverted is well-nigh invisible). (Judith Anne of Durmast, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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[Quarterly purpure and Or, in dexter chief a Bengal tiger Or] This conflicts with [Per fess argent and vert, a catamount Or] ...There is a CD for the field; but making the field partly Or requires the Or cat to be moved, so there is no CD for the forced change of placement. (Roland de Mounteney, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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[Gules, in chief two <charges>] This conflicts with [Gules, three <charges>]. There's a single CD, for number of charges.

This conflict had been considered by Lord Vesper, but Lord Crux Australis had argued that there should be a CD for the escallops' placement on the field ("in chief" vs. "centered"), as well as their number. The ensuing discussion in the commentary on defaults and forced changes has been enlightening, but has missed an essential point: one cannot grant difference for change between two groups of charges, if the attribute being changed (placement, posture, whatever) doesn't apply to both groups.

This point is easier to see when applied to other categories of change ...for example, posture. The change between a lion rampant and a hand apaumy is a single difference, for type. We don't grant two CDs, for type and posture --- because lions can't be apaumy and hands can't be rampant (Baron Robin's "extra-ordinaries" notwithstanding). Change between two postures can only be counted if both charges could be in those postures. The principle was discussed further on the LoAR of 15 Sept 85, p.3.

Placement can be dependent on other categories of change besides number. For instance, between a chief and a base there's a single CD, for type --- not two CDs, for type and placement on the field. The latter cannot be counted, because chiefs by definition cannot be in base. The only categories in which difference can be counted are the ones both charges share: in this example, type of charge.

Finally, to take an example close to the current case: between one bezant and in pale two bezants we count a single change, for number. There's no further difference counted for placement --- not because the charge groups are (or aren't) in their default placement, but because a single bezant cannot be in pale.

So it is for this submission. Between [the submitter's] device and the [conflict] we count a CD for number. [The conflict's] charges are two and one --- a placement which can only apply to groups of three charges. Any other number of charges is hard pressed to get a CD for placement, because no other number can be 2&1. Had Acre's arms been, say, in bend three escallops, I'd agree there should be a CD for placement as well as number: groups of either two or three escallops can be in bend, or in chief. But since only groups of three charges can be 2&1, a change to any other number wouldn't normally count the change in placement independently.

This specific case is complicated by the fact that [the submitter's charge] are on the same spots on the shield as two of [the conflict's charge] . The visual effect is simply the deletion of the [charge] in base, a single change. There are examples in period armory of exactly such a change being considered a cadency change: e.g. Rotherfield, c.1395, Gules, three fleurs-de-lys ermine, and its cadet branch Rothfeld, c.1586, Gules, in chief two fleurs-de-lys ermine. (Papworth 851, 849). There are other examples in Papworth: e.g. Rodney (Or, three eagles displayed vert) and its cadet branch Rodney (Or, in chief two eagles displayed vert). This change even applies to groups other than the primary charge group: e.g. the ancient arms of Stormyn, (Gules, a chevron between three mullets argent) and the Chester branch of Stormyn, 1586 (Gules, a chevron and in chief two mullets argent).

To sum up: the change from three charges 2&1 to two charges in chief cannot count a second CD for placement on the field, because two charges can't be 2&1. Period examples show the difference between this submission and Acre to be a single cadency change. This must be returned for conflict. (Leonia Dubarry, January, 1993, pp. 33-34)


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[A comet bendwise sinister, head to chief] This had been returned on the LoAR of May 92 for conflict with [an eight-pointed estoile]. The submitter has appealed this decision, arguing that ...there should be a CD for type of charge and a CD for placement on the field. (Honsard's estoile is centered on the shield, while the submitter's comet has its head in sinister chief.) ...the submitter overlooks the fact that, if we elongate the charge, parts of it must be displaced; that's included in the definition of elongation. One cannot count one CD for the first change, and another CD for the second: the second follows automatically from the first. It's analogous to the change between, say, a compass star and a compass star elongated to base, or a Greek cross and a Latin cross. So long as both charges are drawn to fill the available space, the change in type (from symmetrical to elongated) cannot also be counted as a change in placement. (Styvyn Longshanks, January, 1993, pg. 34)


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[A bend between a compass star and four wolf's heads in bend] This is clear of [A bend between three dolphins in bend and three quills in bend]. There's a CD for type of the secondary charges, and another for their placement around the bend. (Galina Petrsdottir, May, 1993, pg. 7)


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DIFFERENCE -- Armory, Misc


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By SCA precedent, there's no difference between rampant and sejant erect. The only real change is the placement of a hind leg. (Killian Nc Iain VcFarland, June, 1992, pg. 4)


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A longship is so nearly symmetric, reversing it cannot count as a ...CD. (Erik the Runt, June, 1992, pg. 4)


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[A sea-griffin vs. a sea-griffin queue forchy] There's [not a CD] for the ...number of tails. (Laura de Botelsford, June, 1992, pg. 4)


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Prior rulings notwithstanding, there is no difference between naiant and naiant "embowed": the naiant posture often includes a slight embowment. (Aldwin Wolfling, July, 1992, pg. 21)


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[Per bend sinister, an willow tree and an llama's head vs. Per bend sinister, an ash tree and a spearhead] In each device, the two charges form a single group of primaries. Changes are counted against the entire group: One cannot count a CD for a change to half a group, and another CD for the same category of change to the other half of the same group. Because both devices contain a tree, Rule X.2 does not apply; there is a single CD, for changing the types of charges of a single group. (Edward of Willowwood, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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Neither [Argent, a chief indented purpure] nor [Argent, a sinister canton purpure] armory contains a primary charge, so Rule X.2 does not apply ...I'm unhappy with the latter conflict, but I see no way around it as the Rules currently stand. Rule X.2, subtitled "Difference of Primary Charges", specifically applies only when "the type of primary charge is substantially changed." Neither the chief, nor the canton, nor any peripheral ordinary, can be a primary charge; otherwise, by Rule X.1 Lozengy bendwise azure and argent, a canton gules would be clear of Bavaria, and Gyronny sable and Or, a bordure gules would be clear of Campbell. That would be unacceptable; therefore a peripheral ordinary can't be the primary charge, even when it's the only charge in the design (Tristram du Bois, July, 1992, pp. 23-24)


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[Quarterly Or and sable, a lion counterchanged vs. Quarterly Or and sable, in the first quarter a lion] There's a CD for the placement of the lion, from center to dexter chief; but the change of tincture is required by the change of placement, and so cannot be counted as the second necessary CD. (A lion quarterly Or and sable could not be entirely on the sable portion of the field; if the lion is moved there, its tincture must change.)

Or, alternatively, there's a CD for the tincture of the lion, from quarterly Or and sable to Or; but as a solid Or lion could not be centered on the field, the change of placement is required by the change of tincture. Either the tincture or the placement may be counted as a difference; but not both, since to change one requires us to change the other.

I confess not being satisfied with this return, but could find no way around it as the Rules now stand. (Moreach nic Mhaolain, August, 1992, pp. 22-23)


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[A bear sejant erect vs. a bear rampant or a bear erect] In each case, there's [not a CD] for the posture of the bear. (Henry of Three Needles, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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[An owl affronty guardant vs. an owl statant guardant] The "blobbiness" of the owl's body, and the fact that the owl is guardant in all cases, leads me to conclude that there is no visual difference for turning the owl's body affronty. [See also Gundric Fawkes, October 1992 LoAR, pg. 29] (Stanwulf the Stern, August, 1992, pg. 26)


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[Gyronny azure and argent, an orle vs. Gyronny azure and argent] The orle, as a peripheral ordinary, is by definition not a primary charge; Rule X.1 cannot be invoked here. (Galen MacDonald, August, 1992, pg. 29)


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[A wall vs. a fess embattled] A wall is defined to be a fess embattled and masoned; and as with all charges of stonework, the masoning is an artistic detail worth no difference. Siebmacher gives several examples of related families using either a fess embattled or a wall, where the only difference was masoned diapering. We might grant the addition of masoning as worth a CD, for any charge except a stonework edifice. (Zacharia of Westlake, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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[In the doorway of a tower, a lion couchant guardant] The lion in the doorway is effectively a tertiary [in terms of calling conflict]. (Seeker's Keep (Aelfric se Droflic), September, 1992, pg. 1)


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[Argent estencely, a cat couchant sable] Though visually similar, this is clear of the arms of Wither (Papworth 75), Ermine, a lion passant sable. There's a CD for posture; and I would grant a CD (at least) between ermine and argent estencely sable. (Though, to judge from the discussion in Brault's Early Blazon, no period difference would be granted between estencely and mullety or estoilly.) (Caitlin Decourcey Corbet, September, 1992, pg. 3)


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[A dragon rampant contourny vs. a dragon statant erect to sinister, wings displayed] There's ...a CD for the posture of the wings (Dana Mac an Ghabhann, September, 1992, pg. 5)


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With evidence in hand that period tinctureless badges were depicted with party charges, I have decided to simplify the Rules and return to our previous policy. Henceforth, all tinctureless badges receive a CD for fieldlessness (tincturelessness), and the second necessary CD must come from some category of difference that doesn't involve tincture. As lines of division and partition are included as part of the tincture of a charge, per Rule X.4.d, they will not count for difference against tinctureless badges. [For a full discussion, see under BADGE -- Fieldless or Tinctureless] (10 November, 1992 Cover Letter (September, 1992 LoAR), pg. 6)


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[(Fieldless) A narwhale hauriant embowed argent] This is the fieldless version of [the submittor's] current device, ...Per pale vert and sable, a narwhale haurient embowed argent. Several commenters called conflict against [Sable, a whale haurient argent]. The same conflict call was made against his device, during its submission. Lord Laurel explicitly ruled the two armories to be clear of conflict: "There's a CVD for the field and a CVD for haurient embowed versus haurient." [LoAR of May, 1991] Exactly the same point count applies to the badge.

I happen to disagree with that ruling: I don't think there's a CD between haurient embowed and haurient, and I won't be granting it in future. However, I also believe that, given such an explicit ruling, in good conscience we have to call [the submittor's] badge clear ...The Grandfather Clause does apply to conflict, as well as stylistic problems; the badge conflicts no more (and no less) than the device, and if Gest may display the latter, it would be unreasonable to tell him he may not display the former. (Gest Grimsson, September, 1992, pg. 7)


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On an undivided field, there is a visible difference between Ermine (a field) and Argent, three ermine spots sable (a field with charges). [See also Edric Winterboren, same letter, pg. 31] (Donal Artur of the Silver Band, September, 1992, pg. 31)


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In counting conflict, we don't consider eclipsing to be a change in tincture, but equivalent to the addition of a tertiary charge. (I.e., a sun vert eclipsed Or and a sun vert charged with a bezant are equivalent blazons.) (Duncan Vitrarius, September, 1992, pg. 31)


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[A <bird> debruised by a fess] Under our current definition of primary charges, Rule X.1 brings this clear of [A fess]. (Gregory of Loch Swan, September, 1992, pg. 32)


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[Per chevron inverted argent and vert, in chief an oak branch [inverted] fructed proper vs. Argent, an oak branch fructed proper] There's a CD for the field, but none for the movement of the mostly-vert charge to chief (since that's required by making the field half-vert), and in this case, none for orientation (since the visual difference between a branch and a branch inverted is well-nigh invisible). (Judith Anne of Durmast, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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[A ferret statant erect vs. a mink rampant] There's nothing for ...posture. (Nadya Gornastaevna Chorkova, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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[On a bend sinister argent between an sun and a increscent, a lizard azure] This conflicts with the device of Serena of Bagulay (SCA): [A bend sinister azure fimbriated argent between in dexter chief three lozenges conjoined in fess and in sinister base a bell]. [The latter] device could equally well be blazoned [On a bend sinister between a bar couped and lozenged and a bell, a bend sinister]; and by that blazon, this is a definite conflict under the Rules. There is a CD for type of secondary charges; but because this is not a "simple case" as defined by Rule X.4.j.ii, change of type alone of tertiary is not worth the second CD needed [and by the reblazoning, there is also nothing for number of secondaries]. (Muireann ní Riordáin, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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[A Bengal tiger vs. a catamount] The tiger's marking is worth no heraldic difference (Roland de Mounteney, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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[On a bend, an lion's head jessant-de-lys between two acorns sable vs. on a bend, three acorns proper (brown)] The tertiaries' tincture has been changed, from brown to black, but tertiary tincture alone is not worth a CD even under Rule X.4.j.ii. The change of type of 1/3 of the charges, and the inversion of the other 2/3, don't contribute difference; only changes that "affect the whole group of charges" count towards a CD. (Tancred Bras-de-Fer, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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[Two orcas sable marked argent vs. two bottlenosed dolphins sable] There is ...nothing for type; and the markings are artistic details, worth no difference. (Tymoteusz Konikokrad, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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[A unicorn argent vs. a unicorn argent armed Or goutty] [The second] blazon [from Papworth] suggests that the unicorn's horn, not the entire unicorn, is goutty. (This might simply mean that the unicorn's horn is embrued with blood.) Whatever, we cannot grant a ...CD for the gouts without some indication that they were significant charges. (Ysabell of Snowshill, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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Prior Laurel rulings (LoARs of July 91, Nov 91) have granted no difference for the tincture of a ship's sails --- just as we grant no difference for sails furled vs. unfurled. (Lars Gilsson, October, 1992, pg. 26) I consider the choban [Japanese gong] to be distinct from an escallop, certainly enough to be worth a CD of difference. (Roberto de Jerez, November, 1992, pg. 9)


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[Sable chausse argent, <charges> vs. Argent, on a pile sable, <different charges>] We grant no difference between a charged pile and a chaussé field; there is at most a CD for the change of tertiary charges. (Elgar of Stonehaven, November, 1992, pg. 14)


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[Or, a bend sinister, overall a bear] ...this is clear of [Or, a bear]. By our current Rules, the overall charge is considered a secondary, and the underlying charge a primary; Rule X.1 brings this clear (Conrad Erich von Brixen, January, 1993, pg. 6)


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[A hawk's gambes bendwise sinister couped vs. an eagle's leg erased à la quise] The gambes shown here are not inverted: eagle's legs, unlike lions' legs, have their claws to base by default. However, since eagle's legs à la quise are somewhat embowed, they are often depicted with a bendwise sinister slant; so we can't get a CD for posture. (Shire of Blackhawk, January, 1993, pg. 30)


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Beginning immediately ...if two submissions at the same meeting are deemed to conflict, we will give preference to the submission from the paid member. If both submitters are (or aren't) paid members, then the first received takes priority, as before. [For the full discussion, see ADMINISTRATIVE -- Misc] (8 May, 1993 Cover Letter (March, 1993 LoAR), pg. 2)


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There should be a CD for sword vs. sword inverted, when the primary charge in the device. (Lothair the Valiant, March, 1993, pg. 13)


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We grant no difference for the artistic distinctions among the vair-type furs. That is, no difference for vair vs. vair ancient (indeed, we don't even blazon this, leaving it to the artist), no difference for vair vs. potent, no difference for vair in pale vs vair in point vs. counter-vair, etc. (Aedhan Brecc, March, 1993, pg. 25)


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The orle is considered a peripheral charge (LoAR of Aug 92, p.29), so its addition does not invoke Rule X.1. (Frithiof Sigvardsson Skägge, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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We grant no difference between Gyronny of six and Gyronny of eight, any more than we would for barry or bendy of those numbers. (Frithiof Sigvardsson Skägge, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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[Or, a leopard's head gules jessant-de-lys between three fleurs-de-lys sable] Possible conflict was cited against [Or, a leopard's head jessant a fleur-de-lys gules]. There's a CD for the secondary charges; the issue turned on the difference to be granted for partial change of tincture of the primary charge group. We've opined previously (LoAR of Oct 92) that a head jessant-de-lys was effectively a single charge, in the same way a penner-and-inkhorn is a single charge; we also left open the possibility that it might be a group of two conjoined charges. Under either interpretation, we see granting a CD for change of half of the primary charge group.

This is corroborated by the arms of Braunch, c.1586, one branch of which (Papworth 911) bore Gules, a leopard's head jessant-de-lys Or and another of which bore Gules, a leopard's head Or jessant-de-lys argent. It's reasonable that the change in tincture of the fleur-de-lys should count for difference: the origin of the leopard's head jessant-de-lys was as a cadence from the fleur-de-lys, in the arms of Cauntelo/Cantelupe (Wagner & London, p.120). (Maelsnechtain de Gaston, June, 1993, pp. 15-16)


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[In pale a bird migrant ] Against [A falcon rising, wings expanded], we would grant a CD between migrant and rising, wings displayed [expanded]. (Rowena MacDonald, June, 1993, pp. 19-20)


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[Azure, a goblet Or, on a chief argent three roses gules] Between this submission and the arms of Lawrie [Azure, a cup Or with four laurel branches issuant argent, the center ones orlewise, on a chief of the third a lion passant gules between two mullets of the first.], there's a CD for the secondary charges (the laurel branches); but Lawrie's armory is too complex to allow us to get another CD for the changes to the tertiaries [type and partial tincture]. [For the complete discussion, see under SIMPLE ARMORY] (Anne of Carthew, July, 1993, pg. 12)


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[Azure, in annulo three cats couchant, each biting the tail of the next argent] This conflicts with [Azure, a lion dormant argent]. There's a single CD, for adding the other two cats; we grant no difference between lions and cats, or between couchant and dormant.

This submission was an appeal of a return by the Midrealm College of Heralds, for the above conflict. The submitter argues that there should be a CD for posture as well as number, since the two added cats are not in their "default" posture --- by which is meant, we assume, not in the same posture as the original cat. I agree with Lord Dragon's analysis: the client evidently feels that the change from the [conflicting] device to her submission is a two-step process (first we add two cats, then we change their posture). This is not the case. It's a single-step process: we've added two charges. They could have been two cats couchant [the whole in annulo] argent, or two cats rampant addorsed argent, or two bezants, or a widget ermine and a wadget checky Or and gules. The amount of difference gained remains the same: a single CD, for the added charges.

This policy has been in place since at least Master Wilhelm's tenure; it was enunciated by Master Baldwin, in his LoARs of 25 Aug 85, p.14, and 15 Sept 85, p.3; Mistress Alisoun and Master Da'ud both followed it. It is logically consistent with Laurel interpretations of the Rules to date. The policy has one strong advantage to commend it: it doesn't encourage our clients, through extra heraldic difference, to add charges at variance (by posture, type, tincture, whatever) from those of the base coat. Submissions get no more difference for such designs than for heraldically desirable designs, with all the charges identical. We may not be able to ban submissions with charges going every which way, but we certainly needn't reward them with extra CDs for the "every which way" part.

This is a valid conflict .. .It must be returned. The submitter might consider changing the tincture of the field. (Elspet NicDhubhghlaise bean Iain MhicThomaidh, July, 1993, pg. 15)


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[A pheon inverted] Possible conflict was cited against the English Royal badge, (tinctureless) A broadarrow. Lord Lion's Blood has noted instances of the badge's use (e.g. the seal of the Royal Butlery, c.1330) where the broadarrow is inverted, and suggests that this is its defined orientation. Other (post-period) uses of the broadarrow show the charge in a variety of orientations: e.g., the clothing used by British prisoners until 1920 was marked with broadarrows --- essentially semy --- in random orientations. However, while the badge might be rotated in use, its default posture would be that of the charge itself, which would be point to base in English usage. (A close examination of the illustration of the Royal Butlery seal [Coat of Arms, July 56, p.93] suggests that it was printed upside down: the Latin inscription around the seal, which starts at its bottom, is depicted at the tope of the drawing.) Pending more definitive evidence, we will assume that the badge uses the charge in its default posture. Against this submission, we thus count a CD for fieldlessness (tincturelessness), and a CD for posture. (Eric Ward of Winchester, August, 1993, pg. 1)


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[A sinister mailed fist aversant grasping stalks of grain] This is clear of such armories [a gauntlet]. The stalks of wheat are conceded to be worth no difference; neither is the distinction between dexter and sinister gauntlets, or for aversant vs. not aversant. However, I have to agree that the change from the default apaumy posture (i.e. with the fingers spread) to the clenched posture is worth a CD in this case. That, with the CD for fieldlessness, brings it clear. (Dietrich Kurneck von Hammerstein, August, 1993, pg. 2)


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In the case of Seamus O'Donohue (LoAR of Dec 89), the inversion of a triquetra was explicitly ruled to be worth a CD ...(Posture might not be worth a CD for other knots: they might be too complex to permit inversion to be readily identified, or they might have been used in either posture in period. With an explicit ruling for the triquetra, however, the above point count holds.) (Beornheard of Wearmouth, August, 1993, pg. 5)


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When considering a full beast or monster gorged, the gorging is usually treated as an artistic detail, worth no difference. When consider the same creature's head gorged, however, the gorging is much more prominent in proportion --- and treated as a tertiary charge. (Crown Principality of Avacal, September, 1993, pg. 5)


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A peacock feather proper is mostly green, with an iridescent roundel near the end. This is therefore [a CD from] A feather azure. (Alena Vladimirovna, September, 1993, pg. 6)


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There [is] little difference between a peacock proper and a peacock azure [i.e., not a CD]. (Caitlyn Emrys, September, 1993, pg. 20)


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[Bendy sinister and per bend gules and Or] Versus [Per bend Or and gules it was argued in the commentary that the addition of the bendy sinister lines resulted in one half of the field tinctures changing and therefore worth a CD. A similar argument can be made against [Bendy sinister Or and gules] that the counterchanging across the per bend line can be considered a tincture change of one half of the field and also worth a second CD. These arguments are fallacious since they assume tincture changes forced by a field division change are independent of the field change itself. A more obvious example is the change from Quarterly gules and Or to Per saltire gules and Or. In this case, one half of the field (alternating gyrons) changes tincture. Yet only one CD is given for the field change because the tincture change is necessitated by the division change. The only difference between this submission and the examples above are the complexity of the field divisions involved. For tincture changes to count as difference in field only submissions, one of the tinctures must be changed to a tincture not involved with the division change. (Cynthia of Oakenwode, September, 1993, pg. 23)


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A <charged> nesselblatt is not equivalent to a <charge> within an indented bordure. This would be more apparent if the armory were displayed on a rectangular banner: the nesselblatt would keep its triangular shape, where the bordure would follow the line of the field. (Mielikki Kantelensoittajatar, October, 1993, pg. 1)


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We grant no difference between sejant erect and rampant. (Alistrina de Mann, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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We grant no difference between argent, three bars wavy azure and barry wavy argent and azure. (Anne Elaina of River's Bend, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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DIFFERENCE -- Armory, Substantial


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[Per bend sinister, an willow tree and an llama's head vs. Per bend sinister, an ash tree and a spearhead] In each device, the two charges form a single group of primaries. Changes are counted against the entire group: One cannot count a CD for a change to half a group, and another CD for the same category of change to the other half of the same group. Because both devices contain a tree, Rule X.2 does not apply; there is a single CD, for changing the types of charges of a single group. (Edward of Willowwood, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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[Azure, two mullets of six lesser and six greater points and a swan naiant within a bordure argent] This conflicts with Iver of the Black Bow ...Azure, two estoiles and a unicorn's head cabossed, all within a bordure argent. Even granting difference between mullets and estoiles, I don't believe there is Substantial Difference as required by Rule X.2. There is thus a single CD, for type of primary charge group; we cannot grant a CD for type of half the group, and another CD for type of the other half of the same group. (Enid of Crickhollow, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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[Per bend sinister, a lotus blossom in profile and a moose vs. Per bend sinister, an iris and a dove] There is a CD for type of primary charges, but because both armories contain a cup-shaped flower in dexter chief, we cannot grant Sufficient Difference of Charge per Rule X.2. (Simon Rodbeorhting, September, 1992, pg. 42)


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Rule X.4.j.ii requires substantial difference of tertiaries to earn a CD; we would not grant substantial difference between mascles and rustres. The only differences to these tertiaries are tincture and the exact type of voiding --- which may be considered the change of quaternary charges. (Eric Alard, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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[Three bear's heads erased] Rule X.2 applies between most types of beast head, just as it does between most types of beast. This is clear of such armories as [three buck's heads erased]. (Damon the Grim, October, 1992, pg. 1)


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I count a Substantial Difference between a unicorn and a dragon; even when dormant, the dragon's wings are prominent (Joanna Sparhawke, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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[A demi-drakkar couped palewise reversed vs. an antique galley] There's a CD for the change to the ship, but we can't see granting Sufficient Difference per Rule X.2; and as both the drakkar and the antique galley (i.e. lymphad) are nearly symmetrical charges, there's no difference for which half of the boat is cut away. (Lars Gilsson, October, 1992, pg. 26)


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[A trillium flower vs. a rose] There is a CD for type of flower, but not the substantial difference required by Rule X.2. (Gwyneth MacAulay, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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[A ram's head cabossed vs. a ox head cabbosed] There's ...a CD for the type of head. (Indeed, we'd say that Rule X.2 applies between an ox head and a ram's head. This is well clear.) (Riordan Robert MacGregor., December, 1992, pg. 5)


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Just as I would grant Complete Difference of Charge between a griffin and a pegasus, so is there Complete Difference between a griffin and a winged beagle; the only thing they have in common are the wings. (Gwenhwyfar de Hwytinton, December, 1992, pg. 11)


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We're willing to grant a CD between a bezant and a hawk's bell, although perhaps not Complete Difference of Charge. (Meurisse de Blois, January, 1993, pg. 20)


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I find no evidence that an estoile and a comet are so distinct charges as to permit Rule X.2, the Sufficient Difference Rule, to apply between them. All my sources define the comet as a modified estoile: an estoile with a flaming tail appended. (Parker 130; Woodward 310; Franklyn & Tanner 82) Indeed, Lord Crescent notes examples from Papworth suggesting that the change from estoile to comet is a single cadency step: e.g. Waldock (Or, an estoile flaming [i.e. a comet] sable) and Waldeck (Or, an eight-pointed estoile sable). I am willing to grant a CD between the two charges, but I cannot see granting Sufficient Difference between them. (Styvyn Longshanks, January, 1993, pg. 34)


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[Rule X.2 was changed; for the new wording see under ADMINISTRATIVE -- Rule Changes] (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pp. 2-3)


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In cases [where a slipped and leaved flower consists primarily of the branch portion rather than the flower portion], I will register the plant as a branch with a flower. Moreover, I intend to grant a Substantial Difference (i.e., sufficient to invoke Rule X.2) between a branch (flowered or not) and a flower. Slipped flowers drawn with the flower dominant will still be considered negligibly different from a plain flower. Flowers whose slips are part of the definition (e.g., trefoil, thistle) will not get extra difference for the slip [for full discussion, see under BLAZON] (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 7)


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I would grant Substantial Difference between a human arm and a beast's jambe. (Caomh Beathan Crubach, June, 1993, pg. 13)


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We don't grant Substantial Difference between an apple and a pear --- there's at best a CD between the two fruits, and one could argue negligible difference. (Dévora Risée de Apors, July, 1993, pg. 11)


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[A tyger's head erased] Possible conflict was cited against [A wolf's head erased within a bordure rayonny]. There's a CD for the bordure; the question was raised on any difference between a wolf's head and a tyger's head. Rule X.4.e specifically grants a difference between a lion and a [heraldic] tyger; but even assuming the same between a wolf and a tyger, that doesn't necessarily require difference between their heads. (By analogy, we grant difference between a dragon and an eagle -- but none between a dragon's foot and an eagle's foot.) The heraldic tyger is described as "having ...the maned neck of a horse, and the head of a wolf, but the upper jaw develops into a frontal horn" (Franklyn & Tanner 334); there's no way that the heads could be deemed Substantially Different, but I can see granting a CD for the frontal horn and the mane. (Laeghaire O Laverty, August, 1993, pg. 5)


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DIFFERENCE -- Armory, Type


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We have hitherto granted no difference for type of ship [galley vs. longship] (Erik the Runt, June, 1992, pg. 4)


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The dovetailed line is currently allowed, as compatible with period practice. We grant it no difference from embattled or raguly, however. (Ariel Giboul des Montagnes, July, 1992, pg. 4)


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There is a CD between an oak tree and a pine tree. (Duncan Alaric MacDonald, July, 1992, pg. 6)


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Urdy (or champaine) is a period line of division, meant to represent a line of palisades (and thus deriving from the same source as the line on the crown palisado). After some thought, we decided we had to grant a CD between it and embattled. (David Thames., July, 1992, pg. 11)


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We agree there's a CD between a camel and an ypotril. (Guthfrith Yrlingsson, July, 1992, pg. 12)


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There is indeed a CD between a cinquefoil and a shamrock. (Principality of Lochac, July, 1992, pg. 14)


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A number of commenters complained about the common use of annulets on fieldless badges, comparing them to bordures on devices (and, in some comments, granting no difference from bordures). I agree that annulets are added to SCA badges for the same reason bordures are added to SCA devices: to provide a quick, easy CD that doesn't greatly change the central design. Beyond that, annulets and bordures are quite different charges: the annulet is always round, where the bordure follows the outline of the display surface. The background shows on both sides of the annulet (even a fieldless badge is usually set against some background), but only on the inside of the bordure. A design may have multiple annulets, but only one bordure. And so forth.

If someone can present evidence that the use of annulets encircling other charges is non-period design, we can discuss the issue again. But as far as conflicts are concerned, an annulet and a bordure are separate charges. (Neil Greenstone, July, 1992, pg. 14)


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The main difference between a wolf and an enfield is in the front legs; when one of the beasts is holding a charge with those legs, it becomes impossible to tell the two creatures apart. We cannot give a second CD for type of primary here. (Briana ní Óda, July, 1992, pg. 17)


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There's ...no difference between a multi-pointed mullet and a sun (Juliana Richenda Trevain, July, 1992, pg. 20)


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[Four oak leaves in cross vs. four holly leaves conjoined in cross] We have hitherto granted a CD for type of a single leaf: oak leaf vs. maple leaf (Karl the Meek and Mild), or oak leaf vs. elm leaf (Siobhan O Riordain). But this is offset here by the identical motifs: the arrangement and conjoining in cross add to the visual similarity. [returned for visual conflict] (Anne Chavelle of Silver Oak, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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I count no difference between hautboys and recorders (Jame the Heyree Harry's son, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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I would grant a CD between a thistle and a pomegranate. (Magdalena Aeleis MacLellan, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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[A pall Or fimbriated of flame vs. a pall Or] The complex fimbriation of the pall is worth no difference. (Theodric Alastair Wulfricson, August, 1992, pg. 29)


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[A pall between <charges>] This conflicts with [a pall fimbriated of flame]. There's a CD for the secondary charges, but the fimbriation is worth no difference (Marian Loresinger, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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[a cubit arm gauntleted vs. an arm embowed and armored] After comparing the emblazons, we really couldn't grant a difference between an armored cubit arm and an armored arm. (Deryk von Halberstadt, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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Excepting ordinaries, there is no difference for drawing a charge throughout, or not. (Griffith Dragonlake, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[A pansy vs. an ivy blossom] Comparing the emblazons showed no visible difference in the shapes of the two flowers [thus there is not a CD for type]. (Catherine Elizabeth Anne Somerton, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[A pansy vs. a rose] I cannot grant another CD for type of flower in this case. It's true that flowers of genus Viola have three large petals and two small ones; but in the case of the pansy, the size change is very hard to see. The petals' shape is the same for pansies as heraldic roses. Pansies don't seem to have been used as charges in period, so I must fall back on visual difference; and I must rule that pansies and roses are too close to yield a CD.

The same arguments bring this clear of [a sunflower] and [a rue flower]. (Catherine Elizabeth Anne Somerton, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[On a mullet of four points a sea-lion vs. on a mullet a cross crosslet] Change of type only of tertiary charge is worth no difference, per Rule X.4.j; and we grant no difference between a mullet of four points and a mullet of five points.

The only way I might have called this clear was to redefine a mullet of four points as a type of cross; and if I could have found such a cross in period armory, I might have done so. But I saw no point in replacing an SCA variation of a period charge with another SCA variation of another period charge; and the thought of reblazoning all the four-pointed mullets in the A&O did nothing to soothe my weary brow. (Ilse vom Rhein, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[a garden rose slipped and leaved vs. a rose] [There is not a CD] for heraldic rose vs. garden rose; and we have hitherto granted no difference for slipping and leaving. (Roselynd Ælfricsdottir, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[a garden rose slipped and leaved vs. a cinquefoil] I agree there's no CDs between cinquefoil and (heraldic) rose; and no CDs between (heraldic) rose and garden rose; and no CDs between garden rose and garden rose slipped and leaved. But as Lord Crux Australis notes, conflict isn't necessarily a transitive operation; "A conflicts with B" and "B conflicts with C" doesn't guarantee that, by logical concatenation, "A must conflict with C". Thank Deity I don't have to decide the issue just now...[device returned for other conflict] (Roselynd Ælfricsdottir, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[Argent estencely, a cat couchant sable] Though visually similar, this is clear of the arms of Wither (Papworth 75), Ermine, a lion passant sable. There's a CD for posture; and I would grant a CD (at least) between ermine and argent estencely sable. (Though, to judge from the discussion in Brault's Early Blazon, no period difference would be granted between estencely and mullety or estoilly.) (Caitlin Decourcey Corbet, September, 1992, pg. 3)


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[A portcullis between and conjoined to two towers] The primary charge is blazoned [as noted] for the sake of the cant [with Gate's Edge], but is indistinguishable from a castle (Canton of Gate's Edge, September, 1992, pg. 7)


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[A schimäre] Schimäre is the German word for "chimera". The chimera of German heraldry has the forequarters of a lion, the hindquarters of a goat, a dragon's tail (often ending in a dragon's head), and often the head and breasts of a woman. (It's illustrated in von Volborth's Heraldry: Customs, Rules and Styles, p.47.) It looks very little like the chimera of English heraldry, which has a lion's head, a goat's head and a dragon's head all issuant from the shoulders of a goat's body (illustrated in Dennys' Heraldic Imagination, p.154, which in turn is from Bossewell's Armorie of 1572); and neither of these is much like the classic "Homeric" chimaera from ancient Greek drawings.

Were the German form and the English form not intended to be the same mythological monster, we wouldn't hesitate to grant at least a CD between them. The two forms are intended to be the same monster, though; and we don't normally grant a CD for drawing style (e.g. no difference between the Italian-style fleur-de-lys and the French-style fleur-de-lys), nor even distinguish style in blazon.

In this case, the two monsters share nothing in common but the name; it seemed safest to define them, for our purposes, as different charges. As was done for the schnecke, I've taken the German name for the German charge, to distinguish it from the English chimera. (Kevin Burnett, September, 1992, pg. 10)


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There is at least a CD between a horse and a correctly drawn (i.e. medieval) unicorn (William Palfrey, September, 1992, pg. 14)


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We grant a CD between a dolphin and a generic fish. (Deirdre of Shadowdale, September, 1992, pg. 18)


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[A dragon's head vs. a water lizard's head] This is clear ...with a CD ...for type of head. (Aethelthryth of Acleah, September, 1992, pg. 22)


[A pair of angles fesswise interlaced in pale vs. a chevronel interlaced with another inverted] [There is a CD] for ...type of "chevronel" --- just as there's a CD between a cross (throughout) and a cross annuletted. (September, 1992, pg. 33)


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[A mullet vs. a compass star] Prior rulings on this point were a bit ambiguous, but in general, when there's a small change (5 vs. 6) in the number of points, we grant no difference for type of mullet --- and we do grant difference when there's a large change (5 vs. 8 or more). In this case, we have a specific precedent (LoAR of Dec 89, p.30) granting a CD between mullet and compass star, which matches the general policy. ...Pending [new] evidence, I will continue the current policy. (Steven of Mountain's Gate, September, 1992, pg. 35)


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[An antelope vs. an ibex] According to Franklyn & Tanner ( Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry, p. 179), "the heraldic ibex is indistinguishable from the heraldic antelope and may even be merely an alternative term." [Thus there is not a CD between them] (Alaric Liutpold von Steinman, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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[An antelope vs. a deer] I would grant a CD between a correctly drawn antelope and a deer; the two charges were distinct in period armory (unlike, say, the heraldic dolphin and the bottlenosed dolphin, between which we grant no difference). [Device returned for different conflict] (Alaric Liutpold von Steinman, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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[An eagle close vs. a dove close] Prior Laurel precedent (LoAR of Nov 90, p.16) has granted no difference for bird type, when the birds are in identical postures. In this case, when the eagle isn't displayed, it loses most of the traits that let it be identified as an eagle. Almost the only such trait visible on an eagle close is its head crest --- and the heraldic dove has one, too. (Cecilia MacInnes, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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[An eagle displayed vs. owl displayed] The owl and the eagle are both raptors, and the main difference between them --- the head posture --- is specifically worth no CDs per Rule X.4.h. [See also Keja Tselebnik, May, 1993, pp. 16-17] (Cecilia MacInnes, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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There's no difference between a sun and a multi-rayed estoile. (Eirikr Sigurdharson, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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[Three crosses crosslet fitchy vs. three crosses botonny] There's ...no difference for fitching the crosses, and no difference for crosslet vs. botonny. (Geoffroi de la Marche, September, 1992, pg. 39)


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[A gurges vs. five annulets one within the other] As seen from the examples in Parker (p.299), Woodward (p.193), and Papworth (p.1122), a set of concentric annulets is simply an alternate method of drawing a gurges or whirlpool [therefore there is not a CD between them]. (Iago al Hasan, September, 1992, pg. 39)


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The consensus of the College was that a coiled match is visually too similar to an annulet to grant a CD between the two. (Kazimir Petrovich Pomeshanov, September, 1992, pg. 40)


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[A branch of rosemary vs. sprig of three bluebells] There's [not a CD] for type of sprig.

There were also a number of other conflicts, all based on granting no difference for type of sprig: e.g., [a slip of three leaves], or [a sprig of parsley]. (Mairin ferch Howell, September, 1992, pg. 40)


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[A chevron rompu between three grenades vs. a chevron between three fireballs fired] There's a CD for making the chevron rompu, but not another for type of secondary charge. (Ragnar of Moonschadowe, September, 1992, pg. 41)


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We see no heraldic difference between a roundel and an egg. (Sarah Rumoltstochter, September, 1992, pg. 41)


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[A ferret vs. an otter] There's ...nothing for [type of beast]. (Stevyn Gaoler, September, 1992, pg. 42)


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The only difference between a wyvern and a sea-dragon is the exact shape of the tail's flukes, not enough for a CD. (Dugal MacTaveis, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[Two orcas sable marked argent vs. two bottlenosed dolphins sable] There is ...nothing for type; and the markings are artistic details, worth no difference. (Tymoteusz Konikokrad, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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There's [not a CD] for castle vs. single-arched bridge. (John Quartermain, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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There is no heraldic difference between a gillyflower and a carnation (Luciano Giovanni di Churburg, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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There's no difference granted for melusine [two-tailed mermaid] vs. mermaid. (Simona Zon d'Asolo, September, 1992, pg. 51)


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While we're willing to blazon [the charge] as a hollyhock, we note that there's no heraldic difference between it and a rose. (Megan Althea of Glengarriff, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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Legh, 1568, mentions the octofoil ("double quaterfoyle"), though citing no examples of its use. Given that it was described in period, I'm willing to grant a CD between it and a cinquefoil. (Sibylla Penrose of Netherhay, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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There's a CD (at least) between a horse's head and a unicorn's head. (Richard Cheval, October, 1992, pg. 7)


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I grant a CD between a roundel engrailed and a sun. (Solveig Throndardottir, October, 1992, pg. 10)


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[A Celtic cross vs. a Celtic cross equal-armed, quarterly pierced and throughout] There is no heraldic difference for the charge being throughout, or not. However, there's a CD ...for the quarter-piercing, which is visually equivalent to adding a tertiary delf. (Toirrdelbach Ua Máel Doraid, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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There's a CD between dolphins and most kinds of fish. (Alethea of Fair Isle, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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There is a CD (at least) between a brazier and a beacon (Anastazia Winogrodzka, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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There is no difference for tower vs. castle. (Irwyn of Hartwich, October, 1992, pg. 21)


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[A saltire parted and fretted vs. a saltire gules charged with another humetty of the field] [The charge] in both armories is essentially a saltire voided. I can't see granting difference for the tiny changes at the intersection of the saltire (Gunnar Birkibeinn, October, 1992, pg. 25)


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There's no heraldic difference between a tower and a castle. [See also Irwyn of Hartwich, same letter, pg. 21, Sela nic a'Phearsoin of Clan Chattan, January, 1993 LoAr, Pg. 29, and Maelgwn McCain, August, 1993 LoAR, pg. 20] (Konner MacPherson, October, 1992, pg. 27)


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[A fess wreathed Or and purpure vs. a fess Or] Wreathing is a single treatment of the fess; the evidence suggests it's considered a tincture change (Or vs. bendy Or and purpure, in this case), with the "invected line" considered artistic license. The only period examples of wreathing are to be found, naturally enough, on the charge known as the wreath or torse: it could be drawn with the folds of cloth bulging the edge, or as an annulet compony. See the examples in Foster , p.121; Parker, pp.308, 631; and Guillim, p.291. If, for the definitive case of wreathing, the invected edge is considered artistic license, then it cannot count for difference here. The wreathing of the fess is worth a single CD. (Margaret Sayher, October, 1992, pg. 30)


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There is no difference between multi-pointed mullets (Susanne Grey of York, October, 1992, pg. 31)


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[Argent, a swan displayed sable] Against the ...possible conflicts cited (Argent, [some type of bird] displayed sable, etc.), I'd grant a CD between a swan and the birds in question. (Sveyn Egilsson, November, 1992, pg. 3)


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There should be a CD between three stalks of barley and a garb. (Siobhan Chantoiseau de Longpont sur Orges, November, 1992, pg. 5)


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[Sable, six locusts displayed vs. Gules, semy of bees volant] There's a CD for the field, but not for number or type of insects. (Aethelwine Aethelredson, November, 1992, pg. 17)


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[A mullet of eight points vs. a mullet of five greater and five lesser points] While the five lesser points are "lesser", they are still points; [the second] mullet is technically of ten points, from which we grant no difference from a mullet of eight points. (Anna Dimitriova Belokon, November, 1992, pg. 17)


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We can certainly see granting a CD between a cross moline and a cross patonce. (Dyryke Raleigh, November, 1992, pg. 19)


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[A ram's head cabossed vs. a ox head cabbosed] There's ...a CD for the type of head. (Indeed, we'd say that Rule X.2 applies between an ox head and a ram's head. This is well clear.) (Riordan Robert MacGregor., December, 1992, pg. 5)


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[A male griffin vs. a griffin] Despite its name, the male griffin is not the male of the griffin species, with the default griffin the female; they are different monsters, both usually depicted with male organs. (The male griffin is sometimes blazoned a keythong, to emphasize its distinction from a griffin.) There's a CD between the two monsters. (Jovan Greyhawk, December, 1992, pg. 6)


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[Two maple leaves in chevron inverted, conjoined at the stems] Against the various possible conflicts cited in the commentary (e.g. [four holly leaves in saltire, stems to center]), in each case I count a CD for number and a CD for type of leaf. (Angelina Foljambe, December, 1992, pg. 6)


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Period heralds seem to have distinguished between a teazel and a thistle, despite the similarity of the nouns. For armory as simple as this [(fieldless) A teazel slipped and leaved vs. <Field>, a thistle], we can see granting a CD for type of flower. (Ealdgytha of Spalding Abbey, December, 1992, pg. 12)


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We can see granting a CD between a comet and a mullet. (Barony of Three Mountains, January, 1993, pg. 3)


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I am willing to grant a CD between a rose and a correctly drawn daisy. (Arielle le Floer, January, 1993, pg. 7)


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Mundane armory seems to consider a flame proper as streaked of gules and Or, in equal proportions. Society armory considers a flame proper (on a dark field) as the same as a flame Or voided gules (or, alternatively, a flame Or charged with a flame gules). Either way, when used as the primary charge, there's a CD between a flame proper and a flame Or. (Helena of Durham, January, 1993, pg. 8)


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[On a chevron three mullets of four points vert vs. On a chevron three estoiles of four rays gules] ...since we currently distinguish between mullets and estoiles [there's] a CD for type and tincture of tertiaries (Johanna Ljubljana, January, 1993, pg. 19)


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We're willing to grant a CD between a bezant and a hawk's bell, although perhaps not Complete Difference of Charge. (Meurisse de Blois, January, 1993, pg. 20)


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[A Maltese star cross] This conflicts with [a snowflake]. The visual similarity between the Maltese star cross and a snowflake is too large to ignore. It also conflicts with [six sets of arrow fletchings in annulo, points conjoined]. Again, the visual similarity is too great to permit a CD to be granted. (Elgar of Stonehaven, January, 1993, pg. 23)


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[A sun of eight points] There's [not a CD] between a mullet of six points and the sun as drawn here. (Eoghan O'Neill, January, 1993, pg. 23)


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The previous submission was returned Aug 92 for drawing the bend too narrow, the indentations too small. She's corrected those problems, but introduced another: the bend is indented on the sinister base end, but dancetty on the dexter chief end! The bend must be one or the other, if for no other reason than to check conflict.

One of the heralds at the meeting offered to redraw the submission, sending a copy to the client. The difficulty lay in not knowing the submitter's intent: did she want a bend indented, or a bend dancetty? We were given no clue, and since there's a CD between the two, it's not something to be left to chance or telepathy. (Melisend de Chartres, January, 1993, pg. 25)


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[A wa'a outrigger sable, a bordure] This conflicts with [an antique galley with sails furled ]. There's a CD for the bordure. Previous returns have granted no difference between a galley and a drakkar (LoAR of July 91, p.20); evidently, type of ship is left to artistic license. We'd welcome some further evidence on whether this is a reasonable policy to maintain; for now, we'll uphold precedent. (Barony of Western Seas, January, 1993, pg. 27)


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[Three leaves conjoined in pall inverted within a annulet vs. A trillium and a chief] There's a CD for changing the annulet to a chief, but the central charges are indistinguishable. (Jaric de l'Ile Longe Sault, January, 1993, pg. 28)


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There's ...no difference between a castle and a tower. (Sela nic a'Phearsoin of Clan Chattan, January, 1993, pg. 29)


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[A trilithon [type of dolmen] vs. a dolmen of three uprights capped by two lintels] Just as there is no difference between a tower and a castle, there is no difference between trilithons and "pentalithons". (Fiacha Suileach, January, 1993, pg. 31)


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I find no evidence that an estoile and a comet are so distinct charges as to permit Rule X.2, the Sufficient Difference Rule, to apply between them. All my sources define the comet as a modified estoile: an estoile with a flaming tail appended. (Parker 130; Woodward 310; Franklyn & Tanner 82) Indeed, Lord Crescent notes examples from Papworth suggesting that the change from estoile to comet is a single cadency step: e.g. Waldock (Or, an estoile flaming [i.e. a comet] sable) and Waldeck (Or, an eight-pointed estoile sable). I am willing to grant a CD between the two charges, but I cannot see granting Sufficient Difference between them. (Styvyn Longshanks, January, 1993, pg. 34)


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I will ...continue to grant a CD between invected and engrailed, and between invected and indented. In the interests of continuity, I will also continue (for the moment) to grant a CD between engrailed and indented, but I will not hesitate to reverse that policy should I find evidence that Tudor armorial usage used them interchangeably, in defiance of the tracts. [For the full discussion, see under LINES OF DIVISION -- Engrailed and Invected](8 May, 1993 Cover Letter (March, 1993 LoAR), pg. 3)


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[A cross swallowtailed] I'd grant a CD between this cross and a cross flory or a cross patonce (which were considered the same charge by medieval heralds). I might not have granted difference against a Maltese cross or a cross fourchy, but no conflicts were cited containing such crosses. (Donata Ivanovna Basistova, March, 1993, pg. 17)


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We grant no difference between mullet of four points and mullet of five points. (Bengta Rolfsdatter, March, 1993, pg. 19)


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[An ounce rampant Or spotted of diverse tinctures] The creature is not a panther, as blazoned on the LOI (for it isn't incensed of flame), but an ounce or maneless lion. As such, it gets no difference from a standard lion; and its spots here count for no more than the spots on any other spotted cat (e.g. a natural leopard). If she resubmits with a genuine panther, charged with large roundels --- better yet, with a Continental panther --- it should [be a CD from a lion]. (Alysandria of the Fosse Way, March, 1993, pg. 22)


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[A wingless dragon "displayed"] The displayed posture is not applicable to non-winged creatures, just as rampant is no longer applicable to birds (LoAR of May 91). No other blazon adequately describes this posture (although if the dragon's back were to the viewer, instead of its belly, it might be tergiant).

Moreover, since the dragon's posture (however blazoned) is indistinguishable from tergiant, this conflicts with [a natural salamander tergiant] ...putting the dragon in this posture greatly reduces any difference to be granted for type of reptile. (Balthasar of Eastwick, March, 1993, pg. 22)


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While I would consider dovetailed to be negligibly different from embattled, I'd grant it a CD from urdy (champaine) [device returned for unrelated reasons]. (Eleri Langdoun, March, 1993, pg. 23)


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[A tree eradicated and in chief a <charge>] This is clear of [A tree blasted and eradicated]. There's a CD for the charge in chief, and a CD for the blasting of the tree. (Sileas ní Chinaíd, May, 1993, pg. 4)


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We would grant a CD between a fool's cap and most other types of hat (Catherine the Merry, May, 1993, pg. 11)


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[A two-headed double-queued eagle-winged wyvern displayed vs. a double headed eagle displayed] The changes to the wyvern (notably, the use of eagle's wings) prevent finding difference between the primary charges. (Alex of Kintail, May, 1993, pp. 16-17)


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There's ...no difference for garden rose(bud) vs. heraldic rose, and we've yet seen no evidence that period heralds granted difference for slipping and leaving. (Anna de Battista, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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[A seeblatt] Lord Leveret (now Lord Brachet) has brought up a possible conflict with the badge of Douglas, Earls of Douglas (Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges): [A heart]. His staff has found evidence that the blazon seeblatt could be emblazoned either in its standard form, or in a form indistinguishable from a heart (in the arms of the Duchy of Engern, 16th Century). I've found corroboration in Neubecker & Rentzmann's 10000 Wappen von Staaten und Städten, pp.147, 285: the arms of the Bishopric of Vyborg, in Finland, were blazoned (and emblazoned) either as three hearts conjoined in pall inverted or three seeblätter conjoined in pall inverted.

There are still enough distinct renditions of seeblätter and hearts in period (e.g. the Armorial de Gelre, or Siebmacher) that I hesitate to rule them purely artistic variants. However, there can clearly be cases of visual conflict involving the charges, and the [submitter's badge] is such a visual conflict [returned for this and also for conflict with a water-lily leaf]. (House Windsmeet (Caitlin Davies), May, 1993, pg. 17)


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There's ...no difference between suns and multi-pointed mullets --- which includes compass stars. (Friedrich von Rabenstein, June, 1993, pg. 18)


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The torii is still permitted in Society heraldry, due to its modern familiarity among Occidentals (for instance, the word is found in Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) and its valid reblazon as a Japanese gateway. However, since no heraldic difference can normally be obtained from regional drawing style, we grant no difference between a Japanese gateway (torii) and a standard heraldic gate --- any more than we grant difference between an arch and a dolmen. (Ihashi Hidezo, June, 1993, pg. 22)


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Just as we grant a CD between a sun and a mullet (of 5 points), so do we grant a CD between a sun and an estoile (of 6 rays). (Monica Eve le May, July, 1993, pg. 6)


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The difference between a fess embattled (top edge only) and a fess counter-embattled (both edges) is as great as that between a fess embattled and a plain fess [i.e. worth a CD]. (Lothar Freund, July, 1993, pg. 10)


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We have granted no difference in the past between a bridge and a castle, considering both to be stonework surmounted by towers. (Canton of Pont y Saeth, July, 1993, pg. 15)


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[A rose per pale Or and vert vs. Hirayama (Hawley 27): Dark, a cherry blossom light] There's ...no difference between Hirayama's rendition of a cherry blossom (complete with five petals, barbing and seeding) and an honest heraldic rose. (Oriana d'Auney, July, 1993, pg. 17)


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[Knots of four loops and four tassels vs. cotton hanks] After looking at the examples of cotton hanks in Parker and Elvin, I've decided there is a CD between them and [the submitter's] knots of four loops and four tassels: even assuming the hanks were drawn with their loops slightly separate, Rowan's knots could be considered equivalent to "demi-hanks". (Rowan O Curry, August, 1993, pg. 4)


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[A tyger's head erased] Possible conflict was cited against [A wolf's head erased within a bordure rayonny]. There's a CD for the bordure; the question was raised on any difference between a wolf's head and a tyger's head. Rule X.4.e specifically grants a difference between a lion and a [heraldic] tyger; but even assuming the same between a wolf and a tyger, that doesn't necessarily require difference between their heads. (By analogy, we grant difference between a dragon and an eagle -- but none between a dragon's foot and an eagle's foot.) The heraldic tyger is described as "having ...the maned neck of a horse, and the head of a wolf, but the upper jaw develops into a frontal horn" (Franklyn & Tanner 334); there's no way that the heads could be deemed Substantially Different, but I can see granting a CD for the frontal horn and the mane. (Laeghaire O Laverty, August, 1993, pg. 5)


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[Four fleurs-de-lys in cross, bases to center] The previous return (LoAR of Sept 91) determined that there was not Sufficient Difference between this arrangement of fleurs-de-lys and a cross flory. Had it been intended that the difference be negligible, however, I suspect the then-Laurel would have come out and said so. I believe there is a CD for type of primary charge group in this case. (Cara Michelle DuValier, August, 1993, pg. 6)


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[An opinicus vs. a griffin] The difference between the griffin- variants is too small to be worth a ...CD. (Bleddyn Hawk, August, 1993, pg. 15)


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[An owl affronty vs. an eagle displayed] There's a CD for the change in the bird's posture, but nothing for its type: eagles and owls are both raptors, and the main heraldic difference --- the head posture --- is specifically worth no difference under the Rules (as well as having been subsumed into the rest of the posture change). (Stanwulf the Stern, August, 1993, pg. 17)


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[A Cavendish knot] The badge conflicts with the badge of the House of Savoy ...A Savoy (or Cavendish) knot. The two knots are identical; as the badge is tinctureless, we can get but a single CD between it and this submission ...Conflict was also cited against other "knotty" badges: e.g. [A Wake knot] and [A Bourchier knot]. In the cases of charges nowed (e.g. serpents nowed, or lions with nowed tails), we've held that "knots is knots" and granted no difference for the exact form of knotwork. In cases where the single primary charge is a recognized heraldic knot, however, we can see granting a CD between certain types of knots. In particular, the Savoy/Cavendish knot is sufficiently different from any other standard knot that I would call this submission clear of the cited conflicts. (Order of the Cavendish Knot (Kingdom of the Middle), August, 1993, pg. 19) The current Rules grant no difference between a tower and a castle. (Maelgwn McCain, August, 1993, pg. 20)


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The mandrake is a plant of the genus Mandragora and is native to Southern Europe and the East. It is characterized by very short stems, thick fleshy, often forked, roots, and by fetid lance-shaped leaves (OED). Of the two examples cited in Parker, p. 390, one (de Champs) blazons them as plantes de mandragore (plants of mandrake). The other cited example, the only one in English armory, is actually shown in Rodney Dennys' The Heraldic Imagination, p.130, as more humanoid. Dennys states that "the Mandrake is not, of course, a monster or chimerical creature in the strict sense of the term, but in heraldic art it has acquired such anthropomorphic characteristics that it can be rated as one of the more fanciful of the fabulous creatures of heraldry" (p. 129). We feel there is a CD between a mandrake and human figures as there is between other fanciful heraldic creatures (e.g. angels) and human figures. (Leandra Plumieg, September, 1993, pg. 12)


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[A chief Or vs. On a chief double enarched Or, three mullets] There is clearly a CD for the addition of the mullets, but is the double arching of the chief worth a second CD? It has been previously ruled that there is not a CD between a chief singly arched and a plain chief: "the arching here is virtually identical to that shown on period renditions of a plain chief and adds almost no visual difference" (AMoE, LoAR 19 March 1988, p. 12)

Chiefs double arched have been acceptable in the S.C.A. for over twelve years. According to J.P. Brooke- Little, the first use of this line of partition seems to have been in 1806 in a grant to William Proctor Smith: Gules, on a chief double arched Or, three trefoils proper. (Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry, 1969 revision, footnote, p. 75) Therefore, there is no period evidence upon which to base a decision. However, from this example, we can infer that nineteenth century heralds viewed double arching to be different from a straight line of partition; at least a blazonable difference.

From a visual perspective, single arching has been used to give representation to the curvature of a shield, especially with bends. Double arching does not appear to be an artistic method of denoting curvature. It involves a distinct action in the drawing of the line of partition in the same way as bevilling. This makes it one step removed from a plain line of partition. Therefore, we feel a clear difference can be counted between a chief plain and a chief double arched. (Richard Stanley Greybeard, September, 1993, pg. 13)


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There is a CD ...for the difference between a goose and a swallow (though not between a goose and a generic bird). (Brighid of Lindisfarne, September, 1993, pg. 16)


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There's [not a CD] for comet vs. mullet elongated to base. [charge actually attempted was a compass star elongated to base] (Ysmay de Chaldon, September, 1993, pg. 20)


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We grant no difference between a compass star and a rivenstar, and no difference between a compass star and a sun. (Jacques Gilbert de Gascogne, September, 1993, pg. 23)


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Note: the fact that [the harpy or frauenadler] were considered distinct charges in period allows us to grant a CD against eagles. (Barony of Red Spears, September, 1993, pg. 25)


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There [not a CD] for the difference between nebuly and wavy: there are simply too many examples of these lines being used interchangeably, even in late period. (The arms of Blount: Barry nebuly/wavy Or and sable (Dictionary of British Arms, p. 96) are the best known example.) Even the late period tracts, the first citations of nebuly as an independent complex line, give wide variation in its depiction: Bossewell, 1572, gives a number of different forms of nebuly (fo. 29, 56 and 76), two of which are indistinguishable from his depictions of undy or wavy (fo. 100 and 123). If wavy and nebuly were so indistinguishable in period, we can grant no CDs between them in the SCA. (Tristram Telfor, September, 1993, pg. 26)


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[A lion Or vs. a Bengal tiger Or marked sable] There is no heraldic difference between a lion and a Bengal tiger, and no difference for the markings on the tiger. (Isabeau Celeste de la Valliére, October, 1993, pg. 18)


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DIFFERENCE -- Armory, Visual Test


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[Four oak leaves in cross v. four holly leaves conjoined in cross] We have hitherto granted a CD for type of a single leaf: oak leaf vs. maple leaf (Karl the Meek and Mild), or oak leaf vs. elm leaf (Siobhan O Riordain). But this is offset here by the identical motifs: the arrangement and conjoining in cross add to the visual similarity. [returned for visual conflict] (Anne Chavelle of Silver Oak, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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[A compass star and overall a lion's head cabossed] As drawn, the compass star is almost completely obscured by the lion's head, rendering it unidentifiable. Charges must be drawn so as to be recognizable, per Rule VIII.3. Visually, the star's rays blend with the lion's mane, making it almost a sun in splendour Or; as such, it's very close to [a charged sun].

Some of the commentary mentioned possible conflict between this "irradiated lion's face" and a lion's face jessant-de-lys --- e.g. [a leopard's head jessant a fleur-de-lys]. I believe there's a visible difference between the straight rays shown here and a fleur-de-lys' curved petals. (Tirlach Kinsella, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[A skull argent, vested of a jester's cap Or] This is returned for visual conflict with [a leopard's head argent jessant-de-lys Or]. The jester's cap is split in three points, looking much like a fleur-de-lys. It's also visually close to [a woman's head couped proper crined Or]. (Gareth Shieldbane, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[An estoile gyronny wavy of twelve Or and purpure] This conflicts visually [A mullet of six points gyronny of twelve Or and gules]. ...While we concede sufficient technical difference, a visual comparison confirmed they were too close. [Badge returned for this reason and for using gyronny of more than eight on a charge] (Katrine Vanora of Maidstone, October, 1992, pg. 26)


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[Or, two swords inverted in saltire sable between two foxes combattant gules marked proper] This is in visual conflict with [Or, a sword inverted azure hilted sable between two red foxes combattant proper]. We concede sufficient technical difference, with a CD for number of swords and a CD for their tincture --- but when held side-by-side, technical difference is outweighed by the visual similarity. (Lucas Phelan MacPhail, January, 1993, pg. 29)


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[Per pale and per chevron purpure and argent, three roses counterchanged] Visual conflict with [Per pale and per chevron azure and argent, three roses counterchanged]. Though we concede sufficient technical difference, the consensus of those at the Laurel meeting was that the two were too similar. Some attributed it to the similarity of blue and purple, others to the identical complex patterns of light and dark; but all agreed that the visual similarity overrode the CDs for field and charge tincture. (Grainne of Starmount, January, 1993, pg. 33)


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[A seeblatt] Lord Leveret (now Lord Brachet) has brought up a possible conflict with the badge of Douglas, Earls of Douglas (Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges): [A heart]. His staff has found evidence that the blazon seeblatt could be emblazoned either in its standard form, or in a form indistinguishable from a heart (in the arms of the Duchy of Engern, 16th Century). I've found corroboration in Neubecker & Rentzmann's 10000 Wappen von Staaten und Städten, pp.147, 285: the arms of the Bishopric of Vyborg, in Finland, were blazoned (and emblazoned) either as three hearts conjoined in pall inverted or three seeblätter conjoined in pall inverted.

There are still enough distinct renditions of seeblätter and hearts in period (e.g. the Armorial de Gelre, or Siebmacher) that I hesitate to rule them purely artistic variants. However, there can clearly be cases of visual conflict involving the charges, and the [submitter's badge] is such a visual conflict [returned for this and also for conflict with a water-lily leaf]. (House Windsmeet (Caitlin Davies), May, 1993, pg. 17)


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DIFFERENCE -- Names


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It was the consensus of the meeting that this name [Catharini] does not conflict with ...Contarini; the two are aurally similar, but by my predecessor's "Auda/Ali test", they seemed to be clear. (Isabella Catharini, July, 1992, pg. 4)


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[Wyvern Heyghts] If Heyghts is considered the designator (equivalent to House), then Wyvern is the substantive element here, and this is clear of Wyvernwood and Wyvern Cliff: their substantive elements are wood and Cliff, respectively. If Heyghts is not the designator (i.e. not transparent, but an integral part of the name), this is still clear, for changing the substantive element from Heights to wood or Cliff respectively. (Wyvern Heyghts (Elyramere of Tymbrelyne Heyghts), July, 1992, pg. 5)


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[Aldberct the Smith] This did not conflict with the character of Alberich in Wagner's Ring Cycle; though he was a smith, he was never called so. He seems to have always been called Alberich the Dwarf or Alberich the Niebelung. (Aldberct the Smith, August, 1992, pg. 14)


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[Sean O'Connor] This conflicts with John O'Connor, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York, who has gained national attention with his anti-abortion opinions. He is listed in general referernces (Encyclopedia Americana, 1992 ed., vol.20, p.628), so he's important enough to protect. (See also the LoAR of Nov 88 [Shane O'Connor, pg. 17], where another submission was returned for the same conflict.) (Sean O'Connor, August, 1992, pg. 23)


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[Egil's Nest] This conflicts with Eagle's Nest, a place among the Killarney Lakes in County Kerry, Ireland. It is cited in a general reference ( The New Century Cyclopedia of Names, vol.I, p.1379), so it's important enough to protect. (Egill von Stahl, August, 1992, pg. 27)


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[Porsche Audi] This infringes on the Porsche-Audi division of Volkswagen of America, a registered corporation. Laurel took the most direct method of discovering this: he visited a local Porsche-Audi dealership. The conjunction of the names is distinctive and famous enough to warrant protection. [see also "Style -- Modern," pg. 50] (Porsche Audi, August, 1992, pg. 28)


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[House von Neunkirchen] This conflicts with the city of Neunkirchen, in the Saar region between France and Germany. By our standards, the city is important enough to protect: it's a center for the European iron industry, and appears in at least two general references (The New Century Cyclopedia of Names, vol.III, p.2919; 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica, vol.XIX, p.426). The fact that it is a "generically formed name" does not detract from its importance: Iceland is a generically formed name, too. Nor does the fact that several other towns share the same name reduce the importance of this one. Neunkirchen meets the criteria for protection under the Administrative Guidelines; this must therefore be returned. (Astrid Radulfsdottir, August, 1992, pg. 30)


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[William of Lee] The name ...conflicts with William Lee, the inventor of the knitting machine ...The addition of the preposition of is worth no difference here. (William of Lee, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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[House Snathadan Airgid] The household name does not conflict with the Order of the Silver Needle; per Rule V.4.b, translation is sufficient difference between names (except when pronunciation remains unchanged). (Diorbhail ni Ruaidhri, September, 1992, pg. 5)


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[Marion of Sherebrooke] None of Laurel's staff had any difficulty distinguishing this name from Marian of Sherwood (Marion of Sherebrooke, September, 1992, pg. 34)


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[Tempest Tower] If Tower is considered the household designator (and therefore transparent with respect to conflict), this conflicts with the Order of the Tempest ...Were we to add a designator (e.g. House Tempest Tower), so that Tower became the substantive element of the name, this would conflict with the Order of the Towers of Dreiburgen ...The designator is transparent; the addition of the branch name is worth no difference, per the ruling on the Golden Swan of Calontir; the only countable difference, under the current Rules, is the addition of the adjective Tempest --- which is insufficient, per Rule V.2. (David van den Storm, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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[Christian Vicarius] Though each element in the name is reasonable in itself, the combination is too evocative of the title Vicar of Christ (Christis Vicarius), one of the titles of the Pope. (Christian Vicarius, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[House Shadowhawk] Under our current standards, the name conflicts with the Hawk Herald ...; the designator House/Herald being transparent, there is only the addition of an adjective, which is insufficient per Rule V.2. (House Shadowhawk (Elden the True), September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[Juan Sanchez Ramirez] The name infringes on that of Juan Sanchez Villalobos Ramirez, the immortal played by Sean Connery in the film Highlander and its sequel. (The name is unlikely to soon fade into obscurity, for two reasons. First, the Highlander films have spawned a TV series, keeping the name in the public eye for some time to come. Second, the character is played by Sean Connery, which evidently makes the character ipso facto memorable; there are people [like some of my female friends] who would drive a hundred miles to hear Sean Connery read the telephone directory.) (Juan Sanchez Ramirez, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[Maison des Animaux] The name is intrusively modern, strongly evoking the film Animal House (of which the name is an exact translation). Translation into another tongue can bring a name clear, per Rule V.4.b --- but only if the pronunciation is significantly altered. The difference between Animal and Animaux is too small to be considered significant; and the household designator (House, Maison) is transparent, and counts for no difference. As for the "fame" of the conflict, if a sizable fraction of the populace (of which the College of Arms may be considered a representative sample) recognizes Animal House as a movie title, it's probably necessary to protect it from conflict --- not so much for its own sake, as to keep the modern movie reference from intruding on our medieval re-creation. (Jacqueline de Lyons, September, 1992, pg. 49)


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[Richenda] Using my predecessor's "Auda/Ali" test, this is clear of [Richard]. The two names have differently emphasized syllables, and Richenda does not seem to directly derive from Richard. (Richenda of Locksley, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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[Order of the Swan and Escallop] This is clear of [Order of the Swan] Per Rule V.2, addition of the phrase "and the Escallop" brings it clear. A similar argument brings it clear of the [Order of the Escallop]. (Order of the Swan and Escallop (Barony of One Thousand Eyes), October, 1992, pg. 4)


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[Warriors of the Chalice] Though similar in sound, this is clear of the Order of the Warlord's Chalice (Barony of Rising Waters, October, 1992, pg. 15)


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[Compaignie Mercurie] The name is a technical infringement on the planet Mercury; according to the OED, it was spelled as Mercurie in period and was known to be a place. It's certainly famous enough to protect. We might have argued jesuitically that, per the Administrative Handbook (p.3), the College protects only "geographical locations" --- with emphasis on geo-, "earth". But that line of reasoning would seem to open the door for such submissions as House of Antares, and we have a long history of returning extra-terrestrial names ...while the name might be argued to conflict with the Roman god Mercury --- who, like the planet, meets the criteria for protection in the Handbook --- allusions to supernatural guardians were common enough to allow us to call it clear. That is, Compaignie Mercurie no more conflicts with the god Mercury than, say, the Company of St. Jude conflicts with St. Jude. (Brynjolfr Myrkjartansson, October, 1992, pg. 26)


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[Ard Thir] This conflicts with the Kingdom of An Tir (SCA). Per Rule V.2, the addition of the adjective ard "high" is not enough to bring it clear. Nor can the definite article an in An Tir be considered an adjective; even though the Kingdom name is never used without the article, it's still an article, not an adjective. (A similar example in modern English might be South Bronx vs. The Bronx.) [returned for this and one other conflict]. (Shire of Ard Thir, October, 1992, pg. 30)


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[William the Blacksmith] This technically conflicts with William Smith, the English geologist (1769-1839). He is listed in several general references (Webster's Biographical Dictionary, p.1377), so he's important enough to protect. The addition of the modifier black is insufficient, per Rule V.2; and the presence or absence of a space between words doesn't seem significant here. If William the Black Smith would conflict, so must William the Blacksmith. (William the Blacksmith., December, 1992, pg. 19)


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[Duncan MacLeod] The name [conflicts] with Duncan MacLeod, hero of the "Highlander" television series. We hated to have to consider the latter conflict, but a random sampling of local SCA folk showed the majority recognized the character. (Duncan MacLeod of Edinbane, December, 1992, pg. 19)


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[James the Small] Possible conflict was cited against St. James the Less (St. James Minor). The saint is given the epithet to distinguish him from St. James the Greater; it appears to refer to either importance or age, but not to stature (Metford's Dictionary of Christian Lore and Legend, p.133). James Minor does not ever seem to have been called James the Small in English; this is therefore not an infringement, either in meaning or in sound. (James the Small, January, 1993, pg. 15)


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When considering conflict against an historical figure, we must consider all the names by which the figure is known; the removal of the middle name is thus usually insufficient difference. John Kennedy, for instance, would definitely conflict with John Fitzgerald Kennedy; Thomas Edison, with Thomas Alva Edison; and so on. See the case of Patrick MacManus, LoAR of March 92, p.14. (William Hayes, January, 1993, pg. 32)


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[L'Ordre du Papillon Argente d'Artemisie] Possible conflict was cited with the Papillon Pursuivant, registered to the Kingdom of the West. The original submission (Order of the Papillon of Artemisia) was returned Nov 90 for that conflict; the submitters have added the color. Many commenters felt that there was still a conflict: the designator (Pursuivant/Order of) is transparent, and explicitly worth no difference, per Rule V.4.d; and neither the addition of the adjective nor the branch name is sufficient difference.

The question is whether the combination --- the adjective and the branch name --- is sufficient difference. We've had conflicting precedents on this point: the Order of the Sable Thistle of Ansteorra was deemed clear of the Order of the Thistle on the LoAR of May 80, but the Order of the Golden Swan of Calontir was deemed to conflict with the Order of the Swan on the LoAR of June 88. Neither of those precedents, however, was made under the current Rules.

Under current precedent, the combination of the adjective and the branch name is sufficient difference. This was ruled in the case of the Order of the Sable Lion of Caerthe (LoAR of Aug 90), which was deemed clear of the Lyon King of Arms. We might be moved to make an exception to this policy in extreme cases (e.g. the Order of the Noble Chivalry of the West, or some such thing), but in general it seems a reasonable policy to maintain. (l'Ordre du Papillon Argente d'Artemisie (Principality of Artemisia), May, 1993, pg. 2)


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[Order of the Radiant Rose of Atenveldt] The name conflicts with the SCA's Order of the Rose. Our general policy is that the addition of an adjective plus the territorial branch name is sufficient difference between names --- that is, a hypothetical Order of the White Star of the Middle would not conflict with France's Order of the Star. But we make an exception for the SCA Orders of Peerage, due to their universal application and importance within the Society. We suggest choosing some other noun for the order's name. (Order of the Radiant Rose of Atenveldt (Kingdom of Atenveldt), May, 1993, pg. 14)


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[Wilhelm von Regensburg] Regensburg being the capital of the Upper Palatinate of Bavaria, the LOI questioned whether the name conflicted with those Dukes of Bavaria named Wilhelm. However, the Dukes in question never seemed to have been called of Regensburg; the name no more conflicts with the Dukes of Bavaria than John of London would conflict with King John (whose capital was London). (Wilhelm von Regensburg, June, 1993, pg. 3)


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Rule V.4.b permits us to consider Elizabeth to be significantly different from Elspeth: the number of syllables, and their emphasis, have greatly changed. (Elizabeth de Westwood, July, 1993, pg. 2)


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[Margery of Kent] The name does not conflict with the English mystic Margery Kempe (d.1440); the change in final consonants is (ahem) pronounced. (Margery of Kent, August, 1993, pg. 3)


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John is not the same name as Jonathan, nor its diminutive [therefore they do not conflict with each other]. (Jonathan ap Morgan, September, 1993, pg. 3)


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This submission raised the question of how much difference is needed between the SCA and mundane names. In the LoA&R of November 1992, I returned us to our previous standard of non-identity: "The minimum change (the one regarded as a loophole by liberals and conservatives alike) is probably the addition or deletion of a single syllable (e.g. John Smith to John the Smith)." [LoA&R of April 1985]. Any changes smaller than a single syllable may not be sufficient; they must be argued case by case.

In this case, the submitter's mundane name (Valerie La Rue) was too close to the name she submitted (Valerie Le Roux). The fact that the bynames had different derivations and spellings was irrelevant; their pronunciation was nearly identical. Even under our new relaxed standards, there was not enough separation between the mundane name and SCA persona. Fortunately (!), the submitted byname was also grammatically incorrect: it used the masculine form of the adjective. The feminine equivalent is la Rousse and this is sufficiently different from La Rue to be acceptable in this case. (Valerie la Rousse, September, 1993, pg. 16)


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This client's original submission ...was made in the Middle Kingdom in 1976. The name was rejected by Laurel in August 1979 for being too close to the Virgin Mary. Current evidence indicates that this decision was in error. While mildness was an attribute ascribed to the Virgin Mary (see the OED for citations under mild), so were most of the other virtues. Nowhere in A Dictionary of Mary by Donald Attwater (P.J. Kenedy & Sons, New York, 1956), including in the entry "Titles of Mary", is this particular formation found. The Mild doesn't seem to have been one of her formal titles (such as the Virgin or Queen of Heaven), nor was it so intimately associated with Mary (as would be the Immaculate or the Sorrowful) that the usage must of necessity refer to her. (Mary the Mild, September, 1993, pg. 17)




Iain MacArthur is clear of John MacArthur ... since Iain and John are different enough in sound to bring this clear, per Rule V.4. (Iain MacArthur, October, 1993, pg. 4)


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[Ian MacLochlainn] This does not conflict with the TV commentator John MacLoughlin. The translation of John to Ian changes the pronunciation enough to bring this clear per Rule V.4.b. (John and Sean, on the other hand, still sound too similar.) (Ian MacLochlainn, October, 1993, pg. 7)


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DOCUMENTATION


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Documentation solely in a foreign alphabet (be it Hebrew, hiragana, or hieroglyphics) is of little use unless interpreted. (Levia Rhys Llaw Wen, September, 1992, pp. 16-17)


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[Iestyn ap Cadfael ap Ianto ap Danno ap Richard ap Owen ap Rhys o'r Cwm] Lord Hund has noted the use on a Welsh gravestone of a similarly lengthy name (John ap Robert ap Porth ap Daffyd ap Gruffydd ap Daffyd Vaughan ap Blethyn ap Gruffydd ap Meredith ap Jerworth ap Llewellyn ap Jerom ap Heilin ap Cowryd ap Cadwan ap Alawgwa ap Cadell of Powys, born 1547). The gravestone is as much a legal "document" as a birth record. (Iestyn ap Cadfael ap Ianto ap Danno ap Richard ap Owen ap Rhys o'r Cwm, September, 1992, pg. 33)


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[MacFlandry] The submitter ...noted the registered names of Robert MacFlandry of Dundee and Duncan MacFlandry. However, those names were registered back in 1981; both our naming standards and the quality of our name resources have increased since then. ...The submitter is blood kin to neither Baron Robert nor Baron Duncan, so the Grandfather Clause doesn't apply here; the registration of their names a decade ago does not oblige us to register the current submission. (Lyulf MacFlandry, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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EGG


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We see no heraldic difference between a roundel and an egg. (Sarah Rumoltstochter, September, 1992, pg. 41)


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ERMINE SPOT


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The ermine spot is considered a single charge, and is acceptable for fieldless badges (Eduard Halidai, July, 1992, pg. 3)


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ESCALLOP


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The escallop is not a simple geometric charge, so the change of type alone of tertiary is worth no difference per Rule X.4.j.ii. (Eleri Rhiannon ferch Cian, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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I consider the choban [Japanese gong] to be distinct from an escallop, certainly enough to be worth a CD of difference. (Roberto de Jerez, November, 1992, pg. 9)


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ESTENCELY


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[Argent estencely, a cat couchant sable] Though visually similar, this is clear of the arms of Wither (Papworth 75), Ermine, a lion passant sable. There's a CD for posture; and I would grant a CD (at least) between ermine and argent estencely sable. (Though, to judge from the discussion in Brault's Early Blazon, no period difference would be granted between estencely and mullety or estoilly.) (Caitlin Decourcey Corbet, September, 1992, pg. 3)


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Estencely is the Norman French term for what is also blazoned "semy of sparks". Either term is correct. (Meliora of Snowshill, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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ESTOILE


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There's no difference between a sun and a multi-rayed estoile. (Eirikr Sigurdharson, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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[Azure, two mullets of six lesser and six greater points and a swan naiant within a bordure argent] This conflicts with Iver of the Black Bow ...Azure, two estoiles and a unicorn's head cabossed, all within a bordure argent. Even granting difference between mullets and estoiles, I don't believe there is Substantial Difference as required by Rule X.2. There is thus a single CD, for type of primary charge group; we cannot grant a CD for type of half the group, and another CD for type of the other half of the same group. (Enid of Crickhollow, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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[A comet bendwise sinister, head to chief] This had been returned on the LoAR of May 92 for conflict with the arms of [an eight-pointed estoile]. The submitter has appealed this decision, arguing that (a) estoiles and comets are separate charges, so Rule X.2 should apply here; and that (b) even if X.2 doesn't apply, there should be a CD for type of charge and a CD for placement on the field. (Honsard's estoile is centered on the shield, while the submitter's comet has its head in sinister chief.)

On the first point, I find no evidence that an estoile and a comet are so distinct charges as to permit Rule X.2, the Sufficient Difference Rule, to apply between them. All my sources define the comet as a modified estoile: an estoile with a flaming tail appended. (Parker 130; Franklyn & Tanner 82) Indeed, Lord Crescent notes examples from Papworth suggesting that the change from estoile to comet is a single cadency step: e.g. Waldock (Or, an estoile flaming [i.e. a comet] sable) and Waldeck (Or, an eight-pointed estoile sable). I am willing to grant a CD between the two charges, but I cannot see granting Sufficient Difference between them.

On the second point, the submitter overlooks the fact that, if we elongate the charge, parts of it must be displaced; that's included in the definition of elongation. One cannot count one CD for the first change, and another CD for the second: the second follows automatically from the first. It's analogous to the change between, say, a compass star and a compass star elongated to base, or a Greek cross and a Latin cross. So long as both charges are drawn to fill the available space, the change in type (from symmetrical to elongated) cannot also be counted as a change in placement. (Styvyn Longshanks, January, 1993, pg. 34)


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Just as we grant a CD between a sun and a mullet (of 5 points), so do we grant a CD between a sun and an estoile (of 6 rays). (Monica Eve le May, July, 1993, pg. 6)


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FEATHER


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[A feather palewise surmounted by a gryphon's head] Fieldless badges may no longer use overall charges, except in cases where the overlap area is small; this is usually restricted to long, skinny charges such as a sword (LoAR cover letter of 15 Jan 93). As drawn [the feather is a wide as the gryphon's head minus the beak and ears], the feather in this badge doesn't meet that standard. (Order of the Golden Feather (Principality of Artemisia), May, 1993, pg. 14)


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A peacock feather proper is mostly green, with an iridescent roundel near the end. This is therefore [a CD from] A feather azure. (Alena Vladimirovna, September, 1993, pg. 6)


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FESS and BAR


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[A wall vs. a fess embattled] A wall is defined to be a fess embattled and masoned; and as with all charges of stonework, the masoning is an artistic detail worth no difference. Siebmacher gives several examples of related families using either a fess embattled or a wall, where the only difference was masoned diapering. We might grant the addition of masoning as worth a CD, for any charge except a stonework edifice. (Zacharia of Westlake, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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The difference between a fess embattled (top edge only) and a fess counter-embattled (both edges) is as great as that between a fess embattled and a plain fess [i.e. worth a CD]. (Lothar Freund, July, 1993, pg. 10)


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[ Per fess wavy azure and barry wavy Or and azure, two scythes in saltire argent] ...although the LOI blazoned this again as a per fess field with a wavy bar in base, the visual effect is still of a per fess azure and barry wavy field. It was not unusual for barry or paly fields in period to be drawn with an odd number of traits (which we'd blazon as bars or palets); see, for example, the arms of Mouton (Multon, Moleton) found both as Barry argent and gules and Argent, three bars gules (Dictionary of British Arms, pp 59, 88; Foster, p. 145). The distinction is even less noticeable when covering only a portion of the shield, as here; see, for example, the arms of von Rosenberg, whose Per fess field has in base either three bends or bendy depending upon the artist's whim (Siebmacher, p. 8; Neubecker and Rentzmann, p. 290). Even when the distiction is worth blazoning, it's worth no difference.

This remains a conflict with [Gules, two scythes in saltire argent] (Aidan Aileran O'Comhraidhe, September, 1993, pg. 18)


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We grant no difference between argent, three bars wavy azure and barry wavy argent and azure. (Anne Elaina of River's Bend, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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FIELD DIVISION -- General


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[Per pall inverted arrondi [or schne] a threaded needle inverted bendwise, the needle extending to cover about half the distance possible] As drawn, the needle is completely unidentifiable. It is far too small for the available space; while this normally requires only an admonition to "Draw the charge larger", the flaw is fatal on this field. (Even a correctly-sized needle would be hard pressed to be identified on a field per pall inverted arrondi; the curved lines of the field and thread, and the thinness of the needle, combine to cause confusion rather than clarity.)

If the needle were drawn larger, this might be acceptable; but the submitter would be better advised to choose another field as well. (Hannah Graham, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[Party of six pieces, three bells] This was blazoned on the LOI as [Per fess, on a pale counterchanged between two bells, a bell]. That would be the normal modern blazon, but not the period blazon. In period, this was considered a field division, not a counterchanged pale. It appears to have been considered a field division from its invention, mid-15th Century, to the end of our period: the arms of the Worshipful Company of Girdlers, granted 1454, were blazoned on the grant as a schucheon of .vi. pointes of Azure & gold with .iii. greydyron [gridirons] of that same, while the arms of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, were given in the Parliamentary Roll of 1540 as Party of six pieces or and gules three fleurs de lys azure and three pelicans or. It wasn't until Bossewell's Armorie of 1572 that the field began to be blazoned as a counterchanged pale --- and Bossewell makes clear that this is an alternate blazon, not the recommended style. The "official" blazon is still as a six-parted field: "Partie per fesse, countercolored in 6. quarters ...and the same I do commende, for that he which used hys blazon was an Heraulte, and wel learned in theire mysteries."

With such documentation in hand, I have little choice but to count this a conflict with Swymmer, cited in the LOI (Papworth 181): [Gules, three bells]. There's a single CD, for the field.

There was some feeling that the College has a long-standing tradition of regarding this as a counterchanged pale, not a field. I couldn't find any precedent or ruling supporting such a tradition. Quite the contrary: our policy is that we register the emblazon, not the blazon, and a conflict found under any valid blazon is a real conflict. We try not to equate charges with field divisions, but occasionally we must -- witness how often we must call conflict between a pile and Chaussé --- and based on the new research presented, this is such a case. Any change that would distinguish this as a counterchanged pale (e.g. tincture, complex line) would bring this clear of Swymmer; so would reversing the field's tinctures, which would put the bells 1 & 2. (Laeghaire ua'Laverty, October, 1992, pg. 25)


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Counterchanging a vair field isn't an acceptable practice: there is no heraldic difference between vair and "vair counterchanged", and the result is as visually indistinct as, say, Per pale checky Or and gules, and checky gules and Or. In each case, except for a discontinuity in the center of the shield, from any distance it looks likea single field. (Richard Foxcroft, December, 1992, pg. 18)


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[A thistle per chevron throughout purpure and vert] The division of the thistle could not be identified as such by the heralds at Laurel's meeting. On such an irregular shape as a thistle, any division must be exceptionally simple to be recognized. Per pale might have been acceptable; Per chevron, where the line must cross the empty space between the leaves and the blossom, is not. (Fionna Goodburne, December, 1992, pg. 19)


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[Party of six pieces gules and Or, three <charges> Or and a chief sable] The addition of the chief removes the conflict from the previous return. However, there's now a lack of contrast between the sable chief and the field. The field is equally gules and Or, and technically neutral with respect to contrast --- for charges that are equally supported by the gules and Or traits. A centrally placed sable charge, or a sable bordure, would have sufficient contrast; but a sable chief might not. (The problem is not unique to this field division: Per bend gules and Or is a neutral field, but Per bend gules and Or, a chief sable still suffers a lack of contrast.)

In this case, the chief's contrast is exactly the same as with a hypothetical Gules, a pale Or and a chief sable. We would return the latter, were it submitted; we must likewise return this. The client might consider counterchanging the tinctures of the field, or using a bordure. (Geoffrey Peal (Laeghaire ua'Laverty), June, 1993, pg. 18)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Gyronny


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Gyronny of ten is symmetric around the horizontal line, not the vertical line. (Iestyn ap Cadfael ap Ianto ap Danno ap Richard ap Owen ap Rhys o'r Cwm, September, 1992, pg. 33)


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There are period examples of gyronny fields, where alternating gyrons were charged: e.g. the arms of Stoker, Lord Mayor of London in 1484, Gyronny of six azure and argent, each argent gyron charged with a popinjay proper. (Ginevra d'Altieri, October, 1992, pg. 9)


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In Society heraldry, while fields may be gyronny of as many as 12, charges may be gyronny of no more than 8. (LoAR of 22 March 83) (Katrine Vanora of Maidstone, October, 1992, pg. 26)


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In one of the March submissions (Wulfgar der Krieger [pg. 15]), I've ruled that gyronny of six palewise will no longer be permitted (after the standard four-month grace period, of course). Parker, p.301, states that gyronny of six should be symmetric around the horizontal axis, not the vertical axis; and this is borne out by such period examples as I've been able to uncover. Gyronny of six palewise is purely an SCA term for what is, as far as I can tell, a non-period rendition of the field. I can usually manage to reblazon it Per pale and per saltire; but sometimes (as with Wulfgar's submission) there's no way to reblazon it. I would prefer to see correct emblazons for this field, rather than have to resort to circuitous or torturous reblazon. If someone can provide evidence that gyronny of six palewise was used in period armory, I will continue to accept it; failing such evidence, I will begin returning it at the Oct 93 meeting. (8 May, 1993 Cover Letter (March, 1993 LoAR), pg. 3)


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We grant no difference between Gyronny of six and Gyronny of eight, any more than we would for barry or bendy of those numbers. (Frithiof Sigvardsson Skägge, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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[Sionan Padraig Caimbeul, Per pale gyronny sable and Or, and gyronny Or and sable, on a chief triangular argent <charge>] The device does not appear to be correct medieval style. The use of the two gyronny divisions is visually confusing here, with the sinister division being the counterchange of the dexter division.

Moreover, the only examples we've seen of multiple gyronny divisions in one device involved marshalling. Were this considered a marshalled coat --- and the fact that the Campbell (Caimbeul) arms are Gyronny sable and Or suggests this was the submitter's intent --- it would be returnable on those grounds alone. It's true that a charged chief may, in most cases, remove the appearance of impalement; but simultaneously, the use of Campbell armory with the name Caimbeul reinforces that appearance. For either reason, this must be returned. (Sionan Padraig Caimbeul, July, 1993, pg. 12)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Lozengy


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I must conclude that, in Germany, the field of Bavaria is used in very much the same way as the arms of France were used in France. I therefore restore the prohibition of Lozengy bendwise azure and argent in Society heraldry, as well as artistic variants such as Paly bendy azure and argent. [For full discussion, see under ROYAL ARMORY] (18 September, 1992 Cover Letter (August, 1992 LoAR), pg. 3)


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The use of paly bendy azure and argent has been prohibited in Society armory since 1984; it is too strongly suggestive of a claim to a connection to the rulers of Bavaria. The prohibition was reaffirmed on the LoAR cover letter of 18 Sept 92, p.3. In this case, the problem is particularly acute: the bordure is drawn so wide that this might be blazoned more accurately as Bavaria with an inescutcheon per pale Or and gules, thereon a castle counterchanged. This makes the problem of presumption more obvious, but either way, the use of the Bavarian field is unacceptable. (Siegfried Rupert Stanislaus, November, 1992, pg. 17)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Paly


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[Purpure, three palets Or, overall two flaunches] We were tempted to blazon this as Paly purpure and Or, two flaunches That's the visual effect of the traits' regular widths and the overall charges. There are instances of period arms blazoned and emblazoned, interchangeably, as paly and three palets: cf. the armory of Valoines found in Foster, p.196. Certainly, we grant no heraldic difference between the two renditions. The above blazon does more accurately describe the submitted emblazon, however. (Eleonora Vittoria Alberti di Calabria, December, 1992, pg. 8)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Per Chevron


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[Per chevron Or and azure, a pall inverted between three <charges> counterchanged] The previous submission (Per chevron inverted sable and Or, a pall counterchanged Or and gules between in chief a bezant charged with a cross formy fitchy at the foot, and in base two crosses formy fitchy at the foot gules, each within an annulet sable) was returned Sept 83 for over-complexity and non-period style. Laurel suggested at the time that the submitter "Please use a simple pall gules", implying that the counterchanging of the pall over the field division was part of the non-period style.

This resubmission, though greatly simplified, still has a pall (this time inverted) counterchanged over a Per chevron field division. We have in the past registered solidly-tinctured palls inverted over Per chevron divisions (or the same motif inverted); the pall is then understood to overlie the line of the field. The same understanding cannot apply when the pall is counterchanged: the line of the field could legally be under the center of the pall, under one of its edges, or even extending beyond the pall on the other side.

Moreover, the visual effect is that of a pall inverted (the lower limbs narrower than that in chief) and a point pointed azure, all on an Or field. The visual confusion, combined with the problems of reproducibility, combine to make this motif unacceptable. (Allen of Moffat, June, 1993, pp. 20-21)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Per Chevron Inverted


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[Per chevron inverted, three piles in point, pile ending in the upper section] Piles are properly drawn throughout, or nearly so; they would not come to a point at the point of the field division, as here. If [the submittor] drew this with the piles crossing the line of division, it would be acceptable; or [the submittor] might try [chassé, three piles], etc. (Elwin Dearborn, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Per Fess


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[Argent maily sable, on a chief a scroll charged with quill pens] This was blazoned on the LOI as [Per fess, in chief on an scroll quill pens]. However, the full emblazon didn't quite show a Per fess division, but rather a charged chief. The quill pens are therefore quaternary charges, which are disallowed per Rule VIII.1.c.ii.

The distinction between, say, Argent, a chief gules and Per fess gules and argent was not often observed in early heraldry; indeed, the first examples of Per-fess emblazons were blazoned a chief. (See Wagner's Historic Heraldry of Britain, plate II, for such an example.) However, the distinction was observed by the mid-15th Century, and is observed in the SCA. This may make it easier for us to avoid conflict, but it also requires us to insist on correct emblazons. If this is resubmitted with an undoubted Per fess field, there should be no stylistic problems. (August Kroll, September, 1992, pg. 37)


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[Per fess enarched sable and gules, a <charge>] Two-color fields with complex lines of division should not have charges overlying them, per Rule VIII.3. The enarched line is considered a complex line in SCA armory, though no difference is granted between it and an untreated (straight) line. (Arthur Bromere, December, 1992, pg. 16)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Per Pale


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[Per pale, a harp and a cross of four lozenges, a chief embattled] The chief was a mark of primary cadency in period (Gayre's Heraldic Cadency, p.153), and it became part of the Stodart system of cadency used today in Scotland. Thus, the addition of a chief to quartered armory would not remove the appearance of marshalling. However, the chief's use as a brisure was never as widespread as the bordure's; where the bordure would be used to cadence all forms of marshalling, the chief would only be used to cadence quartering. In the case of impalement --- which implies a marital coat, not an inherited one --- the addition of the chief is sufficient to remove the appearance of marshalling. (Æthelstan von Ransbergen, September, 1992, pg. 1)


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[Per fess paly azure and argent, and argent] The upper portion of the device was blazoned on the LOI as four pallets argent on an azure background. Visually, however, this is a striped field partition; and that impression is reinforced by the fact that it occupies only one portion of a Per fess field. There is certainly no heraldic difference between the two blazons; and multiply-divided fields were occasionally drawn with an odd number of traits for aesthetic reasons. (St.John-Hope, Heraldry for Craftsmen and Designers, p.49). (Leidhrún Leidólfsdóttir, September, 1992, pg. 10)


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[Sionan Padraig Caimbeul, Per pale gyronny sable and Or, and gyronny Or and sable, on a chief triangular argent <charge>] The device does not appear to be correct medieval style. The use of the two gyronny divisions is visually confusing here, with the sinister division being the counterchange of the dexter division.

Moreover, the only examples we've seen of multiple gyronny divisions in one device involved marshalling. Were this considered a marshalled coat --- and the fact that the Campbell (Caimbeul) arms are Gyronny sable and Or suggests this was the submitter's intent --- it would be returnable on those grounds alone. It's true that a charged chief may, in most cases, remove the appearance of impalement; but simultaneously, the use of Campbell armory with the name Caimbeul reinforces that appearance. For either reason, this must be returned. (Sionan Padraig Caimbeul, July, 1993, pg. 12)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Quarterly


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[Quarterly counter-ermine and argent, in bend sinister two pairs of annulets interlaced bendwise sinister gules] The quarterly field division must be used carefully, to avoid the appearance of marshalled armory. Rule XI.3 sets out what designs will appear to be marshalled: the use of more than one charge per quarter is unacceptable in this context. This must be returned. If he used a single annulet in each argent quarter, or a group of two linked annulets overlying the line of division, it would be acceptable (assuming no conflicts). (Tristan of Landhelm, September, 1993, pg. 21)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Vairy


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[Per bend sinister counter-vairy gules and Or and counter-vairy sable and Or, a dragonfly ermine] The field, though visually complex, is the same as that used on his previous return ...and no objection was raised at that time. Moreover, there are a few period examples of multiply-parted fields of three tinctures: e.g. the arms of von Hohenegk (Siebmacher, plate 35), Checky sable, argent, sable and gules, a canton Or. So, for a design this simple, this field is not unreasonable. (Ilya Vsevolod Fominich., September, 1992, pg. 25)


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Counterchanging a vair field isn't an acceptable practice: there is no heraldic difference between vair and "vair counterchanged", and the result is as visually indistinct as, say, Per pale checky Or and gules, and checky gules and Or. In each case, except for a discontinuity in the center of the shield, from any distance it looks likea single field. (Richard Foxcroft, December, 1992, pg. 18)


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We grant no difference for the artistic distinctions among the vair-type furs. That is, no difference for vair vs. vair ancient (indeed, we don't even blazon this, leaving it to the artist), no difference for vair vs. potent, no difference for vair in pale vs vair in point vs. counter-vair, etc. (Aedhán Brecc, March, 1993, pg. 25)


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It was announced in the cover letter of the July 93 LoAR that vair is vair, whether drawn in an earlier, undulating style or in a late-period, angular form; the difference is purely artistic, and shouldn't even merit mention in the blazon. This has raised a question from some commenters as to which varieties of vair we should blazon, and why.

Well, there are certainly some varieties of vair we've never blazoned: vair en pal, for instance, is a valid period rendition of plain vair that acquired its own name only in the 19th Century. That example provides us with the key: we should recognize only those varieties of vair that period heralds recognized. That excludes, e.g., vair en pal, vair ancient, and the German Gespaltenesfeh. Other varietal forms, however, were making their appearance toward the end of period; they should be acceptable, both as motifs and in blazon.

The first vair-variant seems to have been potent. Legh's Accidens of Armorie gives an illustration of a potent field, which he blazons meirre or varry cuppe, and attributes to the Spanish; Guillim's Display of Heraldrie follows Legh in this, but prefers the blazon potent counter-potent. Both the fur and the blazon are acceptable, then; and indeed, Guillim's illustration shows a field potent en point, which might give us some justification for the same arrangement applied to vair.

Vair en point makes an appearance in its own right, however, along with counter-vair. Both of these appear to be German variants; Leonhard's Grosse Buch der Wappenkunst blazons them as Wechselfeh "back-and-forth vair" and Sturzgegenfeh "falling-reversed vair", respectively. They first showed up in the early 17th Century, and managed to find actual use in French armory soon afterward: Baron's l'Art Heraldique cites the arms of Brotin, Contrevaire d'or et de gueules, and of Durant, Vair en pointe. We can consider them to have been used, and recognized by heralds, within our "grey area" of documentation --- if not explicitly from within period, then at the very least compatible with Society practice.

It is equally illuminating to observe the styles of vair that period heralds did not distinguish. Foster's Dictionary of Heraldry shows many artistic variations taken from period rolls: they range from the wavy "vair ancient" style to the tesselated "modern vair" --- with a broad spectrum in between. See the arms of Bruis, p.33, and of Marmion, p.137, for different artists' versions of the same armory: the stylizations of vair include one that resembles nipples, and another that could be reblazoned barry embattled. Sometimes, the same roll of arms will employ two different styles of vair: Siebmacher's Wappenbuch of 1605, for instance, gives examples of "modern vair" (in the arms of von Pappenheim, p.19) and "vair ancient" (in the arms of von Linsingen, p.182). A similar example, with several different styles of vair ("ancient", "modern", and "other") used in a single roll of arms c.1500, may be seen in Pastoreau's Traité d'Héraldique, p.293.

Some commenters have argued that the distinction between vair ancient and the more angular modern vair, though certainly worth no heraldic difference, should nonetheless be blazoned as a courtesy to the submitters --- just as we blazon shamrock vs. trefoil, or sword vs. scimitar. The latter terms, however, are all found in period; vair ancient is not, to the best of my knowledge (not even to the extent of being described in an heraldic tract as "vair as it was drawn in ancient times"). Given the absence of "vair ancient" from period blazons, given the equally varied styles of vair that weren't blazoned, and given the absurdity of a medievalist re-creation group having to specify "drawn in the medieval style" in a blazon (as silly as blazoning a lion drawn in the medieval style, not the modern naturalistic style), I find the tone of moral indignation in some of the recent commentary to be unjustified. Vair ancient should not be explicitly blazoned in the SCA if it was not so blazoned in period; it is exactly the sort of artistic detail that should be left to the artist. (30 November, 1993 Cover Letter (September, 1993 LoAR), pg. 3)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Vêtu;


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Vêtu fields should not have charges in the "vested" portions of the field --- and although this was blazoned on the LOI as a lozenge concave throughout, the latter two adjectives almost mandate this be considered a vêtu field. (Caelina Lærd Reisende, December, 1992, pg. 15)


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FIELD ONLY ARMORY


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[Bendy sinister and per bend gules and Or] Versus [Per bend Or and gules it was argued in the commentary that the addition of the bendy sinister lines resulted in one half of the field tinctures changing and therefore worth a CD. A similar argument can be made against [Bendy sinister Or and gules] that the counterchanging across the per bend line can be considered a tincture change of one half of the field and also worth a second CD. These arguments are fallacious since they assume tincture changes forced by a field division change are independent of the field change itself. A more obvious example is the change from Quarterly gules and Or to Per saltire gules and Or. In this case, one half of the field (alternating gyrons) changes tincture. Yet only one CD is given for the field change because the tincture change is necessitated by the division change. The only difference between this submission and the examples above are the complexity of the field divisions involved. For tincture changes to count as difference in field only submissions, one of the tinctures must be changed to a tincture not involved with the division change. (Cynthia of Oakenwode, September, 1993, pg. 23)


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FIELD TREATMENT -- General


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I am forced to conclude that fretty is an artistic variant of the fret, and therefore a single charge [and not a field treatment]. [For the full discussion, see under FRET] (10 November, 1992 Cover Letter (September, 1992 LoAR), pg. 4)


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FIELD TREATMENT -- Masoned


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[A wall vs. a fess embattled] A wall is defined to be a fess embattled and masoned; and as with all charges of stonework, the masoning is an artistic detail worth no difference. Siebmacher gives several examples of related families using either a fess embattled or a wall, where the only difference was masoned diapering. We might grant the addition of masoning as worth a CD, for any charge except a stonework edifice. (Zacharia of Westlake, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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FIELD TREATMENT -- Semé


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[Argent estencely, a cat couchant sable] Though visually similar, this is clear of the arms of Wither (Papworth 75), Ermine, a lion passant sable. There's a CD for posture; and I would grant a CD (at least) between ermine and argent estencely sable. (Though, to judge from the discussion in Brault's Early Blazon, no period difference would be granted between estencely and mullety or estoilly.) (Caitlin Decourcey Corbet, September, 1992, pg. 3)


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[Azure goutty d'eau in chief a cloud] This conflicts with [Azure, goutty de eau]. This conflict call engendered much discussion in the commentary, centering on whether the cloud was a peripheral secondary charge (thereby making this a conflict with [above]) or a primary charge (thereby clearing the conflict per Rule X.1). One might argue either way: Had this been, e.g., Azure, in chief a cloud argent, the cloud would probably be the primary; had this been, e.g., Argent goutty d'eau, a chief nebuly argent, it would definitely be a conflict. In this case, the gouts are the primary charge group, and the cloud a secondary charge. Approach it by approximations: Comparing Azure, a gout argent vs. Azure, a gout and in chief a cloud argent, there would certainly be a conflict; likewise Azure, three gouts argent vs. Azure, three gouts and in chief a cloud argent, and Azure, six gouts argent vs. Azure, six gouts and in chief a cloud argent. In none of these hypothetical cases could Rule X.1 be invoked for adding the cloud in chief; the gouts are the primary charges. Increasing the number of gouts even further (to goutty, the present submission) does not change this. This is a conflict ...with a single CD for adding the secondary charge in chief. (Jon of the Mists, September, 1992, pp. 39-40)


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[Semy of rams statant argent armed Or] The 1984 Rules for Submission did not permit semy charges to be fimbriated, proper, or of divided tinctures (IX.2). While that specific clause is not found in the current Rules, those usages remain poor style, and in extreme cases may be grounds for return under Rule VIII.3. The submitter would be well advised to use single-tinctured rams in her semy, when she resubmits [device returned for using a charged canton]. (Aurora Ashland of Woolhaven, January, 1993, pg. 25)


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[Per chevron azure and argent, all mullety counterchanged] This is clear of [Azure, six mullets argent, three, two and one. Semy charges, by definition, are evenly strewn across the field. When the field is divided in half by a field partition (such as Per chevron), then half the semy charges are on each half of the field --- again, by definition. We thus count a CD for the tincture of the field, and a CD for the tincture of half the primary charge group. (Ariane la Fileuse, July, 1993, pg. 4)


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FIELD -- Ermined


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[Argent estencely, a cat couchant sable] Though visually similar, this is clear of the arms of Wither (Papworth 75), Ermine, a lion passant sable. There's a CD for posture; and I would grant a CD (at least) between ermine and argent estencely sable. (Though, to judge from the discussion in Brault's Early Blazon, no period difference would be granted between estencely and mullety or estoilly.) (Caitlin Decourcey Corbet, September, 1992, pg. 3)


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On an undivided field, there is a visible difference between Ermine (a field) and Argent, three ermine spots sable (a field with charges). [See also Edric Winterboren, same letter, pg. 31] (Donal Artur of the Silver Band, September, 1992, pg. 31)


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[Counter-ermine] There was some debate as to whether the field should be blazoned Sable goutty d'eau inverted. However, examples have been produced showing this to be a valid depiction of ermine spots. It would probably be better, however, if the submitter could be introduced to more standard ermine stylizations. (Adnar Dionadair, October, 1992, pg. 11)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Barry


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[ Per fess wavy azure and barry wavy Or and azure, two scythes in saltire argent] ...although the LOI blazoned this again as a per fess field with a wavy bar in base, the visual effect is still of a per fess azure and barry wavy field. It was not unusual for barry or paly fields in period to be drawn with an odd number of traits (which we'd blazon as bars or palets); see, for example, the arms of Mouton (Multon, Moleton) found both as Barry argent and gules and Argent, three bars gules (Dictionary of British Arms, pp 59, 88; Foster, p. 145). The distinction is even less noticeable when covering only a portion of the shield, as here; see, for example, the arms of von Rosenberg, whose Per fess field has in base either three bends or bendy depending upon the artist's whim (Siebmacher, p. 8; Neubecker and Rentzmann, p. 290). Even when the distiction is worth blazoning, it's worth no difference.

This remains a conflict with [Gules, two scythes in saltire argent] (Aidan Aileran O'Comhraidhe, September, 1993, pg. 18)


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We grant no difference between argent, three bars wavy azure and barry wavy argent and azure. (Anne Elaina of River's Bend, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Bendy


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[Argent, four scarpes alternately gules and sable, on a chief <charges>] Though blazoned on the LOI as Bendy sinister argent and alternately gules and sable..., the full emblazon showed an argent field with four scarpes. Even considered as a Bendy sinister field, however, this is compatible with European armory. A period example may be found in the arms of von Schreibersdorf, c.1600 (Siebmacher, plate 166): Bendy argent, gules and sable. (Robin of Rhovanion, July, 1993, pg. 3)


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FIELD DIVISION -- Chaussé


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[Chaussé raguly] If we'd permit a pile raguly or Per chevron inverted raguly, we should permit this. (Thorfinn Bjarnarbrodir, September, 1992, pg. 23)


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[Sable chausse argent, <charges> vs. Argent, on a pile sable, <different charges>] We grant no difference between a charged pile and a chausse field; there is at most a CD for the change of tertiary charges. (Elgar of Stonehaven, November, 1992, pg. 14)


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FIMBRIATED and VOIDED CHARGES


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[A pall Or fimbriated of flame vs. a pall Or] The complex fimbriation of the pall is worth no difference. (Theodric Alastair Wulfricson, August, 1992, pg. 29)


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[A pall between <charges>] This conflicts with [a pall fimbriated of flame]. There's a CD for the secondary charges, but the fimbriation is worth no difference (Marian Loresinger, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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Ermine fimbriation is disallowed (LoAR of 3 Aug 86, p.17), as are overall charges surmounting fimbriated ordinaries (9 March 86, p.12). (Cerridwen nic Alister, October, 1992, pg. 26)


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It seems to me that, if roundels and lozenges were voided in period, then charges of comparable simplicity may likewise be voided. Of course, this begs the question of defining "simplicity" for purposes of voiding. (Which definition differs entirely from that of "simple geometric charge" for Rule X.4.j.ii, or "simple armory" for X.2...)

The arguments presented in [the] submission provide a rule of thumb we can use. We consider voiding to have the same visual weight as adding a tertiary charge --- i.e. Sable, a cross Or voided gules and Sable, a cross Or charged with another gules are interchangeable blazons, yielding the same emblazon. This view is supported by period heraldic treatises: e.g. Guillim's Display of Heraldrie, 1632, in discussing chevrons voided, says "if you say voided onely, it is ever understood that the field sheweth thorow the middle part of the charge voided. If the middle part of this chevron were of a different metall, colour, or furre from the Field, then should you Blazon it thus: A Chevron engrailed Or, surmounted of another, of such or such colour."

We can use the equivalence between voiding and adding tertiaries to determine when voiding is acceptable: if the voided charge can be reblazoned as On a [charge], another --- that is, if the inner line and the outer line of the voided charge are geometrically similar --- then it's simple enough to void.

For instance, in the illustrations below, figure A could equally well be blazoned a delf voided or a delf charged with a delf; either blazon is correct for that picture. Figures B and C, on the other hand, are definitely a griffin's head voided and a griffin's head charged with another, respectively; the emblazons are quite dissimilar, and the inner line of figure B is not the shape of a griffin's head. The delf voided, then, is acceptable, but the griffin's head voided is not.

square within square head voided head on head
Fig. A Fig. B Fig. C

By this guideline, mullets, hearts and triangles are all simple enough to be voided or fimbriated. This is only a rule of thumb, of course, not an ironclad law, but it helps us decide a thorny question, it's consistent with how we (and some period heralds) view voiding, and it eliminates the need to collect reams of case law. I shall be employing it henceforth. (15 January, 1992 Cover Letter (November, 1992 LoAR), pp. 2-3)


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[A flame voided argent vs. A flame voided Or] Voiding can be considered equivalent to adding a tertiary charge; [the first] submission can be equally well reblazoned On a flame another argent, and [the second] badge reblazoned On a flame another Or. By those blazons, the conflict is clearer: Rule X.4.j does not grant a CD for change of tertiary tincture alone. (Alicia Kyra Avelin, December, 1992, pg. 15)


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[Four hearts voided conjoined in cross, points outward] Per the new outlines of acceptability for voiding (LoAR cover letter of 15 Jan 93), these hearts may be considered equivalent to four hearts conjoined in cross ..., each charged with a heart .. .--- and therefore registerable. (Ali abd ar-Rashid, January, 1993, pg. 1)


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The keyhole is an accepted SCA charge. If we'd permit a keyhole charged with a keyhole, we should permit a keyhole voided. (College of Skeldergate, January, 1993, pg. 15)


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Flames are an exception to the rule that complex charges cannot be voided: since a flame proper is defined in Society armory as "a flame Or voided gules" (on a dark field), by extension a "flame argent voided gules" should be equally acceptable. (Tegen Meanbh, January, 1993, pg. 21)


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The 1984 Rules for Submission did not permit semy charges to be fimbriated, proper, or of divided tinctures (IX.2). While that specific clause is not found in the current Rules, those usages remain poor style, and in extreme cases may be grounds for return under Rule VIII.3. The submitter would be well advised to use single-tinctured rams in her semy, when she resubmits [device returned for using a charged canton]. (Aurora Ashland of Woolhaven, January, 1993, pg. 25)


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Mullets of six or more points may be voided and interlaced (the Star of David, for instance, is perfectly acceptable). (Diego Mundoz, August, 1993, pg. 6)


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[Per fess purpure and vert, a <charge> within a bordure argent charged with a tressure per fess purpure and vert, originally blazoned as an orle and a bordure] The submission caused us a few minutes of heartburn. The equal width of the outer three stripes, and the fact that the central stripe is of the field, gave this the appearance of a bordure voided, not of an orle within a bordure. Bordures voided and fimbriated have been disallowed since Aug 83. Playing with the widths a bit, to make this a bordure cotised, would be equally unacceptable. On the other hand, a bordure charged with a tressure is a perfectly legal design. In the end, we decided that the latter blazon is the most accurate and reproducible description of the submitted emblazon --- and since it appears to be legal, we've accepted it. It also guarantees the device to be clear of [Azure, a <same charge> within a double tressure argent]. (Lisette de Ville, August, 1993, pg. 10)


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FIREBALL


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[A chevron rompu between three grenades vs. a chevron between three fireballs fired] There's a CD for making the chevron rompu, but not another for type of secondary charge. (Ragnar of Moonschadowe, September, 1992, pg. 41)


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FISH -- Dolphin


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An heraldic dolphin proper is vert with gules details. (Aodhán Doilfín, September, 1992, pg. 18)


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We grant a CD between a dolphin and a generic fish. (Deirdre of Shadowdale, September, 1992, pg. 18)


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[Two orcas sable marked argent vs. two bottlenosed dolphins sable] There is ...nothing for type; and the markings are artistic details, worth no difference. (Tymoteusz Konikokrad, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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There's a CD between dolphins and most kinds of fish. (Alethea of Fair Isle, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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FISH -- Lobster and Crab


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Crayfish, like lobsters and scorpions, are tergiant by default (Eckhardt zu Westfilde, October, 1993, pg. 6)


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FISH -- Misc


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Prior rulings notwithstanding, there is no difference between naiant and naiant "embowed": the naiant posture often includes a slight embowment. (Aldwin Wolfling, July, 1992, pg. 21)


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We grant a CD between a dolphin and a generic fish. (Deirdre of Shadowdale, September, 1992, pg. 18)


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There's a CD between dolphins and most kinds of fish. (Alethea of Fair Isle, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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FISH -- Starfish


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The starfish is not, to the best of our knowledge, a period heraldic charge; it seems to have started use in Victorian heraldry (Elvin, plate 32) [reblazoned as mullets, leaving internal markings as artistic license, see also pg. 19] [See also Ríoghnach Sláone ní Chonaill, same letter, pg. 21, and Melusine d'Argent, same letter, pg. 21] (Branwen ferch Madoc, October, 1992, pg. 18)


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The natural starfish is not, to the best of our knowledge, a period heraldic charge; it seems to have started use in Victorian heraldry (Elvin, plate 32) [device returned for this and other problems]. (Melusine d'Argent, October, 1992, pg. 21)


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FISH -- Whale


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It hasn't yet been established that the humpback whale (as a distinct species) was known in period; the OED's first citation of humpback whale dates to 1725. [Device returned for this and for artistic problems] (Canton of Berley Court, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[Two orcas sable marked argent vs. two bottlenosed dolphins sable] There is ...nothing for type; and the markings are artistic details, worth no difference. (Tymoteusz Konikokrad, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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FLAME


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[On a flame, a goblet vs. On a flame, a sword charged with a goutte] There are no CDs for the type of tertiary charge in this case. (Lasairfhiona ni Dhoineannaigh, September, 1992, pg. 40)


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Tongues of flame are not period [device returned for this reason in combination with other style problems]. (Shire of Crystal Moor, October, 1992, pg. 31)


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Mundane armory seems to consider a flame proper as streaked of gules and Or, in equal proportions. Society armory considers a flame proper (on a dark field) as the same as a flame Or voided gules (or, alternatively, a flame Or charged with a flame gules). Either way, when used as the primary charge, there's a CD between a flame proper and a flame Or. (Helena of Durham, January, 1993, pg. 8)


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Flames are an exception to the rule that complex charges cannot be voided: since a flame proper is defined in Society armory as "a flame Or voided gules" (on a dark field), by extension a "flame argent voided gules" should be equally acceptable. (Tegen Meanbh, January, 1993, pg. 21)


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[On an annulet of flame sable an annulet Or] This submission engendered considerable discussion at the Symposium; many felt that the badge was post-period in style ...The full-sized emblazon did not show an annulet "fimbriated of flame", as some commenters described it, but a ring of fire charged with a gold annulet. The question was whether an annulet of flame was an acceptable motif. Our standards regarding charges made of flame have tightened over the years, but we still accept simple cases (the base of flame being the prime example). The annulet of flame seemed simple enough to accept, on a case-by-case basis. (Barony of Wiesenfeuer, June, 1993, pg. 3)


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For some time now, we've been instituting a change (actually dating from Master Da'ud's tenure as Laurel) on enflamed charges: how they're considered, and how they're blazoned. In the early days of the Society, a [charge] enflamed was depicted as a [charge] completely enveloped by flame --- essentially a full flame, with the [charge] entirely on the flame. In those cases, the [charge] was considered the primary charge, with the flames either an artistic detail or a complex sort of fimbriation. More recently, such designs have been blazoned On a flame a [charge], making the flame the primary and the [charge] a tertiary. This has two effects: it brings our heraldic practice closer to that of period, and it alters the way difference is counted against such designs.

On the first point, enflamed charges weren't normally depicted in period armory as enveloped of flames. Discounting the fiery charges whose flames have a defined placement (e.g., the beacon), a period enflamed charge would be drawn with tiny spurts of flame issuant from several points. Mounts enflamed were not uncommon: in addition to the examples of MacKenzie armory cited by Lady Black Stag (in her commentary on Michael McKenzie, on this LoAR), there's the mountain couped azure enflamed proper in the arms of MacLeod (Guillim, 1632, p.127) and the trimount couped vert enflamed gules in the arms of Lerchenfeld (Siebmacher , 1605, plate 95) and Nouwer (Armorial de Gelres, c.1370, fo.40). There's also the arms of Brandt (Argent, a ragged staff bendwise sable enflamed gules), where the enflaming is depicted in various sources (European Armoria) as on the top end of the staff, issuant from each "ragged" portion, or issuant to chief --- but never as On a flame gules a ragged staff sable. The salamander is usually shown with spurts of flame, but occasionally as lying on a bed of flame (Dennys' Heraldic Imagination, p.193); but I could find no period emblazon showing the salamander as a tertiary on a flame. The enflamed towers of the arms of Dublin are drawn with spurts of fire from the battlements and windows, not as flames with tertiary towers. I could go on, but I think the point is made: in period, the normal depiction of a [charge] enflamed showed the charge on the field, with tiny spurts of flame issuant (and also on the field).

Two consequences follow from this depiction. First, the [charge] and the flames must both have good contrast with the field. Enflaming isn't a way to get around the Rule of Tincture; we don't permit flaming fimbriation in Society armory. Second, by the period definition of enflaming an enflamed [charge] is definitely the main charge; but by the old SCA definition, an enflamed [charge] is now considered a tertiary charge. We'd count Sufficient Difference, per X.2, between a lion Or enflamed gules and a tower Or enflamed gules, but no difference at all, per X.4.j.ii, between on a flame gules a lion Or and on a flame gules a tower Or.

In all ways, then, it's in the submitter's best interest to render an enflamed charge in the period style, rather than as a tertiary on a flame. It's more authentic, and it reduces the chance of conflict. (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pp. 5-6)


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[(Fieldless) On a flame Or a salamander gules] This is a technical conflict with [Sable, a flame proper]. There's a CD for fieldlessness. Since a flame proper is, on a dark field, equivalent to on a flame Or another gules, the only other change is to type of tertiary charge -- which on a complex primary is worth no difference, per Rule X.4.j.ii. (Balian de Brionne, July, 1993, pg. 15)


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FLAUNCH


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[Three crescents in pale between two flaunches] The in-pale placement of the crescents is not forced by adding the flaunches; this therefore does not conflict with [<field>, three crescents]. (Bevin O'Sullivan, July, 1992, pg. 6)


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Rule X.4.j.ii does apply to charged flaunches [in the sense of being "an ordinary or similarly simple geometric charge"]. (Eleonora Vittoria Alberti di Calabria, December, 1992, pg. 8)


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Pending evidence one way or the other, we will assume that flaunches are as susceptible to complex lines of division as any other ordinary or subordinary. Papworth's citation of the arms of Daniell (Sable, two flaunches indented argent) is inconclusive: he doesn't date it from 1404, but rather cites it from Harleian MS number 1404. (Foster's Dictionary of Heraldry gives the same armory as Argent, a pile indented sable, affording much food for speculation...) (Brandwyn Alston of the Rift, January, 1993, pg. 5)


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[Per pale argent and sable, a pair of flaunches sable] This conflicts, alas, with [Per pale argent and sable]. Flaunches do not appear to be primary charges, so Rule X.1 does not apply here; there is a single CD for their addition. [For the full discussion, see under CHARGE -- Peripheral] (Ceidyrch ap Llywelyn, June, 1993, pg. 19)


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FLOWER -- Fleur-de-lys


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[A chevron azure charged with three fleurs-de-lys Or] The use of multiple gold fleurs-de-lys on blue is not permitted in SCA armory: it is too strongly suggestive of a claim of connection to French royalty. This ban covers both blue fields and blue charges, and has been in force for many years: "This color-semy combination may not be used in the SCA." [WvS, 15 March 82] "A bordure of France (ancient or modern) may not be used in SCA heraldry." [BoE, 20 Oct 85]

The prohibition is supported by period practice. Examples of armory using blue charges with gold fleurs include de St.Remi de Valois, Bastard of France, c.1520 (Argent, on a fess azure three fleurs-de-lys Or); John, Earl of Cornwall, brother to the claimant of the French throne, d.1336 (Gules, three leopards in pale Or, a bordure azure semy-de-lys Or); Medici, Dukes of Urbino, who bore an augmentation from the French crown c.1500 (Or, in annulo six roundels gules, the one in chief azure, charged with three fleurs-de-lys Or); Matthieu, Grand Bastard of Bourbon, d.1505 (Argent, on a bend azure semy-de-lys Or, a bendlet gules); and Jean de Rochefort, another Bastard of Bourbon, d.1444 (Argent, on a canton azure semy-de-lys Or, a bendlet gules). All claimed connection to French royalty, either by an augmentation therefrom or through blood; all bore a blue charge with gold fleurs-de-lys -- usually blazoned a [charge] of France.

It's not unreasonable to assume that a chevron of France makes a similar claim. The chevron was used this way for other dynastic houses: Philippe de Someldyck, bastard son of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, c.1500, bore Or, a chevron of Burgundy.

The period examples are so numerous that I feel I must uphold the Society's ban on gold fleurs-de-lys on blue backgrounds --- and make it explicit. Neither France Ancient (Azure semy-de-lys Or) nor France Modern (Azure, three fleurs-de-lys Or) may be used in SCA heraldry, either as the field (or part thereof) or on a charge. To do so constitutes a claim to connection to French royalty, prohibited under Rule XI.1. (Raoul de Chenonceaux, July, 1992, pg. 23)


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[Quarterly gules and azure, the whole seme-de-lys Or, a <charge>] The use of Azure, semy-de-lys Or has been reason for return for the last ten years; it was reaffirmed on the LoAR of July 92. This must be returned for use of a prohibited treatment (Connor Malcolm O'Maoilbhreanainn, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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The use of azure semy-de-lys Or has been prohibited in Society armory for many years; it is too strongly suggestive of a claim to a French royal connection. The prohibition was reaffirmed on the LoAR of July 92, p.23. The bordure azure semy-de-lys Or has been specifically disallowed: "A bordure of France (ancient or modern) may not be used in SCA heraldry." [LoAR of 20 Oct 85] (Rhiannon Saint Chamberlayne, November, 1992, pg. 16)


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The flory counter-flory line is not correctly drawn here. While the treatment was applied to ordinaries in period (e.g. the double tressures of the arms of Scotland), I've found no period instances of its use as a complex field division. The closest analogies are the trefly counter-trefly division of von Hillinger and the per fess indented, points flory division of Woodmerton. Both of these models require the flory counter-flory line to be drawn with demi-fleurs, as shown here.

flory counter-flory line

As drawn in this submission, the "complex line" is actually a group of charges, counterchanged across the field division, with half of them inverted. This is not readily blazonable, and doesn't fit the period pattern for complex lines of division. (The illustration from Fox-Davies' Complete Guide to Heraldry, from which the submitter's emblazon is taken, is cited in no dated armory.) (Miriam de Xaintrailles, January, 1993, pg. 24)


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[Four fleurs-de-lys in cross, bases to center] The previous return (LoAR of Sept 91) determined that there was not Sufficient Difference between this arrangement of fleurs-de-lys and a cross flory. Had it been intended that the difference be negligible, however, I suspect the then-Laurel would have come out and said so. I believe there is a CD for type of primary charge group in this case. (Cara Michelle DuValier, August, 1993, pg. 6)


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FLOWER -- Foil


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There is indeed a CD between a cinquefoil and a shamrock. (Principality of Lochac, July, 1992, pg. 14)


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[A garden rose slipped and leaved vs. a cinquefoil] I agree there's no CDs between cinquefoil and (heraldic) rose; and no CDs between (heraldic) rose and garden rose; and no CDs between garden rose and garden rose slipped and leaved. But as Lord Crux Australis notes, conflict isn't necessarily a transitive operation; "A conflicts with B" and "B conflicts with C" doesn't guarantee that, by logical concatenation, "A must conflict with C". Thank Deity I don't have to decide the issue just now...[device returned for other conflict] (Roselynd Ælfricsdottir, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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Legh, 1568, mentions the octofoil ("double quaterfoyle"), though citing no examples of its use. Given that it was described in period, I'm willing to grant a CD between it and a cinquefoil. (Sibylla Penrose of Netherhay, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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FLOWER -- Misc


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[A pansy vs. an ivy blossom] Comparing the emblazons showed no visible difference in the shapes of the two flowers [thus there is not a CD for type]. (Catherine Elizabeth Anne Somerton, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[A pansy vs. a rose] I cannot grant another CD for type of flower in this case. It's true that flowers of genus Viola have three large petals and two small ones; but in the case of the pansy, the size change is very hard to see. The petals' shape is the same for pansies as heraldic roses. Pansies don't seem to have been used as charges in period, so I must fall back on visual difference; and I must rule that pansies and roses are too close to yield a CD.

The same arguments bring this clear of [a sunflower] and [a rue flower]. (Catherine Elizabeth Anne Somerton, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[Per bend sinister, a lotus blossom in profile and a moose vs. Per bend sinister, an iris and a dove] There is a CD for type of primary charges, but because both armories contain a cup-shaped flower in dexter chief, we cannot grant Sufficient Difference of Charge per Rule X.2. (Simon Rodbeorhting, September, 1992, pg. 42)


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There is no heraldic difference between a gillyflower and a carnation (Luciano Giovanni di Churburg, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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While we're willing to blazon [the charge] as a hollyhock, we note that there's no heraldic difference between it and a rose. (Megan Althea of Glengarriff, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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[A trillium flower vs. a rose] There is a CD for type of flower, but not the substantial difference required by Rule X.2. (Gwyneth MacAulay, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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Period heralds seem to have distinguished between a teazel and a thistle, despite the similarity of the nouns. For armory as simple as this [(fieldless) A teazel slipped and leaved vs. <Field>, a thistle], we can see granting a CD for type of flower. (Ealdgytha of Spalding Abbey, December, 1992, pg. 12)


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I am willing to grant a CD between a rose and a correctly drawn daisy. (Arielle le Floer, January, 1993, pg. 7)


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[Three leaves conjoined in pall inverted within a annulet vs. A trillium and a chief] There's a CD for changing the annulet to a chief, but the central charges are indistinguishable. (Jaric de l'Ile Longe Sault, January, 1993, pg. 28)


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In cases [where a slipped and leaved flower consists primarily of the branch portion rather than the flower portion], I will register the plant as a branch with a flower. Moreover, I intend to grant a Substantial Difference (i.e., sufficient to invoke Rule X.2) between a branch (flowered or not) and a flower. Slipped flowers drawn with the flower dominant will still be considered negligibly different from a plain flower. Flowers whose slips are part of the definition (e.g., trefoil, thistle) will not get extra difference for the slip [for full discussion, see under BLAZON] (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 7)


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FLOWER -- Rose


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[Gyronny gules and argent, in saltire four roses counterchanged] The Tudor rose, defined to be a combination of a red and a white rose, is a prohibited charge in SCA heraldry. One period form of Tudor rose was a rose per pale gules and argent (or argent and gules) (Boutell); this submission's charges could be equally well blazoned four Tudor roses saltirewise. (Kiera Lye d'Alessandria, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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[A pansy vs. a rose] I cannot grant another CD for type of flower in this case. It's true that flowers of genus Viola have three large petals and two small ones; but in the case of the pansy, the size change is very hard to see. The petals' shape is the same for pansies as heraldic roses. Pansies don't seem to have been used as charges in period, so I must fall back on visual difference; and I must rule that pansies and roses are too close to yield a CD.

The same arguments bring this clear of [a sunflower] and [a rue flower]. (Catherine Elizabeth Anne Somerton, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[A garden rose slipped and leaved vs. a rose] [There is not a CD] for heraldic rose vs. garden rose; and we have hitherto granted no difference for slipping and leaving. (Roselynd Ælfricsdottir, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[A garden rose slipped and leaved vs. a cinquefoil] I agree there's no CDs between cinquefoil and (heraldic) rose; and no CDs between (heraldic) rose and garden rose; and no CDs between garden rose and garden rose slipped and leaved. But as Lord Crux Australis notes, conflict isn't necessarily a transitive operation; "A conflicts with B" and "B conflicts with C" doesn't guarantee that, by logical concatenation, "A must conflict with C". Thank Deity I don't have to decide the issue just now...[device returned for other conflict] (Roselynd Ælfricsdottir, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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While we're willing to blazon [the charge] as a hollyhock, we note that there's no heraldic difference between it and a rose. (Megan Althea of Glengarriff, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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[A trillium flower vs. a rose] There is a CD for type of flower, but not the substantial difference required by Rule X.2. (Gwyneth MacAulay, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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I am willing to grant a CD between a rose and a correctly drawn daisy. (Arielle le Floer, January, 1993, pg. 7)


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[A garden rose azure, slipped and leaved argent] This conflicts with [a rose slipped and leaved azure]. There's a CD for fieldlessness, but nothing for garden rose vs. heraldic rose; and we have traditionally granted no difference for a flower's slipping and leaving (either its existence, or its tincture), believing this to be little more than artistic license ...If someone can provide evidence that slipping and leaving was considered a cadency difference by period heralds, we'll reconsider these conflicts. Until then, they must stand. (Adrianna MacAverr, January, 1993, pg. 23)


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There's ...no difference for garden rose(bud) vs. heraldic rose, and we've yet seen no evidence that period heralds granted difference for slipping and leaving. (Anna de Battista, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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In cases [where a slipped and leaved flower consists primarily of the branch portion rather than the flower portion], I will register the plant as a branch with a flower. Moreover, I intend to grant a Substantial Difference (i.e., sufficient to invoke Rule X.2) between a branch (flowered or not) and a flower. Slipped flowers drawn with the flower dominant will still be considered negligibly different from a plain flower. Flowers whose slips are part of the definition (e.g., trefoil, thistle) will not get extra difference for the slip [for full discussion, see under BLAZON] (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 7)


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[A rose per pale Or and vert vs. Hirayama (Hawley 27): Dark, a cherry blossom light] There's ...no difference between Hirayama's rendition of a cherry blossom (complete with five petals, barbing and seeding) and an honest heraldic rose. (Oriana d'Auney, July, 1993, pg. 17)


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The charges on the chief were blazoned on the LOI as roses. The heraldic rose is typically drawn with five petals; there are a few examples with six, but we know of no instances using only four [charges reblazoned as quatrefoils barbed]. (Myghchaell Loughlin, August, 1993, pg. 3)


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[A garden rose slipped and leaved and on a chief three garden rosebuds] There is a longstanding policy that one may not use two close variants of the same charge in one design. It creates visual confusion, where the whole purpose of heraldry is instant identification. The almost-but-not-quite identical charges need not be a single group; this is not related to our ban on "slot-machine heraldry." (We wouldn't allow, for example, a sun between three compass stars either.) If there's not a CD between the two charges, they should not be used together in the same design. (Joanna d'Oléron, September, 1993, pg. 24)


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FLOWER -- Thistle


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I would grant a CD between a thistle and a pomegranate. (Magdalena Aeleis MacLellan, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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Period heralds seem to have distinguished between a teazel and a thistle, despite the similarity of the nouns. For armory as simple as this [(fieldless) A teazel slipped and leaved vs. <Field>, a thistle], we can see granting a CD for type of flower. (Ealdgytha of Spalding Abbey, December, 1992, pg. 12)


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[A thistle per chevron throughout purpure and vert] The division of the thistle could not be identified as such by the heralds at Laurel's meeting. On such an irregular shape as a thistle, any division must be exceptionally simple to be recognized. Per pale might have been acceptable; Per chevron, where the line must cross the empty space between the leaves and the blossom, is not. (Fionna Goodburne, December, 1992, pg. 19)


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FRET


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One of this month's submissions required a ruling on the status of fretty: should we consider it a field treatment, or a charge group? If a charge group, was it a semy, or an artistic variation of the fret, or a single charge in its own right?

For many years, fretty was considered a field treatment (v. the 1986 Glossary of Terms). Mistress Alisoun specifically overturned this in the LoAR of 25 Feb 90, redefining fretty as "a `semy of frets' and as such contribut[ing] difference. ...Period treatises make it clear that fretty was seen as placed upon the field in the same way that ...other charges semy were strewn. ...Unlike `normal' field treatments, but like secondary charges, a `fretty' can itself be charged." Unfortunately, no period sources were cited.

Master Da'ud, on the basis of further research, redefined fretty as an artistic variation of a fret: "Evidence has been presented that `a fret' and `fretty' were considered interchangeable in period, so no difference can be granted between them." [LoAR of July 90] However, some of his subsequent decisions (e.g. Miriel d'Estoile, LoAR of June 92, p.20) reverted to previous definitions. Clearly, fretty lends itself to many interpretations, and we need to select one and stick to it henceforth.

I don't believe that fretty is a field treatment. Lord Crescent has suggested that the very concept of "field treatments" is a Society invention. I'm not prepared to endorse that suggestion: Siebmacher, 1605, gives examples of both masoning and papellony, and the former seems to be considered part of the field, akin to diapering. But even stipulating the existence of field treatments, fretty doesn't seem to be part of the field. The examples of fretty with tertiaries --- e.g. Hemeldene, c.1308, Argent, fretty gules semy-de-lys Or --- strongly suggests that the fretwork is a charge group.

Should we consider fretty a semy, then? It's tempting to so define it; like other semys, it would then be the primary charge group when alone on the field, but would demote to a secondary charge group when an overall charge was added. If fretty were a semy, though, the next question would be, "Semy of what?" It could only be considered "semy of bendlets and scarpes", an interpretation supported by period heraldic tracts: the Argentaye Tract, c.1485, describes fretty as "cotises set and counter-set in the manner of a bend". But bendlets, as ordinaries, remain primary charges even when surmounted by overall charges: Just as Gules, six bendlets Or, overall a lion argent conflicts under our Rules with Gules, six bendlets Or, so would Gules, three bendlets and three scarpes interlaced Or, overall a lion argent conflict with Gules, three bendlets and three scarpes interlaced Or. If we define fretty to be "an unnumbered group of bendlets", then the fretty cannot behave like a regular semy.

I am forced to conclude that fretty is an artistic variant of the fret, and therefore a single charge. Partially, this is from the evidence of heraldic tracts: most of those I consulted did not (as the Argentaye Tract did) give a verbal description of fretty, but rather defined it by illustration --- and in so doing, drew no substantive distinction between what we would call "fretty" and "a fret". Legh, 1562, blazons both renderings as a frett; Guillim, 1610, follow Legh's lead on this. Bara, 1581, does the reverse, blazoning as fretté what we would call "a fret".

Better evidence is found in the actual display of armory using fretty/a fret. Nearly every individual bearing arms with a fret on one roll may be found bearing the same arms fretty on another roll: e.g. John Maltravers, late 13th Century, who bore Sable fretty Or on the St. George's Roll and Sable, a fret Or on the Parliamentary Roll. The equivalence held true through Tudor times: the FitzWilliam Roll, c.1530, gives the arms of Theobald Verdon (Or, a fret gules) as Or fretty gules. The equivalence even held true in the presence of other charges on the field: e.g. the arms of Amery St. Armand were seen both as Or fretty and on a chief sable three bezants and Or, a fret and on a chief sable three bezants, and the arms of Despencer were seen both as Quarterly argent and gules fretty Or, a bendlet sable and Quarterly argent and gules, a bendlet sable between two frets Or. The latter example was, again, valid through Tudor times. (Sources: Dictionary of British Arms, vol.I, pp.338-340; Anglo-Norman Armory II, pp.454-460; and see also the visual examples in Foster's Dictionary of Heraldry, under the names of Maltravers, Harington/Haverington, and Belhuse/Bellewe.)

The main reason that Gules fretty Or, overall a lion argent conflicts with Gules fretty Or lies not in how we consider fretty, but in how we consider overall charges. So long as overall charges, by definition, can never be primary charges, such conflicts will continue to exist. Such considerations cannot change the evidence, however; the majority of the evidence shows fretty and a fret to be interchangeable charges, artistic variations of one another, and we shall henceforth so treat them. (10 November, 1992 Cover Letter (September, 1992 LoAR), pp. 3-4)


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[Per saltire argent, and sable fretty argent, in pale a rose sable, barbed and seeded proper, and a sinister gauntlet aversant clenched sable] Under current precedent, fretty and a fret are artistic variants of the same charge. The submission therefore contains a single group of four primaries, of three different types: rose, gauntlet, and fretwork. This is disallowed per Rule VIII.1.a. (Tamara the Seeker, July, 1993, pg. 14)


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[Per fess indented azure and vert fretty Or, in chief a <charge>] Against [Per fess wavy gules and barry wavy argent and azure, in chief a <same charge>], there's a CD for the field and a CD for the fretwork, which is considered a charge group. (AElfred Greybeard, September, 1993, pg. 1)


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FRUIT


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A pomegranate proper (as seen in the arms of the Kingdom of Grenada) is vert, seeded gules. (Magdalena Aeleis MacLellan, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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I would grant a CD between a thistle and a pomegranate. (Magdalena Aeleis MacLellan, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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[A pomegranate slipped and leaved, surmounted by a cross] When obscured by the cross, the pomegranate becomes unidentifiable -- the moreso since the seeding, a principal trait of the heraldic pomegranate, is entirely overlaid. This must be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Isabella del Bosque, September, 1992, pg. 39)


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We don't grant Substantial Difference between an apple and a pear --- there's at best a CD between the two fruits, and one could argue negligible difference. (Dévora Risée de Apors, July, 1993, pg. 11)


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GARB


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There should be a CD between three stalks of barley and a garb. (Siobhan Chantoiseau de Longpont sur Orges, November, 1992, pg. 5)


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GATE AND DOOR


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The torii is still permitted in Society heraldry, due to its modern familiarity among Occidentals (for instance, the word is found in Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) and its valid reblazon as a Japanese gateway. However, since no heraldic difference can normally be obtained from regional drawing style, we grant no difference between a Japanese gateway (torii) and a standard heraldic gate --- any more than we grant difference between an arch and a dolmen. (Ihashi Hidezo, June, 1993, pg. 22)


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[Two towers, between them a pair of swinging doors] The charge ...was blazoned as a gateway on the LOI. The gateway is a Society invention, defined the arms of the Shire of Stormgate. As such, it does not appear to follow the medieval exemplars of gates. We will blazon the charge by parts for this submission, but do not intend to accept it in the future. (Rian MacFinn, August, 1993, pg. 8)


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GORE


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[A sinister gore argent and a bordure ermine] The lack of contrast between the gore and the bordure causes them to blend together, reducing the identifiability of both. It's true, as Lord Crescent notes, that since contrast of each charge is measured against the field, they cannot have good contrast with one another. But, if anything, that argues against any use of a gore with a bordure whatsoever.

This case might have been acceptable had the bordure been, say, Or; there would still have been enough contrast to allow its distinction from the gore. But the contrast between argent and ermine is exactly the same as between argent and argent goutty sable: nonexistent. We cannot concede that the two charges will be distinguished from any distance. This must therefore be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Khasar of the Keshik, November, 1992, pp. 15-16)


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GORGING


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When considering a full beast or monster gorged, the gorging is usually treated as an artistic detail, worth no difference. When consider the same creature's head gorged, however, the gorging is much more prominent in proportion --- and treated as a tertiary charge. (Crown Principality of Avacal, September, 1993, pg. 5)


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GRANDFATHER CLAUSE


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[(Fieldless) A narwhale hauriant embowed argent] This is the fieldless version of [the submittor's] current device, ...Per pale vert and sable, a narwhale haurient embowed argent. Several commenters called conflict against [Sable, a whale haurient argent]. The same conflict call was made against his device, during its submission. Lord Laurel explicitly ruled the two armories to be clear of conflict: "There's a CVD for the field and a CVD for haurient embowed versus haurient." [LoAR of May, 1991] Exactly the same point count applies to the badge.

I happen to disagree with that ruling: I don't think there's a CD between haurient embowed and haurient, and I won't be granting it in future. However, I also believe that, given such an explicit ruling, in good conscience we have to call [the submittor's] badge clear ...The Grandfather Clause does apply to conflict, as well as stylistic problems; the badge conflicts no more (and no less) than the device, and if Gest may display the latter, it would be unreasonable to tell him he may not display the former. (Gest Grimsson, September, 1992, pg. 7)


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There was some question as to whether the released name of a disbanded group could be used in a new personal name. Such new names must start from scratch, but the original documentation of the dead SCA branch might still be consulted. (Sebastian of Ventbarre, September, 1992, pg. 35)


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[Change of of the Silverdawn to of Silverdawn] Silverdawn does not appear to be a validly constructed placename, and should not be used as though it were. The Grandfather Clause does not apply to this case.

The submitter's forms stated that "Laurel ruled in the LoAR of April 1984 that `Silverdawn' was an acceptable made-up place name." No such statement is found in the LoAR of 14 April 84, when the current name was registered; the name was simply approved, in its entirety. Of the Silverdawn might be considered an epithet, or (as Lord Obelisk suggests) refer to the name of a ship. Dropping the article, however, makes Silverdawn a placename --- but no evidence has been presented that such a placename is plausible. The Grandfather Clause permits the submitter to use of the Silverdawn, as currently registered; to change that name requires documentation of the new meaning's acceptability. He might consider submitting Richard Silverdawn. (Richard of the Silverdawn, September, 1992, pg. 41)


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[MacFlandry] The submitter ...noted the registered names of Robert MacFlandry of Dundee and Duncan MacFlandry. However, those names were registered back in 1981; both our naming standards and the quality of our name resources have increased since then. ...The submitter is blood kin to neither Baron Robert nor Baron Duncan, so the Grandfather Clause doesn't apply here; the registration of their names a decade ago does not oblige us to register the current submission. (Lyulf MacFlandry, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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[On a pale, a <charge>, overall a laurel wreath] Our general policy (LoAR of July 92, p.20), based on period practice, is that only ordinaries (or similarly simple charges, such as roundels) may be counterchanged across ordinaries. The laurel wreath is not a simple charge, and may not be counterchanged here. While we were tempted to be lenient in this case (considering the arms of the Shire's parent Kingdom contain a laurel wreath counterchanged across a pale), I decided that making an exception here would open a larger can of worms than I could contemplate with equanimity. (Shire of Blackmoor Keep, October, 1992, pg. 28)


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One of this month's submissions ...raised some discussion in the commentary about the Grandfather Clause and its scope --- specifically, whether the Clause applies to matters of conflict, as well as of style. The Clause has applied to conflict in the past, and I believe it should continue to do so.

In its purest form, the Grandfather Clause simply states that, once an item is registered, it cannot be unregistered. It's one of the few restrictions laid on us by Corpora: "Any item once registered shall remain registered unless the owner requests its release, and shall be accepted in the Society for the person for whom it was registered without regard to changes in the rules and standards applied to future submissions, or to the membership status of the owner." (Corpora IV.C.3.b) The reasons why an item may no longer be acceptable are irrelevant; once registered, it remains registered.

From this basic form, the Grandfather Clause has been extended in a number of directions. For instance, we've applied it to further submissions from the same individual. The rationale has been that, if the submitter could still use the original problematic armory, he should be able to use another armory with the same problem.

Thus, to offer a concrete example, when the Barony of Caer Anterth changed their device in Oct 91, they were able to register a green trimout on a blue field. Even though that usage violated our current Rules, their original device (registered 1980) already had a green trimount on a blue field; the Grandfather Clause was specifically invoked to permit the usage on their new device. Both armories were equally violations of the Rules; if we'd permit them to continue to use the old device, in fairness we should permit them to register the new.

The Clause has also been extended to cover submissions from close relatives of the original submitter. I believe the policy began with submitters' children, with much the same rationale as above: after all, we encourage the use of brisures (e.g. labels and such), as a fine example of period heraldic practice. Thus, Stephan of Bellatrix could register his name Sept 91, even though the byname implies extra-terrestrial origin --- for his father's name (Paul of Bellatrix) is already registered, and the Grandfather Clause applies to the children of the original submitter. The Clause eventually came to cover siblings and spouses, as well as children.

Finally, the Clause has been extended to cover questions of conflict, as well as style. The rationale is the same in each case: if we'd allow a client to continue to use a registered armory (that would conflict under current Rules), in fairness we should permit him to register a new armory with the exact same conflict problem. The device change of Eliahu ben Itzhak [December 1992] is as clear an example as one could wish.

This is not a new policy; we've applied the Clause to conflict problems in the past. Indeed, it was so often taken for granted that the Clause wasn't explicitly mentioned in the LoAR; one must read the pertinent LOI and commentary to know that the Clause was applied. An example I recall is the submission of Cherie Ruadh MhicRath of Locksley (LoAR of Aug 86), Vert, on a tree eradicated argent a cat statant guardant gules. Even under the Rules at the time, this would have conflicted with the mundane arms of Morewood, Vert, an oak tree argent fructed Or. But the device was based on the arms of the submitter's husband, Ioseph of Locksley the Rhymer, Vert, a tree eradicated argent; Laurel's notes in the submitter's file show that he considered the Grandfather Clause to apply to the conflict with Morewood.

There have been other examples involving conflict. When the Barony of the Angels changed their badge to a device despite mundane conflict, it was noted: "I don't think there is any question that the conflict is covered by the beneficent Mr. Clause." [BoE, 6 April 86] Then too, when the present Rules were adopted, many of the fielded badges in the A&O (which, when registered, needed only 1 point from mundane armory) were suddenly in technical conflict. They weren't unregistered, however. Once registered, they remained registered, despite the conflicts our changed standards introduced -- they could even be promoted to devices, and sometimes were. That's the Grandfather Clause in a nutshell.

All these extensions of the Grandfather Clause have limitations, to prevent abuse. We're lenient only as regards the exact problem of the original submission; the Grandfather Clause is not license to ignore our Rules wholesale. Caer Anterth could still use a green trimount on a blue field; but even the Grandfather Clause wouldn't permit them to register, say, a trimount voided. Indeed, we have a specific precedent: the device submission of Stephan of Bellatrix (Sable, on a bend Or three compass stars gules, overall a label argent). The submission was his father's device plus a label; and the Clause permitted Stephan to ignore any conflicts that applied to his father. But "the Grandfather Clause cannot apply in cases where the submitted arms have a conflict to which the original device would not be subject. Since his father's arms do not conflict with Carswell, but only his own, the Grandfather Clause cannot be applied here." [DiA, LoAR of Sept 91, p.20]

Finally, the Clause is limited to the original submitter and his closest kin: children, siblings, and spouse. Real kin, not "SCA kin"; the latter are a matter of persona, and the College does not permit persona stories to influence its decisions. The intent is to restrict the possible application of the Clause; otherwise, anyone with a disallowed (but desirable) registration could end up with 20,000 "cousins". Real-world kin are not only more limited in number, but verifiable --- and not easily subject to change afterward.

To sum up: The Grandfather Clause prevents us from retroactively returning submissions. If someone registers an item that later is shown to have a problem, he may continue to use the item. By extension, he may register new items with the same problem (but no other); and so may his closest relations (but no others). The nature of the problem isn't limited, by either Corpora or the Rules (II.5, VII.8); the Clause applies to both style and conflict. (22 February, 1993 Cover Letter (December, 1992 LoAR), pp. 2-3)


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[Or, on a mullet of six points sable, a griffin segreant contourny Or] This submission is a textbook example of why the Grandfather Clause applies to problems of conflict, as well as of style. The new device has the same conflicts (e.g. Ashton, Or, a mullet sable) as the previous device [Or, on a mullet of six points sable, a griffin sejant to sinister erect, grasping in its dexter talon three arrows inverted and in its sinister talon a paintbrush and palette, all Or]); if he could bear the latter, he should be able to bear the former. See the [22 February] cover letter [above] for a more complete discussion of the Grandfather Clause. (Eliahu ben Itzhak, December, 1992, pg. 12)


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[Wolfgang of Flame] The byname does not seem to be acceptable style. The submitter is from the Barony of the Flame; Wolfgang of the Flame would thus be acceptable. Following the example of his Baron and Baroness, he could also be Wolfgang Flame. But just as those nobles do not style themselves Baron and Baroness of Flame, so is his submitted byname incorrect. As he forbade any changes to his name, this must be returned. (Wolfgang of Flame, January, 1993, pg. 31)


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[On an annulet of flame sable an annulet Or] This submission engendered considerable discussion at the Symposium; many felt that the badge was post-period in style. It was decided that the Grandfather Clause would permit the Barony to continue to use their "flaming laurel wreath" [On an annulet of flame Or a laurel wreath vert], but not necessarily any flaming charge. (The analogy was that of the East Kingdom, whose arms contain a laurel wreath fimbriated; the Grandfather Clause wouldn't permit them to register an elephant fimbriated on the strength of that registration.) This badge therefore had to be decided on its own merits. (Barony of Wiesenfeuer, June, 1993, pg. 3)


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The Rules for Submission allow the invocation of the Grandfather Clause only for cases of blood relationship; self, parent/child, husband/wife or siblings. SCA relationships such as households and knight/squire cannot invoke the Grandfather Clause since they are excluded from its provisions. (Keridwen of Aaron Isles, September, 1993, pg. 24)


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GRENADE


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[A chevron rompu between three grenades vs. a chevron between three fireballs fired] There's a CD for making the chevron rompu, but not another for type of secondary charge. (Ragnar of Moonschadowe, September, 1992, pg. 41)


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GURGES


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[A gurges vs. five annulets one within the other] As seen from the examples in Woodward (p.193), and Papworth (p.1122), a set of concentric annulets is simply an alternate method of drawing a gurges or whirlpool [therefore there is not a CD between them]. (Iago al Hasan, September, 1992, pg. 39)


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The spiral does not appear to be an acceptable charge; a previous attempt at registration (under the blazon gurges couped) was returned Oct 90. (Patricia Philomena de Saint Clemont, December, 1992, pg. 21)


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It has previously been ruled (LoAR of Oct 90) that the gurges may not be couped- "Whirlpools or gurges are used as a single, throughout charge on a field." (Amanda of Coldcastle, July, 1993, pg. 13)


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HANDLE


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Drawer-handles are found in Japanese Design Motifs (compiled by the Matsuya Piece-Goods Store) and Dower's Elements of Japanese Design; but neither of these works describe actual Mon, but simply designs suitable for Mon. Dower's book, however, notes the origin of the charge: kan (handles) seem to be an artistic variant of the mokko, a slice of segmented melon. Hawley's Mon, p.18, gives several examples of actual use under that blazon. We don't object, in this case, to using a modern term for a period charge, and it does make the blazon more readily renderable. (Kimura Tetsuo, March, 1993, pg. 1)


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HEAD -- Beast, Bear


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[A bear's head erased affronty erminois] In general, beasts and beast parts should not be of an ermine fur, unless the silhouette is distinctive (as with a lion rampant). The bear's head cabossed does not meet that criterion, and is unidentifiable when erminois. (Alistair of Avalon, July, 1992, pg. 19)


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HEAD -- Beast, Boar


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[Boar's heads colored brown] Unfortunately, [this tincture is] unblazonable: they aren't proper, for boars in nature are dark-grey to black in color. Nor does there seem to be such a thing as a brown boar that could be rendered in this coloring. With no way to blazon the tincture of the heads, this must be returned. (Nils Rixon, October, 1992, pg. 27)


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HEAD -- Beast, Cattle


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[A ram's head cabossed vs. an ox head cabossed] There's ...a CD for the type of head. (Indeed, we'd say that Rule X.2 applies between an ox head and a ram's head. This is well clear.) (Riordan Robert MacGregor., December, 1992, pg. 5)


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HEAD -- Beast, Dog, Fox and Wolf


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[A tyger's head erased] Possible conflict was cited against [A wolf's head erased within a bordure rayonny]. There's a CD for the bordure; the question was raised on any difference between a wolf's head and a tyger's head. Rule X.4.e specifically grants a difference between a lion and a [heraldic] tyger; but even assuming the same between a wolf and a tyger, that doesn't necessarily require difference between their heads. (By analogy, we grant difference between a dragon and an eagle -- but none between a dragon's foot and an eagle's foot.) The heraldic tyger is described as "having ...the maned neck of a horse, and the head of a wolf, but the upper jaw develops into a frontal horn" (Franklyn & Tanner 334); there's no way that the heads could be deemed Substantially Different, but I can see granting a CD for the frontal horn and the mane. (Laeghaire O Laverty, August, 1993, pg. 5)


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HEAD -- Beast, Horse


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There's a CD (at least) between a horse's head and a unicorn's head. (Richard Cheval, October, 1992, pg. 7)


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HEAD -- Beast, Lion


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[A compass star and overall a lion's head cabossed] As drawn, the compass star is almost completely obscured by the lion's head, rendering it unidentifiable. Charges must be drawn so as to be recognizable, per Rule VIII.3. Visually, the star's rays blend with the lion's mane, making it almost a sun in splendour Or; as such, it's very close to [a charged sun].

Some of the commentary mentioned possible conflict between this "irradiated lion's face" and a lion's face jessant-de-lys --- e.g. [a leopard's head jessant a fleur-de-lys]. I believe there's a visible difference between the straight rays shown here and a fleur-de-lys' curved petals. (Tirlach Kinsella, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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A leopard's head, by definition, is cabossed [blazon from Papworth] (Talan of Hastings, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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[A lion's head azure jessant-de-lys vert vs. leopard's head jessant-de-lys gules] After much thought, we decided that the leopard's head jessant-de-lys was common enough in period armory to be considered a single charge, in the same way a penner and inkhorn would be. It could equally well be considered a single group of conjoined charges. Either way, there's a single CD, for the tincture of the primary charge group. (Ginevra Cecilia da Firenze, October, 1992, pg. 25)


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HEAD -- Beast, Sheep


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[A ram's head cabossed vs. an ox head cabbosed] There's ...a CD for the type of head. (Indeed, we'd say that Rule X.2 applies between an ox head and a ram's head. This is well clear.) (Riordan Robert MacGregor., December, 1992, pg. 5)


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HEAD -- Jessant-de-lys


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[A compass star and overall a lion's head cabossed] As drawn, the compass star is almost completely obscured by the lion's head, rendering it unidentifiable. Charges must be drawn so as to be recognizable, per Rule VIII.3. Visually, the star's rays blend with the lion's mane, making it almost a sun in splendour Or; as such, it's very close to [a charged sun].

Some of the commentary mentioned possible conflict between this "irradiated lion's face" and a lion's face jessant-de-lys --- e.g. [a leopard's head jessant a fleur-de-lys]. I believe there's a visible difference between the straight rays shown here and a fleur-de-lys' curved petals. (Tirlach Kinsella, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[A lion's head azure jessant-de-lys vert vs. leopard's head jessant-de-lys gules] After much thought, we decided that the leopard's head jessant-de-lys was common enough in period armory to be considered a single charge, in the same way a penner and inkhorn would be. It could equally well be considered a single group of conjoined charges. Either way, there's a single CD, for the tincture of the primary charge group. (Ginevra Cecilia da Firenze, October, 1992, pg. 25)


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[Or, a leopard's head gules jessant-de-lys between three fleurs-de-lys sable] Possible conflict was cited against [Or, a leopard's head jessant a fleur-de-lys gules]. There's a CD for the secondary charges; the issue turned on the difference to be granted for partial change of tincture of the primary charge group. We've opined previously (LoAR of Oct 92) that a head jessant-de-lys was effectively a single charge, in the same way a penner-and-inkhorn is a single charge; we also left open the possibility that it might be a group of two conjoined charges. Under either interpretation, we see granting a CD for change of half of the primary charge group.

This is corroborated by the arms of Braunch, c.1586, one branch of which (Papworth 911) bore Gules, a leopard's head jessant-de-lys Or and another of which bore Gules, a leopard's head Or jessant-de-lys argent. It's reasonable that the change in tincture of the fleur-de-lys should count for difference: the origin of the leopard's head jessant-de-lys was as a cadence from the fleur-de-lys, in the arms of Cauntelo/Cantelupe (Wagner & London, p.120). (Maelsnechtain de Gaston, June, 1993, pp. 15-16)


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HEAD -- Misc


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[A skull argent, vested of a jester's cap Or] This is returned for visual conflict with [a leopard's head argent jessant-de-lys Or]. The jester's cap is split in three points, looking much like a fleur-de-lys. It's also visually close to [a woman's head couped proper crined Or]. (Gareth Shieldbane, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[Three bear's heads erased] Rule X.2 applies between most types of beast head, just as it does between most types of beast. This is clear of such armories as [three buck's heads erased]. (Damon the Grim, October, 1992, pg. 1)


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When considering a full beast or monster gorged, the gorging is usually treated as an artistic detail, worth no difference. When consider the same creature's head gorged, however, the gorging is much more prominent in proportion --- and treated as a tertiary charge. (Crown Principality of Avacal, September, 1993, pg. 5)


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HEAD -- Monster, Dragon


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[A dragon's head vs. a water lizard's head] This is clear ...with a CD ...for type of head. (Aethelthryth of Acleah, September, 1992, pg. 22)


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HEAD -- Monster, Tyger


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[A tyger's head erased] Possible conflict was cited against [A wolf's head erased within a bordure rayonny]. There's a CD for the bordure; the question was raised on any difference between a wolf's head and a tyger's head. Rule X.4.e specifically grants a difference between a lion and a [heraldic] tyger; but even assuming the same between a wolf and a tyger, that doesn't necessarily require difference between their heads. (By analogy, we grant difference between a dragon and an eagle -- but none between a dragon's foot and an eagle's foot.) The heraldic tyger is described as "having ...the maned neck of a horse, and the head of a wolf, but the upper jaw develops into a frontal horn" (Franklyn & Tanner 334); there's no way that the heads could be deemed Substantially Different, but I can see granting a CD for the frontal horn and the mane. (Laeghaire O Laverty, August, 1993, pg. 5)


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HEAD -- Monster, Unicorn


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There's a CD (at least) between a horse's head and a unicorn's head. (Richard Cheval, October, 1992, pg. 7)


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HEAD -- Reptile, Lizard


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[A dragon's head vs. a water lizard's head] This is clear ...with a CD ...for type of head. (Aethelthryth of Acleah, September, 1992, pg. 22)


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HEART


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The heraldic heart is considered a heart, not a medium for armorial display (in the way an inescutcheon would be). (Fridrich Eisenhart, July, 1992, pg. 4)


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[Four hearts voided conjoined in cross, points outward] Per the new outlines of acceptability for voiding (LoAR cover letter of 15 Jan 93), these hearts may be considered equivalent to four hearts conjoined in cross ..., each charged with a heart .. .--- and therefore registerable. (Ali abd ar-Rashid, January, 1993, pg. 1)


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[A seeblatt] Lord Leveret (now Lord Brachet) has brought up a possible conflict with the badge of Douglas, Earls of Douglas (Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges): [A heart]. His staff has found evidence that the blazon seeblatt could be emblazoned either in its standard form, or in a form indistinguishable from a heart (in the arms of the Duchy of Engern, 16th Century). I've found corroboration in Neubecker & Rentzmann's 10000 Wappen von Staaten und Städten, pp.147, 285: the arms of the Bishopric of Vyborg, in Finland, were blazoned (and emblazoned) either as three hearts conjoined in pall inverted or three seeblätter conjoined in pall inverted.

There are still enough distinct renditions of seeblätter and hearts in period (e.g. the Armorial de Gelre, or Siebmacher) that I hesitate to rule them purely artistic variants. However, there can clearly be cases of visual conflict involving the charges, and the [submitter's badge] is such a visual conflict [returned for this and also for conflict with a water-lily leaf]. (House Windsmeet (Caitlin Davies), May, 1993, pg. 17)


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[Or semy of whips sable, a feather bendwise and on a chief gules, a pair of manacles Or] The majority of the commenters found the design offensive, with its overwhelming connotations of bondage and degradation (B&D). While each of the charges may, by itself, be acceptable -- scourges, for instance, were used as martyrs' symbols in period -- the overall effect is excessive. This must be returned, per Rule I.2.

Additionally, many found the semy of whips unidentifiable. Period armory used scourges, with several lashes, to increase recognition; as drawn here, the charges look more like the ends of shepherd's crooks. (Hans the Gentle, July, 1993, pg. 11)


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Current precedent does not permit the heart to be considered a "simple geometric charge" for the purposes of Rule X.4.j.ii; therefore, only changing the type of the tertiary is not worth a CD. (Margaret Menteith, September, 1993, pg. 21)


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HELMET


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[a "Mongol helm"] We were given no evidence to support this form of helm as a "Mongol helm", or indeed as any nationality of helm. Such examples of Mongol helms as we could uncover did not show the submitted helm's fur trim or the hanging drapery; our best contemporary example (from an illustrated history of the Mongols by Rashid ad-Din, c.1300) showed a plain pointed cap with "ear muffs" on either side. Since this submission would be the SCA's defining instance of a Mongol helm, it's important that it be documented in this form. (Raven Helmsplitter, December, 1992, pg. 15)


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HERALDIC DEFAULTS


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Arrows fesswise have their points to sinister by default, just as arrows palewise have their points to base. (Alain ap Dafydd, July, 1992, pg. 2)


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Hares, rabbits and coneys are sejant by default (Parker 306). (Donata Ivanovna Basistova, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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In heraldry, a foot is a human foot by default. (Eoin Eardstapa, August, 1992, pg. 11)


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An heraldic dolphin proper is vert with gules details. (Aodhan Doilfin, September, 1992, pg. 18)


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[Sea-urchins] (= "fish-tailed demi-hedgehog") has been registered before, in the armory of Rufus the Short of Burgundy. In Society armory, "the sea-urchin should be assumed to be a heraldic sea-urchin unless otherwise specified." [AmCoE, 25 Jan 87] (Order of the Sea Urchin (Kingdom of Atlantia), September, 1992, pg. 18)


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Elevated and addorsed is the default wing posture for winged monsters statant, passant or couchant. (Stanislav von Neuland, September, 1992, pg. 21)


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Cotises follow the line of their central ordinary by default; thus a bend wavy cotised will have wavy cotises, parallel to the wavy bend (Custódia de Montemor, September, 1992, pg. 30)


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Gyronny of ten is symmetric around the horizontal line, not the vertical line. (Iestyn ap Cadfael ap Ianto ap Danno ap Richard ap Owen ap Rhys o'r Cwm, September, 1992, pg. 33)


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The lion of St. Mark is characterized by a halo, as well as wings; it is usually, but not invariably, also shown with a book. (Vinycombe, Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art, with special reference to their use in British heraldry, 1906, pp.53-55.) (Anastasia dello Scudo Rosso, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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A leopard's head, by definition, is cabossed [blazon from Papworth] (Talan of Hastings, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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Unicorns are rampant by default. [see also Theodora Delamore, September, 1993, pg. 21] (Davyd Wyndwarde, October, 1992, pg. 9)


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Eagle's legs, unlike lions' legs, have their claws to base by default. (Shire of Blackhawk, January, 1993, pg. 30)


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The heraldic swan is rousant by default. (Estrella de La Trinite, March, 1993, pg. 11)


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Scythes have their blades to chief by default, judging by the emblazon of Sneyd (Foster 179). (Li Kung Lo, May, 1993, pg. 9)


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The blanking shears, like scissors, have their handles to base by default (Ian Cnulle, June, 1993, pg. 1)


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Wyverns are statant (or sejant; for wyverns, the postures are the same) by default. See the examples in Parker , pp.122-123, and Franklyn & Tanner 354. (Gylis Kingston, August, 1993, pg. 5)


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While the English default for panthers is guardant, the German default is not. As it's easier to specify guardant than not-guardant (facing forwards, whatever), the SCA has not adopted the English default. (Russell Jervis, September, 1993, pg. 4)


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The default wing posture for courant, passant or statant winged beasts is elevated and addorsed. This, therefore, is superfluous in the blazon and can be omitted. (Kathleen O'Connor, September, 1993, pg. 24)


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The illustration in the glossary section of Rietstap shows that he considered the harpy/frauenadler to be displayed by default. (Barony of Red Spears, September, 1993, pg. 25)


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Note that in heraldry, the owl is guardant by default, even when the rest of the posture is blazoned. (Deborah of Gryphon's Lair, October, 1993, pg. 2)


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Recall that falcons default to the close position, both mundanely and in the SCA. (Jamie Amalthea Rowan, October, 1993, pg. 4)


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The jew's harp has its opening to chief by SCA default. (Rabah az-Zafir, October, 1993, pg. 4)


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Crayfish, like lobsters and scorpions, are tergiant by default (Eckhardt zu Westfilde, October, 1993, pg. 6)


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HORN -- Animal


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Adding horns to inanimate objects doesn't appear to have been a period treatment; certainly, we would like to see some evidence of what is, at first glance, a highly improbable usage ...the reason for its improbability --- the fact that the elk-horned mask cannot be identified as such --- is ...grounds for return. (Erc Mortagh the Pict, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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[A heart attired of stag's attires reblazoned to a stag's massacre surmounted by a heart] As noted in the case of Erc Mortagh the Pict (LoAR of August 92), adding horns to inanimate charges doesn't appear to have been a period usage; certainly, I'd like to see some evidence for the practice. In this case, the visual effect is of a set of antlers and a heart overall, and that's how we've blazoned it. (Gabriel Gertrude Gyles, September, 1992, pg. 7)


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Grafting unicorn's horns onto random animals is not period practice. It has been decried by previous Laurels (LoAR of 3 Aug 86, p.15), and always discouraged; I am taking the final step and, except for Grandfathered cases, disallowing it entirely. (Sorcha ni Mhurchadha, October, 1992, pg. 22)


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The stag's horn or stag's attire --- singular, as opposed to the full rack of antlers -- is a period charge; the arms of the Duchy of Wuerttemberg are the most famous example of its use. (Alberto Accorsi, July, 1993, pg. 7)


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HUMAN or HUMANOID FIGURE


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The demon is a period heraldic charge, as found in the arms of the city of Brussels (Gules, the archangel Michael Or vanquishing a demon underfoot sable). (Asher Truefriend, September, 1992, pg. 30)


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[Nude angels , originially blazoned as cupids] The charges are angels, not cupids, as they aren't carrying a cupid's traditional bow and quiver of arrows. (Meghan Pengwyn of Wynterwood, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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[Two angels bendwise sinister, passant to sinister guardant, originially blazoned as rising] The angels' posture is not particularly heraldic, as evidenced by the number of suggestions for reblazoning them; neither volant nor rising is appropriate to humanoids. The above blazon was the closest we could devise, and it isn't all that accurate. The angels need to be in a blazonable posture. (Meghan Pengwyn of Wynterwood, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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Technically, a melusine proper is considered neutral, and acceptable on argent; in practice, its contrast with an argent field is borderline [device returned for other contrast problems and for conflict]. (Simona Zon d'Asolo, September, 1992, pg. 51)


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There's no difference granted for melusine [two-tailed mermaid] vs. mermaid. (Simona Zon d'Asolo, September, 1992, pg. 51)


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When a human figure's vesting is not part of its definition (e.g. the savage, the Saracen), the vesting or lack of same is normally blazoned. (Austrechild von Mondsee, December, 1992, pg. 11)


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According to Franklyn & Tanner, a maiden in her modesty is nude, with one arm flexed across and covering the breasts. (Taliesin O Sionnaigh o Pholl na tSionnaigh, June, 1993, pg. 2)


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[On a <charge> argent, three infants swaddled azure, heads proper] The infants' bodies are swaddled in blue, with only their heads showing. The charge is often found in medieval armory; and the contrast in this case is acceptable. (Michaela Nuernberger, June, 1993, pg. 4)


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IDENTIFIABILITY


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[A clenched gauntlet aversant] This is probably the least identifiable posture for a hand, glove or gauntlet; it's currently acceptable for SCA use, but only barely. Such charges were normally apaumy in period. (James Falconbridge, July, 1992, pg. 1)


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Portcullises in heraldic art are generally identified by their square grillwork and their dangling chains. Omitting one of those aspects might be dismissed as artistic license; omitting both of them renders the portcullises unidentifiable, and so unregisterable. (Bronwen O'Riordan, July, 1992, pg. 18)


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Charges must be drawn in their period form (per Rule VII.3), so that they can be identified (per Rule VIII.3). This is especially true when a wrongly drawn charge can be mistaken for some other charge (Federico Arcière dal Fióre, July, 1992, pg. 18)


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[A bear's head erased affronty erminois] In general, beasts and beast parts should not be of an ermine fur, unless the silhouette is distinctive (as with a lion rampant). The bear's head cabossed does not meet that criterion, and is unidentifiable when erminois. (Alistair of Avalon, July, 1992, pg. 19)


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Adding horns to inanimate objects doesn't appear to have been a period treatment; certainly, we would like to see some evidence of what is, at first glance, a highly improbable usage ...the reason for its improbability --- the fact that the elk-horned mask cannot be identified as such --- is ...grounds for return. (Erc Mortagh the Pict, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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Purpure and sable are the darkest of heraldic colors, and there's insufficient contrast between them to permit idenitification of the embattled line. Rule VIII.3 requires all elements of the design --- including complex lines of division, if any --- to be identifiable. The Rule goes on to give examples of cases that wouldn't be identifiable: "For instance, a complex line of partition could be difficult to recognize between two parts of the field that do not have good contrast if most of the line is also covered by charges." Those examples are just that: examples, not an exhaustive list. It is quite possible for a complex line of partition to be unidentifiable, even if not covered by charges; that is the case here. [For a full discussion, see LINES OF DIVISION -- General] (Landric Dægmaer, August, 1992, pg. 25)


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[Per pale potenty, in pale three roundels counterchanged] The device is at the verge of over-complexity, with charges counterchanged across a complex line of partition. However, a visual check showed that the roundels were simple enough to remain identifiable, even counterchanged. (Duncan MacKinnon of Tobermory, September, 1992, pg. 19)


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The ladybug is a charge difficult enough to identify, even when properly drawn; when drawn without legs, and not in its proper tinctures, it becomes that much more unidentifiable We have reblazoned this a scarab, as found in Egyptian art; the submitter may resubmit with a ladybug with legs, if she wishes. (Lavinia of Catmere, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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[A pomegranate slipped and leaved, surmounted by a cross] When obscured by the cross, the pomegranate becomes unidentifiable -- the moreso since the seeding, a principal trait of the heraldic pomegranate, is entirely overlaid. This must be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Isabella del Bosque, September, 1992, pg. 39)


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A wreathed ordinary must be of two tinctures with good contrast (Eliada of Thun, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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[Quarterly urdy azure and vert, a bear between <charges> with about 20 "waves" across each side] The urdy line of division is drawn far too small, which would be reason for return even if the portions of the field had good contrast with one another. When the field is of two colors, the line of division is even more unidentifiable; when the line has a charge overall, more unidentifiable still. This must be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Sigeferd Bjørnen, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[A compass star and overall a lion's head cabossed] As drawn, the compass star is almost completely obscured by the lion's head, rendering it unidentifiable. Charges must be drawn so as to be recognizable, per Rule VIII.3. Visually, the star's rays blend with the lion's mane, making it almost a sun in splendour Or; as such, it's very close to [a charged sun].

Some of the commentary mentioned possible conflict between this "irradiated lion's face" and a lion's face jessant-de-lys --- e.g. [a leopard's head jessant a fleur-de-lys]. I believe there's a visible difference between the straight rays shown here and a fleur-de-lys' curved petals. (Tirlach Kinsella, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[Per pall inverted arrondi a threaded needle inverted bendwise, the needle extending to cover about half the distance possible] As drawn, the needle is completely unidentifiable. It is far too small for the available space; while this normally requires only an admonition to "Draw the charge larger", the flaw is fatal on this field. (Even a correctly-sized needle would be hard pressed to be identified on a field per pall inverted arrondi; the curved lines of the field and thread, and the thinness of the needle, combine to cause confusion rather than clarity.)

If the needle were drawn larger, this might be acceptable; but the submitter would be better advised to choose another field as well. (Hannah Graham, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[Volant affronty] This is an inherently unidentifiable posture, and so unsuitable for heraldry. (Robin Telfer, September, 1992, pg. 48)


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[Per bend embattled gules and sable, an Egyptian sphinx rampant to sinister] The sphinx overlies the complex division between low-contrast colors, making it even harder to identify. This must be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Edward of Yarborough, September, 1992, pg. 49)


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[Per bend embowed counter-embowed sable and gules, a horse courant contourny] Per Rule VIII.3, a two-color field with a complex line of partition should not have the partition obscured by charges. The horse does obscure the line (unlike the [submitter's] device, which uses a skinny lightning flash), and is therefore not permitted. (Dark Horde, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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Sejant tergiant is not an heraldic posture, previous registrations notwithstanding. It renders the <beast> unrecognizable, where the whole purpose of heraldry is identification (Catraoine ni Risteaird, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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I hold identifiability to be the criterion for judging a submission, not necessarily the school of its style. So long as the hound is recognizably a hound, it may be drawn with suggestions of "Book of Kells" style; too many such suggestions, however, can make the hound unidentifiable, and be reason for return [device returned for unrelated reason]. (Connor Malcolm O'Maoilbhreanainn, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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[Per bend wavy gules and sable, three lozenges in bend sinister within a bordure argent] The nature of the motif mandates a center lozenge small enough to leave the line of division unobscured; therefore, this does not run afoul of Rule VIII.3. (Alisaundre of Greyhame, October, 1992, pg. 12)


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Volant affronty is not a recognizable posture. (Eirikr Eyvindarson, October, 1992, pg. 23)


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[A whip nowed] The nowing of the whip renders it unidentifiable. This must be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Eriu Morgana Nic Dhubhghlaise Crawford, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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[Per fess engrailed with 13 points, each about 1/4 as high as the distance between points] The engrailed line is drawn far too small to be visible at any distance. Complex lines should be drawn in a bold heraldic manner, so they can be recognized, per Rules VII.7.a and VIII.3. This must be returned for redrawing. (Anastasia Germain, October, 1992, pg. 31)


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The hounds are drawn with a strong "Book of Kells" stylization, which makes them difficult to identify; and though blazoned on the LOI as azure, they are in fact multi-colored in blue, green, red and yellow, again as in the Kells style. Motifs from period art must be used sparingly at best; if they interfere with identification, they become ipso facto non-heraldic, and reason for return. (Diarmait mac Alasdair Chaomhanaigh, October, 1992, pg. 32)


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We can use the equivalence between voiding and adding tertiaries to determine when voiding is acceptable: if the voided charge can be reblazoned as On a [charge], another --- that is, if the inner line and the outer line of the voided charge are geometrically similar --- then it's simple enough to void.

For instance, in the illustrations below, figure A could equally well be blazoned a delf voided or a delf charged with a delf; either blazon is correct for that picture. Figures B and C, on the other hand, are definitely a griffin's head voided and a griffin's head charged with another, respectively; the emblazons are quite dissimilar, and the inner line of figure B is not the shape of a griffin's head. The delf voided, then, is acceptable, but the griffin's head voided is not.

By this guideline, mullets, hearts and triangles are all simple enough to be voided or fimbriated. This is only a rule of thumb, of course, not an ironclad law, but it helps us decide a thorny question, it's consistent with how we (and some period heralds) view voiding, and it eliminates the need to collect reams of case law. I shall be employing it henceforth. (15 January, 1992 Cover Letter (November, 1992 LoAR), pp. 2-3)


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I've ...decided not to implement a comprehensive ban on fieldless badges with overall charges. I will be returning cases where the underlying charge is rendered unidentifiable, per Rule VIII.3; this will include the most egregious cases of overall charges (e.g. A pheon surmounted by a hawk's head). But this can be done as an interpretation of the current Rules, and needn't involve a new policy. In cases where identifiability is maintained --- where one of the charges is a long, slender object, and the area of intersection small --- overall charges will still be permitted in fieldless badges. [For complete discussion see under CHARGE -- Overall] (15 January, 1992 Cover Letter (November, 1992 LoAR), pg. 3)


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[A sinister gore argent and a bordure ermine] The lack of contrast between the gore and the bordure causes them to blend together, reducing the identifiability of both. It's true, as Lord Crescent notes, that since contrast of each charge is measured against the field, they cannot have good contrast with one another. But, if anything, that argues against any use of a gore with a bordure whatsoever.

This case might have been acceptable had the bordure been, say, Or; there would still have been enough contrast to allow its distinction from the gore. But the contrast between argent and ermine is exactly the same as between argent and argent goutty sable: nonexistent. We cannot concede that the two charges will be distinguished from any distance. This must therefore be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Khasar of the Keshik, November, 1992, pp. 15-16)


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[Azure, a cross moline purpure fimbriated, overall a rose argent] Between the fimbriation and the overall charge, the cross ceases to be identifiable. The LOI's citation of a previous registration (Annyse Lionstone, June 91) doesn't support this: Annyse's device used a sable cross fimbriated on a gules field, which has better visibility than azure and purpure; and only one limb of Annyse's cross was overlaid, as opposed to the entire cross here. We have precedents (LoAR of 9 March 86) disallowing fimbriated ordinaries to be debruised by overall charges; that applies as strongly here. This must be returned for lack of identifiability. (Dyryke Raleigh, November, 1992, pg. 19)


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[Or, an open book argent bound sable] the book is essentially argent on Or, in violation of the Rule of Contrast. The black binding does not remove the problem, as fimbriation might --- for it doesn't completely surround the charge. (Caelina Lærd Reisende, December, 1992, pg. 15)


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[A snake involved and in chief three annulet] The use of almost-but-not-quite identical charges is unacceptable style; it confuses the eye, where the wholepurpose of heraldry is visual recognition. This has been grounds for return ere now (v. the LoAR of 21 May89, pp.18, 25). (Denewulf Ringmaker, December, 1992, pg. 17)


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Counterchanging a vair field isn't an acceptable practice: there is no heraldic difference between vair and "vair counterchanged", and the result is as visually indistinct as, say, Per pale checky Or and gules, and checky gules and Or. In each case, except for a discontinuity in the center of the shield, from any distance it looks like a single field. (Richard Foxcroft, December, 1992, pg. 18)


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The dormant posture should be used carefully, as it can all too easily render a beast unidentifiable. In this case, the wolf's head, paws and tail are neatly tucked in, making him indistinguishable from a meatloaf. This must be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Vladimir Andreivich Aleksandrov, January, 1993, pg. 24)


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The 1984 Rules for Submission did not permit semy charges to be fimbriated, proper, or of divided tinctures (IX.2). While that specific clause is not found in the current Rules, those usages remain poor style, and in extreme cases may be grounds for return under Rule VIII.3. The submitter would be well advised to use single-tinctured rams in her semy, when she resubmits [device returned for using a charged canton]. (Aurora Ashland of Woolhaven, January, 1993, pg. 25)


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[Per chevron embattled azure mullety of six points Or, and sable, in base a <charge> argent] The low contrast between azure and sable renders the embattled line indistinguishable from any distance. As with the recent case of Per pale embattled purpure and sable (LoAR of Aug 92, p.25), I must return this for lack of identifiability, per Rule VIII.3. (Elspeth of Oxfordshire, January, 1993, pg. 30)


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[Per bend sinister nebuly vert and azure, two <charges> argent] The low contrast between vert and azure renders the nebuly line indistinguishable from any distance. As with the recent case of Per pale embattled purpure and sable (LoAR of Aug 92, p.25), I must return this for lack of identifiability, per Rule VIII.3. (Margaret of Galashiels, January, 1993, pg. 30)


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[Two spears in saltire argent hafted proper, surmounted by a serpent in annulo, with a head at either end argent.] The overall charge is acceptable in this design, per the LoAR cover letter of 15 Jan 93: the charges are slender, and the area of intersection small [badge returned for unidentifiably drawn spears] (Christof Gately, January, 1993, pg. 31)


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[Two quill pens in saltire sable surmounted by a butterfly argent] The overall charge renders the pens unidentifiable, in violation of Rule VIII.3. Indeed, this submission is a textbook example of why I suggested a ban on overall charges in fieldless badges, in my cover letter of 3 Aug 92: the pens, far from being identifiable as pens, instead look like extensions of the butterfly's wings. The visual effect would be blazoned A butterfly argent, wings tipped sable; and therefore, this conflicts with [A butterfly argent, wings tipped gules]. (Sidonia of Seven Oaks, January, 1993, pg. 32)


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[A sea-serpent "erect"] The sea-serpent is not drawn in a style that would allow it to be reproduced from the blazon: it isn't really erect, but muliply coiled and queue-fourchy. Although we allow a certain amount of artistic leeway, reproducibility from the blazon is a requirement. (Tyne of Lostwithiel, January, 1993, pg. 35)


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[A bordure indented, with > 50 indentations] The indentations on the bordure are too small to be identified from a distance. This must be returned for redrawing, per Rule VIII.3. (Gabrielle Antoinette Dubois, March, 1993, pg. 19)


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As has been noted in the past, the dormant posture should be used cautiously, as it all too often obscures the beast's head, tail and feet, rendering it unidentifiable. (Anderewe Fouchier of the White Dove, March, 1993, pg. 22)


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[Per pale Or and sable, a monster composed of the body of a horse with lion's feet rampant purpure] While newly-invented chimerical monsters are usually permitted, they must be recognizable in all their parts. This monster is unidentifiable, and so unacceptable. Half the monster has extremely poor contrast against the black half of the field. The part with good contrast, against the gold half of the field, has its outline obscured by the non-standard stylization of the mane. That might not have been fatal, had this been a horse or a lion; but when the creature is a composite of the two, identifiability is paramount. This must be returned. (Lachlan O'Sheridan of Falconhold, March, 1993, pg. 26)


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[A bend sinister, overall a wolf's head caboshed, grasping in its mouth an arrow] The counterchanging of the complex charges over the ordinary is visually confusing, and disallowed per Rule VIII.3. This interpretation has been in force since April 90; it was most recently reaffirmed in the case of the Shire of Blackmoor Keep, LoAR of Oct 92 [For the full discussion, see under CHARGE -- Overall] (Grethfurth Wulfstan, May, 1993, pg. 15)


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[Paly argent and gules, a wooden drakkar's prow proper] The brown drakkar's prow has insufficient contrast on this field. Partially, this is due to the similarity in tinctures: none of the heraldic colors is as close to brown as gules. Partially, it's due to the elongated vertical charge on the vertically striped field. The combination renders the prow unidentifiable. The submitters might consider using a standard heraldic tincture for the prow. (Barony of Storvik, May, 1993, pg. 15)


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[A cross wavy, with at least 7 "waves" on each arm] The waves on the cross are drawn far too small to be identifiable at any distance. This must be returned for redrawing, per Rule VIII.3. When she resubmits, please be sure that the wavy lines are parallel ("wavy counter-wavy" rather than "wavy bretessed") (Christobelle Andrea atte Layne, May, 1993, pg. 15)


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As drawn, the charge was not identifiable as a cleaver. Various guesses, by commenters and Laurel's staff, included crescent wrench, half-eaten ice cream stick, plastic oil can, and a spout from a gasoline hose. If it can't be identified, it can't be used as an heraldic charge.

Most of the cleavers shown in period documents (including Jost Amman's Ständebuch, cited in the LOI) have a massive, square blade. The sole exception was the submitter's source, Workers in the Mendel Housebook by the Nuremburg Masters, c.1436: it showed a cleaver similar (though not identical) to that in this submission. However, the documented cleaver had a proportionately broader blade, with a smaller notch, than the submitted emblazon; and we note that even a misshapen cleaver is more readily identified when shown in a butcher's hand, in the process of hacking meat.

We suggest the submitter use a more standard form of cleaver when he resubmits. (Erich Küchengehilfe, May, 1993, pg. 16)


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The arrow was drawn with small, nigh-invisible point and fletching, which has been reason for return ere now. If he uses an arrow in his resubmission, please instruct the client to draw it with large, visible fletching and point [returned for this and also for over-complexity] (Brychen Silverfist, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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[Per chevron Or and azure, a pall inverted between three <charges> counterchanged] The previous submission (Per chevron inverted sable and Or, a pall counterchanged Or and gules between in chief a bezant charged with a cross formy fitchy at the foot, and in base two crosses formy fitchy at the foot gules, each within an annulet sable) was returned Sept 83 for over-complexity and non-period style. Laurel suggested at the time that the submitter "Please use a simple pall gules", implying that the counterchanging of the pall over the field division was part of the non-period style.

This resubmission, though greatly simplified, still has a pall (this time inverted) counterchanged over a Per chevron field division. We have in the past registered solidly-tinctured palls inverted over Per chevron divisions (or the same motif inverted); the pall is then understood to overlie the line of the field. The same understanding cannot apply when the pall is counterchanged: the line of the field could legally be under the center of the pall, under one of its edges, or even extending beyond the pall on the other side.

Moreover, the visual effect is that of a pall inverted (the lower limbs narrower than that in chief) and a point pointed azure, all on an Or field. The visual confusion, combined with the problems of reproducibility, combine to make this motif unacceptable. (Allen of Moffat, June, 1993, pp. 20-21)


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[On a chief four arrows fretted "in cross"] The arrows are not in a blazonable heraldic posture. They aren't fretted "in cross", as blazoned on the LOI, but more like "in crosshatch" --- with two arrows fesswise and two bendwise sinister. Moreover, because the arrows are pointing in four different directions, the blazon required to describe it would be so complex as to clearly show the non-period style of the submission. (Llywellyn MacLamont, July, 1993, pg. 12)


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Lord Crescent is correct in noting that the same rationale banning unicornate horses should also ban hornless unicorns [horses with lion's tail, cloven hooves and a beard]. In either case, the distinction between genuine horses and honest unicorns is blurred; if we wish to grant period difference between these charges, we must insist on period emblazons. (Parthalán MacPhail, August, 1993, pg. 16)


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[Per pale, a pale compony counterchanged] The use of a compony ordinary that shares a tincture with its field has been disallowed since at least the LoAR of July 85; the precedent was confirmed Sept 87, April 89, and Aug 90. This submission is an excellent illustration of the reason for the ban: the visual appearance is not of a pale, but of a group of billets straddling the field division. The lack of identifiability is sufficient reason for return. We suggest making the pale a solid tincture. (Darius of Jaxartes, August, 1993, pg. 20)


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One of September's returns sparked commentary on an application of Rule VIII.3. This application is found in precedents set (or confirmed) by Mistress Alisoun: "Two types of sword [a cup-hilted rapier and a broadsword] should not be united in a single visual whole here: it is very poor style and has been grounds for return in the past." [AmCoE, Dec 86] "The difference between the types of bladed weapon [two poignards in saltire surmounted by a rapier] was a distinction rather than a difference and a distinction that would not have been made normally in period heraldry." [AmCoE, April 88] For this reason, the policy is usually called the "sword-dagger ruling" (although I've seen it described as the "shark-dolphin ruling"; de gustibus...). However it's called, the idea is simple:

If two charges are artistically distinct, but heraldically identical, they should not be used in the same armory.

The reason for this is the raison d'être of heraldry: instant identification. When the eye first sees a design such as, say, Sable, two lions and a Bengal tiger Or, it will be fooled for a moment into seeing three lions, or three tigers. There'll be a moment of confusion until the eye sorts out the almost-but-not-quite-identical charges ...and that confusion is exactly what we try to avoid.

The charges, be it noted, need not be in a single group for confusion to arise. Sable, a sword between three daggers argent will suffer the same lack of ready identifiability, despite the sword being primary and the daggers being secondary. Nor need the charges necessarily be "artistic variants" of one another, although that is the most common application of the rule: any too charges that are visually indistinct may run afoul of this policy (for instance, Sable, in pale a horseshoe and a torc Or). In general, if there's a CD of difference between the charges, the "sword-dagger" ruling won't apply; less than that, and one takes one's chances. (30 November, 1993 Cover Letter (September, 1993 LoAR), pg. 5)


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[A garden rose slipped and leaved and on a chief three garden rosebuds] There is a longstanding policy that one may not use two close variants of the same charge in one design. It creates visual confusion, where the whole purpose of heraldry is instant identification. The almost-but-not-quite identical charges need not be a single group; this is not related to our ban on "slot-machine heraldry." (We wouldn't allow, for example, a sun between three compass stars either.) If there's not a CD between the two charges, they should not be used together in the same design. (Joanna d'Oléron, September, 1993, pg. 24)


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[Per bend sinister nebuly gules and sable, a cross moline and an increscent argent] Note that the complex line of partition on this badge is between black and red, which have perhaps the best contrast of any two colors, and that nothing obscures the line of partition [badge registered]. (Theodric von Rostock, October, 1993, pg. 10)


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[Per bend potenty Or and argent, a <charge> sable and a <charge> gules within a bordure potenty sable] The complex line of division is indistinguishable from any distance. As in the case of Landric Dægmaer (LoAR of Aug 92), a complex line of division between two metals or two colors may be returnable for unidentifiability, per Rule VIII.3, regardless of whether the line is obscured by a charge. It only matters that the field portions have so little contrast that the complex line cannot readily be identified from a distance. That appears to be the case here. (Mikhail the Varangian, October, 1993, pg. 14)


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We grant no difference between mullets of six points and compass stars, nor between compass stars and suns, so all three are considered as variations on the same charge. Using them all in a single device is not acceptable style. (Isabella Julietta Diego y Vega, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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INSECT -- Bee


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[Sable, six locusts displayed vs. Gules, semy of bees volant] There's a CD for the field, but not for number or type of insects. (Aethelwine Aethelredson, November, 1992, pg. 17)


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[A bumblebee proper] The bee in this submission is tinctured sable and Or, with argent wings. Bees are sometimes blazoned proper in mundane armory (Papworth, p.957), so there must be a defined tincture --- but none of my sources say what that might be. The coloration of this submission, however, is the SCA's most common attempt at "proper"; I shall henceforth adopt it as the Society's definition of a bee proper. (Aideen the Audacious, September, 1993, pg. 1)


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INSECT -- Ladybug


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The ladybug is a charge difficult enough to identify, even when properly drawn; when drawn without legs, and not in its proper tinctures, it becomes that much more unidentifiable We have reblazoned this a scarab, as found in Egyptian art; the submitter may resubmit with a ladybug with legs, if she wishes. (Lavinia of Catmere, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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INSECT -- Locust


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[Sable, six locusts displayed vs. Gules, semy of bees volant] There's a CD for the field, but not for number or type of insects. (Aethelwine Aethelredson, November, 1992, pg. 17)


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JEWELRY


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The step-cut gem is found in period jewelry, if not armory; see some of Holbein's portraits of Henry VIII, for instance. (Ælfwynn Elswith, March, 1993, pg. 7)


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Claddagh rings (also called fede rings or friendship rings) are found in period in a variety of forms. (David Hinton, Medieval Jewellery, plates 13, 14) The motif is quite period. The claddagh ring normally used today shows the heart conjoined to a crown; so even were it a protected design, this submission [In fess a heart supported by a pair of hands issuant from the flanks argent] would be clear of it [badge returned for having hands issue from the edge of a fieldless badge]. (Myles of Falkon Hold, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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KEYHOLE


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The keyhole is an accepted SCA charge. If we'd permit a keyhole charged with a keyhole, we should permit a keyhole voided. (College of Skeldergate, January, 1993, pg. 15)


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KNOT


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The [mascle-knot] is unique to Society armory, defined in the device of Leonard the Younger [Gules, within the head of a mjolnir inverted and voided, a mascle-knot argent]. This is a case where an SCA-invented charge is still acceptable: the name does not apply to any other charge in mundane heraldic texts (not even Elvin ), the charge is not readily confused with any other, and it is conceptually similar to period charges (i.e. angular Bowen knots, 1530; v. the Oxford Guide to Heraldry, p.149). (Cynthia Tregeare., August, 1992, pg. 11)


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[Leonard the Younger: Gules, within the head of a mjolnir inverted and voided, a mascle-knot argent] This is the defining instance of the SCA charge, the mascle-knot. When the device was registered back in Oct 76, it was blazoned Gules, a Mjollnir-pendant inverted, pierced, and within the head a mascle-knot of six corners argent. It was reblazoned Feb 89 by Mistress Alisoun as Gules, on the head of a Mjollnir inverted gules, fimbriated, a mascle-knot of six corners argent. Both blazons specified the mascle-knot as having six corners; but after a little experimentation, it's hard to see that it could have any other number. A "mascle-knot of four corners" would be blazoned a Bowen cross in SCA armory, or four mascles-fretted by Elvin; a mascle-knot of eight corners would actually be a saltire parted, voided and interlaced; and a mascle-knot of more than eight corners would probably not be permitted.

I am therefore restricting the definition of "mascle-knot" to six corners, no more or less, and reblazoning the orginal registration accordingly. The mascle-knot, so defined, is still acceptable for SCA use. (Leonard the Younger, August, 1992, pg. 16)


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The Stafford knots were blazoned as inverted on the LOI. Having seen mundane examples of Stafford knots in both orientations --- and since we grant no difference for the orientation of most knots --- we've left the exact posture of the knots to the artist's license. (Ingrid the Crafty, May, 1993, pg. 10)


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[Knots of four loops and four tassels vs. cotton hanks] After looking at the examples of cotton hanks in Parker and Elvin, I've decided there is a CD between them and [the submitter's] knots of four loops and four tassels: even assuming the hanks were drawn with their loops slightly separate, Rowan's knots could be considered equivalent to "demi-hanks". (Rowan O Curry, August, 1993, pg. 4)


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In the case of Seamus O'Donohue (LoAR of Dec 89), the inversion of a triquetra was explicitly ruled to be worth a CD ...(Posture might not be worth a CD for other knots: they might be too complex to permit inversion to be readily identified, or they might have been used in either posture in period. With an explicit ruling for the triquetra, however, the above point count holds.) (Beornheard of Wearmouth, August, 1993, pg. 5)


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[A Cavendish knot] The badge conflicts with the badge of the House of Savoy ...A Savoy (or Cavendish) knot. The two knots are identical; as the badge is tinctureless, we can get but a single CD between it and this submission ...Conflict was also cited against other "knotty" badges: e.g. [A Wake knot] and [A Bourchier knot]. In the cases of charges nowed (e.g. serpents nowed, or lions with nowed tails), we've held that "knots is knots" and granted no difference for the exact form of knotwork. In cases where the single primary charge is a recognized heraldic knot, however, we can see granting a CD between certain types of knots. In particular, the Savoy/Cavendish knot is sufficiently different from any other standard knot that I would call this submission clear of the cited conflicts. (Order of the Cavendish Knot (Kingdom of the Middle), August, 1993, pg. 19)


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LEAF


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[Four oak leaves in cross v. four holly leaves conjoined in cross] We have hitherto granted a CD for type of a single leaf: oak leaf vs. maple leaf (Karl the Meek and Mild), or oak leaf vs. elm leaf (Siobhan O Riordain). But this is offset here by the identical motifs: the arrangement and conjoining in cross add to the visual similarity. [returned for visual conflict] (Anne Chavelle of Silver Oak, July, 1992, pg. 22)


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Aspen leaves should be drawn with jagged edges ...not smooth edges. (Barony of Caerthe, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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[Two maple leaves in chevron inverted, conjoined at the stems] Against the various possible conflicts cited in the commentary (e.g. [four holly leaves in saltire, stems to center]), in each case I count a CD for number and a CD for type of leaf. (Angelina Foljambe, December, 1992, pg. 6)


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[Three leaves conjoined in pall inverted within a annulet vs. A trillium and a chief] There's a CD for changing the annulet to a chief, but the central charges are indistinguishable. (Jaric de l'Ile Longe Sault, January, 1993, pg. 28)


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[A seeblatt] Lord Leveret (now Lord Brachet) has brought up a possible conflict with the badge of Douglas, Earls of Douglas (Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges): [A heart]. His staff has found evidence that the blazon seeblatt could be emblazoned either in its standard form, or in a form indistinguishable from a heart (in the arms of the Duchy of Engern, 16th Century). I've found corroboration in Neubecker & Rentzmann's 10000 Wappen von Staaten und Städten, pp.147, 285: the arms of the Bishopric of Vyborg, in Finland, were blazoned (and emblazoned) either as three hearts conjoined in pall inverted or three seeblätter conjoined in pall inverted.

There are still enough distinct renditions of seeblätter and hearts in period (e.g. the Armorial de Gelre, or Siebmacher) that I hesitate to rule them purely artistic variants. However, there can clearly be cases of visual conflict involving the charges, and the [submitter's badge] is such a visual conflict [returned for this and also for conflict with a water-lily leaf]. (House Windsmeet (Caitlin Davies), May, 1993, pg. 17)


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LETTERS OF PERMISSION


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[Norrey Acadamie of Armorie] The name ...had been previously returned in 1984 and 1989: the name for presumption and conflict with the Norroy King of Arms ...The submitter has provided a letter from J.P. Brooke-Little, current Norroy & Ulster King of Arms, granting permission to use the title. ...Stipulating, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Brooke-Little has the authority to grant permission, his letter still doesn't remove the problem of presumption --- which lies solely in the axioms of our historical re-creation, and is unaffected by permission. To borrow Lady Harpy's analogy, even if the Queen of England wrote a letter permitting someone to use Elizabeth of England, we wouldn't permit it, because the name is inconsistent with our rules against claiming unearned honors. (And to extend the analogy, even with such a letter, there'd still be a conflict --- not with the current Elizabeth of England, but with the one in period. Mr. Brooke-Little's permission does not automatically prevent infringement against the previous holders of the title Norroy.) ...The LOI alluded to the submitter's heraldic rank and work in heraldic education. These are laudable, but not relevant to the problems of this [submission]. The appearance of a claim of official status in the SCA College of Arms would remain, whether the submitter were a herald or not; this is, after all, a personal [name and] badge for a household, with no official sanction. The infringement on the title of Norroy remains. (Norrey Acadamie of Armorie (Taliesynne Nycheymwrh yr Anyghyfannedd), December, 1992, pg. 21)


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LETTERS, RUNES AND SYMBOLS


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The Norse sun cross had at one time been treated as an alphanumeric symbol (that of the planet Earth), and so unacceptable for use in SCA devices. Under the current Rules, such symbols are now acceptable; indeed, a Norse sun cross was registered to Etain MacDhomhnuill on the LoAR of April 90. (Kenneth MacQuarrie of Tobermory, January, 1993, pg. 12)


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We were given no documentation of the zalktis [a squared off `S' shape, set on its side] as an heraldic charge, or even as a religious symbol. It cannot be found in our standard references --- the OED, for instance, has no entry for it. As this would have been the defining instance of the charge in SCA heraldry, documentation becomes even more important; pending such documentation, this must be returned. (Gundras no Dzintara Krasta, January, 1993, pg. 28)


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The College does not register monograms, or any armory consisting solely of an alphanumeric symbol. (LoAR of Aug 84, p.5) Anyone has the right to use [that symbol] without regard to conflict; it can't be considered the private property of the [submitter]. (Order of the Bough of Meridies (Kingdom of Meridies), July, 1993, pg. 15)


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The use of astrological glyphs heraldically in period can be seen on the crest of Bull, watchmaker to Queen Elizabeth I: On a wreath argent and gules, a cloud proper, thereon a celestial sphere azure, with the circles or; on the zodiac the signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer (Parker, A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, p. 547). It has long been the College's policy to allow the use of elements from crests and supporters, if period usage is documented, as charges for SCA armory although there is no documentation of their use as charges in period armory (cf. yales). (Cadell ap Hubert, September, 1993, pg. 11)


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LIGHTNING


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[Thora + lightning bolt] Hitherto, the combination of a lightning bolt with a name derived from Thor has been considered an excessive reference to the Norse god. (The list of Prohibited Name/Charge Combinations is found in the 1986 Glossary of Terms, and is still in force.) The rationale has been to avoid, not presumption, but the appearance of a claim of magical power or non-human descent. The need was fairly great when the rule was promulgated, a decade ago; the College had to actively discourage submissions from demi-gods, elves, and wizards. Even today, we get the occasional non-human epithet (e.g. Stormrkartr).

On the other hand, the tenor of the Society has grown more authenticist and less fantasist over the last ten years. And as Lord Dragon notes, "Reference isn't presumption": for instance, submitters named Catharine are permitted, even encouraged, to use Catharine's wheels in their armory.

There are still enough submitters Unclear On The Concept to warrant returning excessive fantasy references, or appearances of magical or non-mortal claims. But the key word is excessive: I think we can henceforth relax our standards a bit. For those names that are well documented as period human names, that also happen to be the names of gods, one armorial allusion to the god will no longer be considered excessive. (Thora of Thescorre, August, 1992, pg. 17)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Bevilled


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Two of this month's submissions featured Per bend sinister bevilled, and there was considerable discussion over whether the bevilled treatment was used in period. The answer depends on whether one is speaking of an ordinary or a field division.

The charge usually blazoned a bend bevilled (figure A) is found in period armory, in the arms of Lorks, late 15th Century. It wasn't blazoned bevilled in period, however: Legh's Accidence of Armory, 1586, blazons it as a bend double daunce. The term appears to be a corruption of double-downset, with the second word confused with dauncet (i.e. dancetty). All the mundane examples of a bend bevilled, or double-douncet, show it as in figure A; the charge is often misdrawn in Society emblazons as in figure B.

BEND BEVILLED ("double downset" from Legh) BEND BEVILLED (as often MISDRAWN in the SCA)
BEND BEVILLED

("double downset" from Legh)

BEND BEVILLED

as often MISDRAWN in the SCA

The field division bevilled is also found in Legh --- but not in the form known today. Legh gives the field as in figure C, and says: "He beareth party per Bende Bevile, Argent and Purpure. Never charge this, for there cane bee no better cuned cote careed." I haven't yet determined whether this was an actual coat, or was one of Legh's inventions to illustrate his book; but he does make it clear that the bevilled field should not be charged.

PER BEND BEVILLED (from Legh)
PER BEND BEVILLED

(from Legh)

One of this month's submissions (Tyrkir von Bremen) went to some lengths to document the bevilled field division. Most of the pertinent examples were of coats with similar zig-zag field divisions: e.g. Fromberg, blazoned by Rietstap as Mi-coupe, failli en partant et recoupe vers senestre, d'argent sur gules (Half-per-fess, broken thus and continuing per fess towards the sinister, argent over gules). The citations from Woodward and Rietstap were of similar zig-zag field divisions; but the submission did not explicitly document Per bend (sinister) bevilled. The examples it did cite, as with Legh's example, are uncharged. (Of the other citations, Parker's is of a chief bevilled, not a field division; and von Volborth's is simply from a list of complex lines, neither part of a coat nor even dated to period.)

I could accept the field division as documented from Legh (figure C); even if not actually borne by some family, at least it appears in a period heraldic tract. From the examples of other zig-zag divisions, I could accept an extrapolation from the documented bend bevilled; that would be drawn as in figure D. I might even accept them used with charges (in a balanced way), despite the indications that charges weren't used with these fields in period. But the submissions received this month both used charges, and both emblazoned the field treatment as in figure E. That variant of bevilled is supported neither by direct evidence nor by extrapolation from the ordinary. A variant treatment might legitimately require a single leap of faith from period practice; but it shouldn't require two such leaps.

PER BEND BEVILLED (extrapolated from BEND BEVILLED) PER BEND BEVILLED (as often MISDRAWN in the SCA)
PER BEND BEVILLED

(extrapolated from BEND BEVILLED)

PER BEND BEVILLED

as often MISDRAWN in the SCA

(18 September, 1992 Cover Letter (August, 1992 LoAR), pp. 4-5)


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Neither the period discussions of Per bend bevilled nor an extrapolation from a bend bevilled would support the emblazon shown here; nor can it be accurately blazoned without resorting to barbarisms such as Per bend sinister bevilled fesswise. I'd be willing to accept Per bend (sinister) bevilled, as being one logical step from period evidence --- if drawn in a correct manner, with the middle "zag" palewise. The form shown here is two steps removed from the evidence, which is correspondingly harder to swallow. Given evidence that such bevilled fields were never used with charges, the whole becomes unacceptable. (Radulfr Arnason, August, 1992, pg. 25)


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[A bend sinister bevilled between in pale a skull and a skull inverted] The bend sinister in the device is not correctly drawn: it does not issue from the sinister chief, as the ordinary should, nor is it correctly bevilled [the two pieces of the bend sinister significantly overlap] (see the LoAR cover letter of 18 Sept 92 for a complete discussion on bevilling). Combined with the inversion of the lower skull, the whole device is unacceptably poor style. (Juan Sanchez Ramirez, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[Per bend bevilled "fesswise", in sinister chief a <charge>] As noted in the LoAR cover letter of 18 Sept 92, this is not a correctly drawn Per bend bevilled; it follows neither the example of Per bend bevilled found in period heraldic tracts, nor is it a valid extrapolation from the documented bend bevilled. Added to the fact that such bevilled fields were never used with charges, the whole becomes unacceptable. (Theodora Delamore, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Doubly Enarched


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[A chief Or vs. On a chief double enarched Or, three mullets] There is clearly a CD for the addition of the mullets, but is the double arching of the chief worth a second CD? It has been previously ruled that there is not a CD between a chief singly arched and a plain chief: "the arching here is virtually identical to that shown on period renditions of a plain chief and adds almost no visual difference" (AMoE, LoAR 19 March 1988, p. 12)

Chiefs double arched have been acceptable in the S.C.A. for over twelve years. According to J.P. Brooke- Little, the first use of this line of partition seems to have been in 1806 in a grant to William Proctor Smith: Gules, on a chief double arched Or, three trefoils proper. (Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry, 1969 revision, footnote, p. 75) Therefore, there is no period evidence upon which to base a decision. However, from this example, we can infer that nineteenth century heralds viewed double arching to be different from a straight line of partition; at least a blazonable difference.

From a visual perspective, single arching has been used to give representation to the curvature of a shield, especially with bends. Double arching does not appear to be an artistic method of denoting curvature. It involves a distinct action in the drawing of the line of partition in the same way as bevilling. This makes it one step removed from a plain line of partition. Therefore, we feel a clear difference can be counted between a chief plain and a chief double arched. (Richard Stanley Greybeard, September, 1993, pg. 13)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Dovetailed


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The dovetailed line is currently allowed, as compatible with period practice. We grant it no difference from embattled or raguly, however. (Ariel Giboul des Montagnes, July, 1992, pg. 4)


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While I would consider dovetailed to be negligibly different from embattled, I'd grant it a CD from urdy (champaine) [device returned for unrelated reasons]. (Eleri Langdoun, March, 1993, pg. 23)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Embattled


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Urdy (or champaine) is a period line of division, meant to represent a line of palisades (and thus deriving from the same source as the line on the crown palisado). After some thought, we decided we had to grant a CD between it and embattled. (David Thames., July, 1992, pg. 11)


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The difference between a fess embattled (top edge only) and a fess counter-embattled (both edges) is as great as that between a fess embattled and a plain fess [i.e. worth a CD]. (Lothar Freund, July, 1993, pg. 10)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Enarched


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[Per fess enarched sable and gules, a <charge>] Two-color fields with complex lines of division should not have charges overlying them, per Rule VIII.3. The enarched line is considered a complex line in SCA armory, though no difference is granted between it and an untreated (straight) line. (Arthur Bromere, December, 1992, pg. 16)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Engrailed and Invected


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[A bend engrailed, with about 20 points on each side] Medievally, complex lines of division were drawn boldly: a medieval bend engrailed would have about one-half or one-third the number of engrails as the bend drawn here, and the engrails would be correspondingly larger. This must be returned for non-period emblazonry. (Eirik Ising Steingrim, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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[Per fess engrailed with 13 points, each about 1/4 as high as the distance between points] The engrailed line is drawn far too small to be visible at any distance. Complex lines should be drawn in a bold heraldic manner, so they can be recognized, per Rules VII.7.a and VIII.3. This must be returned for redrawing. (Anastasia Germain, October, 1992, pg. 31)


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A few submissions this month raised once again the question of difference between engrailed, invected and indented lines of division. When the current Rules were first published, the issue was settled only tentatively: "As not much discussion on this point was received, we are inclined to follow modern practise and allow difference for the conversion of indented to one of the rounded division lines [that is, engrailed or invected], so long as the identifiability of the line of division is clearly maintained (i.e. as long as it is used in such a manner that it can be identified, as would be the case when applied to a primary charge). We welcome commentary on this point, however." [AmCoE, Feb 90, p.6]

Further research has added little to our store of knowledge since then. It's agreed that, through the 14th Century, engrailed and indented were considered interchangeable, both in blazon and in emblazon (invected hadn't yet been invented). The Dictionary of British Arms gives an abundance of examples; a visual case is found in Foster , p.162, under the arms of Plugenett (Plukenet). It's also true that, by Tudor times, heraldic tracts were making a distinction between the three lines: Bossewell, for instance, draws them quite distinctly.

What's missing is evidence about how the lines were treated in actual Tudor armory, rather than in heraldic tracts. The tract authors were fond of making distinctions where none existed. For instance, Guillim gives several synonyms for semy, the exact term depending on the type of charge being strewn: enaluron of martlets, enurny of lioncels, verdoy of trefoils, entoyre of bezants. As far as I know, none of these synonyms was ever actually used. The tracts' distinctions must therefore be taken with a generous helping of salt.

My own opinion is that, if all we had was the information in the tracts, we should continue to grant difference between indented, engrailed and invected. But given evidence that actual armorial usage differs from the tracts, we should follow actual usage. For the moment, the evidence is contradictory; but it appears clear that invected appears late enough in period that the tract writers' distinction is probably valid. I will therefore continue to grant a CD between invected and engrailed, and between invected and indented. In the interests of continuity, I will also continue (for the moment) to grant a CD between engrailed and indented, but I will not hesitate to reverse that policy should I find evidence that Tudor armorial usage used them interchangeably, in defiance of the tracts. (8 May, 1993 Cover Letter (March, 1993 LoAR), pg. 3)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- General


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A "chief indented singly" is not, to the best of our knowledge, a period charge. Nor could we, in good conscience, reblazon this "Per chevron sable and erminois:" not only does it not seem to be the submitter's intent, the point is too high and shallow to be a real per-chevron division. This is being returned for redrawing. (Gryphon ap Bedwyr, August, 1992, pg. 22)


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Purpure and sable are the darkest of heraldic colors, and there's insufficient contrast between them to permit idenitification of the embattled line. Rule VIII.3 requires all elements of the design --- including complex lines of division, if any --- to be identifiable. The Rule goes on to give examples of cases that wouldn't be identifiable: "For instance, a complex line of partition could be difficult to recognize between two parts of the field that do not have good contrast if most of the line is also covered by charges." Those examples are just that: examples, not an exhaustive list. It is quite possible for a complex line of partition to be unidentifiable, even if not covered by charges; that is the case here ...An objective test for identifiability can be found by researching period armory. There are some cases of divided fields using all-colors, with no separating ordinary; sable/gules, azure/gules, and vert/gules were far and away the most common combinations. There are many cases of divided fields (color/metal) with complex lines of partition; indented and wavy were the most common, though there are examples of nearly all our permitted lines. A cursory search found a handful of period cases with a divided field, using two colors and a complex line of partition: e.g. the arms of Hugh de Neville, c.1245, Quarterly indented gules and vert, a bend Or; and of West, c.1470, Quarterly indented azure and gules, a bend argent. I found neither an example of an embattled division of any two colors, nor any field party of sable and purpure. Admittedly, my search was brief, but I suspect a longer search would still yield no period examples. If Party embattled purpure and sable was not used in period, it would be for the same lack of identifiability as with this submission.

My best advice is simply: use a color combination found in a period example ...Beyond that, neither I nor the College can say which color combinations will have sufficient identifiability, until we see them; that, after all, is the ultimate test of identifiabilty. (Landric Dægmaer, August, 1992, pp. 25-26)


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[Chaussé raguly] If we'd permit a pile raguly or Per chevron inverted raguly, we should permit this. (Thorfinn Bjarnarbródir, September, 1992, pg. 23)


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[Per bend embattled gules and sable, an Egyptian sphinx rampant to sinister] The sphinx overlies the complex division between low-contrast colors, making it even harder to identify. This must be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Edward of Yarborough, September, 1992, pg. 49)


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[Per bend embowed counter-embowed sable and gules, a horse courant contourny] Per Rule VIII.3, a two-color field with a complex line of partition should not have the partition obscured by charges. The horse does obscure the line (unlike the [submitter's] device, which uses a skinny lightning flash), and is therefore not permitted. (Dark Horde, September, 1992, pg. 50)


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[Per bend wavy gules and sable, three lozenges in bend sinister within a bordure argent] The nature of the motif mandates a center lozenge small enough to leave the line of division unobscured; therefore, this does not run afoul of Rule VIII.3. (Alisaundre of Greyhame, October, 1992, pg. 12)


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Tongues of flame are not period, nor is embowing to base of complex lines [device returned for these reasons]. (Shire of Crystal Moor, October, 1992, pg. 31)


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[A chief triangular embattled] With very rare exceptions (e.g. in combination with enarched lines), the use of two or more complex lines on the same charge is confusing, and unattested in period armory. (Wavy raguly? Embattled rayonny? I think not.) In this case, the chief could be either embattled or triangular --- but not both. (Johann Götz Kauffman von Erfurt, December, 1992, pg. 20)


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Pending evidence one way or the other, we will assume that flaunches are as susceptible to complex lines of division as any other ordinary or subordinary. Papworth's citation of the arms of Daniell (Sable, two flaunches indented argent) is inconclusive: he doesn't date it from 1404, but rather cites it from Harleian MS number 1404. (Foster's Dictionary of Heraldry gives the same armory as Argent, a pile indented sable, affording much food for speculation...) (Brandwyn Alston of the Rift, January, 1993, pg. 5)


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The flory counter-flory line is not correctly drawn here. While the treatment was applied to ordinaries in period (e.g. the double tressures of the arms of Scotland), I've found no period instances of its use as a complex field division. The closest analogies are the trefly counter-trefly division of von Hillinger and the per fess indented, points flory division of Woodmerton. Both of these models require the flory counter-flory line to be drawn with demi-fleurs, as shown here.

flory counter-flory line

As drawn in this submission, the "complex line" is actually a group of charges, counterchanged across the field division, with half of them inverted. This is not readily blazonable, and doesn't fit the period pattern for complex lines of division. (The illustration from Fox-Davies' Complete Guide to Heraldry, from which the submitter's emblazon is taken, is cited in no dated armory.) (Miriam de Xaintrailles, January, 1993, pg. 24)


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The chevron écimé [with a blunted top] does not appear to be a period charge. The single registration in the SCA of the term was in 1973 (Eiolf Eriksson); and that wasn't even a correct blazon for the device (which has been reblazoned elsewhere in this LoAR). The current submission would thus be the defining instance of the charge, and we need to see evidence of its use in period before allowing its registration. We will defer any discussion of its difference versus an ordinary chevron until its validity as a period charge has been demonstrated. (Vladimir Heraldsson, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Indented and Dancetty


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The indentations of the chief should be much larger: medieval emblazons of indented chiefs normally had three large indents. The submitted "pinking-shear" line has been a reason for return ere now (v. College of Caer Daibhidh, July 90). (Thomas Britton, July, 1992, pg. 18)


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There was a strong feeling in the College that the double tressure dancetty braced was non-period style, and at first I was inclined to agree. On reflection, however, I found I couldn't put a name to exactly why I felt so. Visually, this is not so different from an orle masculy, or saltorels couped and conjoined in orle, either of which would have raised far less objection. It's balanced, blazonable, and reproducible. The College has in the past registered bars dancetty braced (Katherine d'Argentigny, July 86), so we even have a precedent for this.

I suspect most of the College's objection arose from our long-standing ban on Celtic knotwork, which sometimes extends to anything even resembling Celtic knotwork. As noted in the commentary, though, this isn't Celtic knotwork: the sharp corners and lack of braiding make that clear.

With no substantive reason to return the motif, I've decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. I'm open to further arguments for or against it, and I would definitely count it a "weirdness" --- but not reason for return. (Shire of Otherhill, January, 1993, pg. 4)


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The previous submission was returned Aug 92 for drawing the bend too narrow, the indentations too small. She's corrected those problems, but introduced another: the bend is indented on the sinister base end, but dancetty on the dexter chief end! The bend must be one or the other, if for no other reason than to check conflict.

One of the heralds at the meeting offered to redraw the submission, sending a copy to the client. The difficulty lay in not knowing the submitter's intent: did she want a bend indented, or a bend dancetty? We were given no clue, and since there's a CD between the two, it's not something to be left to chance or telepathy. (Melisend de Chartres, January, 1993, pg. 25)


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I will ...continue to grant a CD between invected and engrailed, and between invected and indented. In the interests of continuity, I will also continue (for the moment) to grant a CD between engrailed and indented, but I will not hesitate to reverse that policy should I find evidence that Tudor armorial usage used them interchangeably, in defiance of the tracts. [For the full discussion, see under DIFFERENCE -- Armory ]. (8 May, 1993 Cover Letter (March, 1993 LoAR), pg. 3)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Nebuly and Wavy


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This sort of wavy ordinary, with the waves opposed instead of parallel ("wavy bretessed" instead of "wavy-counter-wavy"), was returned on the LoAR of Dec 91 as a non-period depiction. The strangeness of the motif would have been more obvious here, had the wavy lines been drawn in a bold medieval style; the fact that they weren't contributes to the non-period depiction. (Brighid Aileen O'Hagan, July, 1992, pg. 17)


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[A fess wavy with wave drawn with amplitude about 1/4 wavelength] The wavy line was drawn too small to be considered a period rendition. Medieval wavy lines were drawn big, bold (so much that they were sometimes misblazoned nebuly by Victorian armorists). This must be returned for redrawing. (Dervilia O'Shannon, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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[A cross wavy, with at least 7 "waves" on each arm] The waves on the cross are drawn far too small to be identifiable at any distance. This must be returned for redrawing, per Rule VIII.3. When she resubmits, please be sure that the wavy lines are parallel ("wavy counter-wavy" rather than "wavy bretessed") (Christobelle Andrea atte Layne, May, 1993, pg. 15)


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There [not a CD] for the difference between nebuly and wavy: there are simply too many examples of these lines being used interchangeably, even in late period. (The arms of Blount: Barry nebuly/wavy Or and sable ( Dictionary of British Arms, p. 96) are the best known example.) Even the late period tracts, the first citations of nebuly as an independent complex line, give wide variation in its depiction: Bossewell, 1572, gives a number of different forms of nebuly (fo. 29, 56 and 76), two of which are indistinguishable from his depictions of undy or wavy (fo. 100 and 123). If wavy and nebuly were so indistinguishable in period, we can grant no CDs between them in the SCA. (Tristram Telfor, September, 1993, pg. 26)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Urdy


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Urdy (or champaine) is a period line of division, meant to represent a line of palisades (and thus deriving from the same source as the line on the crown palisado). After some thought, we decided we had to grant a CD between it and embattled. (David Thames., July, 1992, pg. 11)


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While I would consider dovetailed to be negligibly different from embattled, I'd grant it a CD from urdy (champaine) [device returned for unrelated reasons]. (Eleri Langdoun, March, 1993, pg. 23)


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LINES OF DIVISION -- Wavy Crested


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Though blazoned on the LOI as rayonny, the bordure is in fact wavy crested. This line of division was introduced to heraldry in the 20th Century, and is thoroughly modern; it has not been accepted in Society armory for over a decade. (Luisa of the Willows, September, 1993, pg. 21)


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LOZENGE


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The charges considered media for heraldic display --- the delf, lozenge, cartouche, etc. --- when used in a fieldless badge may not be charged. This ruling has been in force since 1986, and is itself reason enough for return. (Order of the Stella Rubra (Kingdom of Meridies), July, 1993, pg. 14)


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MARSHALLING


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[Quarterly, in bend two <charges>] Several commenters noted a possible appearance of quartered armory here ...However, the Rules specifically permit this motif as one of those that can use a quarterly field without being considered marshalling. Rule XI.3.b states that the "charged sections must all contain charges of the same type," which applies to this submission. It's unimportant that two of the quarters are uncharged: the SCA College of Arms has never considered plain, single-tincture fields to be worthy of protection, nor a consideration in marshalling. ...In short, this design motif is not considered marshalling; so long as other restrictions are met (e.g. no more than one charge per quarter, etc.) it should be acceptable for SCA use. (Duncan Kieran, July, 1992, pg. 7)


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[Per pale, a decrescent and an increscent] The consensus seems to be that this is not impaled armory; it's no different than, say, two beasts combattant on the same field (Eiríkr Fence Splitter, August, 1992, pg. 8)


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[Quarterly Or and gules, four swans counterchanged sable and argent] The device isn't marshalling, any more than the armory of Wales (Quarterly Or and gules, four lions passant guardant counterchanged) is marshalling. So long as all the charged sections of the field bear a single (identical) charge, this is considered acceptable for SCA use. (Deirdre O'Connell, August, 1992, pg. 14)


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This runs afoul of Rule XI.3, which forbids the appearance of marshalled armory. The use of multiple charges in the first quarter, and of a different type of charge in the fourth quarter, gives a strong impression of independent coats in those quarters. The use of the complex line of partition does not entirely dispel that impression. (Johannes of Amstelveen, August, 1992, pg. 27)


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[Per pale, a harp and a cross of four lozenges, a chief embattled] The chief was a mark of primary cadency in period (Gayre's Heraldic Cadency, p.153), and it became part of the Stodart system of cadency used today in Scotland. Thus, the addition of a chief to quartered armory would not remove the appearance of marshalling. However, the chief's use as a brisure was never as widespread as the bordure's; where the bordure would be used to cadence all forms of marshalling, the chief would only be used to cadence quartering. In the case of impalement --- which implies a marital coat, not an inherited one --- the addition of the chief is sufficient to remove the appearance of marshalling. (Æthelstan von Ransbergen, September, 1992, pg. 1)


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[Quarterly Or and lozengy azure and Or, in bend two <charges>] After much soul-searching, I must agree with the commenters who saw an appearance of marshalling in the device. Rule XI.3.b states that quarterly may be used only "when no single portion of the field [appears] to be an independent piece of armory." In general, complexity in any of the quarters makes it look like independent armory; for example, XI.3.b explicitly cites the use of multiple charges in a quarter as unacceptable. The motif Quarterly X and Y, in bend two [charges] is allowable when the uncharged quarters are plain tinctures; we don't protect plain tinctures. But when the uncharged quarters are complex fields, we lose that rationale; and the complexity then begins to make it look like an independent coat. This, beneath all the subtext, is exactly what XI.3.b is meant to prevent. (Aric Thomas Percy Raven, October, 1992, pg. 30)


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[Quarterly, in bend an eagle's head and a flute] The use of the quarterly field with two different charges in opposite quarters gives a strong appearance of marshalled armory, and is disallowed per Rule XI.3.a. (Kenrick atte Kyte, November, 1992, pg. 18)


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It has been previously ruled (LoAR of Oct 92, p.30) that the use of a complex field [in this example, checky] in two quarters of a quartered design gives too strong an appearance of marshalling. This is true whether or not those quarters are charged; their complexity gives them the appearance of independent armory, which Rule XI.3.b prohibits. (Fáelán MacFergus, January, 1993, pg. 26)


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[Per pale gyronny sable and Or, and gyronny Or and sable, on a chief triangular argent <charge>] The device does not appear to be correct medieval style. The use of the two gyronny divisions is visually confusing here, with the sinister division being the counterchange of the dexter division.

Moreover, the only examples we've seen of multiple gyronny divisions in one device involved marshalling. Were this considered a marshalled coat --- and the fact that the Campbell (Caimbeul) arms are Gyronny sable and Or suggests this was the submitter's intent --- it would be returnable on those grounds alone. It's true that a charged chief may, in most cases, remove the appearance of impalement; but simultaneously, the use of Campbell armory with the name Caimbeul reinforces that appearance. For either reason, this must be returned. (Sionan Padraig Caimbeul, July, 1993, pg. 12)


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[Quarterly counter-ermine and argent, in bend sinister two pairs of annulets interlaced bendwise sinister gules] The quarterly field division must be used carefully, to avoid the appearance of marshalled armory. Rule XI.3 sets out what designs will appear to be marshalled: the use of more than one charge per quarter is unacceptable in this context. This must be returned. If he used a single annulet in each argent quarter, or a group of two linked annulets overlying the line of division, it would be acceptable (assuming no conflicts). (Tristan of Landhelm, September, 1993, pg. 21)


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MASCLE and RUSTRE


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Rule X.4.j.ii requires substantial difference of tertiaries to earn a CD; we would not grant substantial difference between mascles and rustres. The only differences to these tertiaries are tincture and the exact type of voiding --- which may be considered the change of quaternary charges. (Eric Alard, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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MASK


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For the purposes of Rule X.4.j.ii, a mask of comedy and a mask of tragedy are considered identical charges. (Cassia Mortivaux, September, 1992, pg. 16)


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MONSTER -- Bog Beast


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The bog beast is a charge unique to Society heraldry, with a talbot's head, boar's tusks, dragon's body, cloven forefeet, lion's hindfeet, and a housefly's wings. As the submitter has one in his registered device, its use here is Grandfathered; otherwise I wouldn't be inclined to permit the charge. (Nikolai Andreeov, January, 1993, pg. 2)


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MONSTER -- Chimera


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[A schimäre] Schimäre is the German word for "chimera". The chimera of German heraldry has the forequarters of a lion, the hindquarters of a goat, a dragon's tail (often ending in a dragon's head), and often the head and breasts of a woman. (It's illustrated in von Volborth's Heraldry: Customs, Rules and Styles, p.47.) It looks very little like the chimera of English heraldry, which has a lion's head, a goat's head and a dragon's head all issuant from the shoulders of a goat's body (illustrated in Dennys' Heraldic Imagination, p.154, which in turn is from Bossewell's Armorie of 1572); and neither of these is much like the classic "Homeric" chimaera from ancient Greek drawings.

Were the German form and the English form not intended to be the same mythological monster, we wouldn't hesitate to grant at least a CD between them. The two forms are intended to be the same monster, though; and we don't normally grant a CD for drawing style (e.g. no difference between the Italian-style fleur-de-lys and the French-style fleur-de-lys), nor even distinguish style in blazon.

In this case, the two monsters share nothing in common but the name; it seemed safest to define them, for our purposes, as different charges. As was done for the schnecke, I've taken the German name for the German charge, to distinguish it from the English chimera. (Kevin Burnett, September, 1992, pg. 10)


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MONSTER -- Dragon and Wyvern


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The one registration of a "dragon's tongue" in the SCA, back in 1973, does not make it an identifiable charge. Nor does it seem in keeping with period armory: tongues were not used as charges, so far as I know.

Several commenters suggested that these be reblazoned "dragon's tails." Conceptually, this would be much more acceptable: lion's tails and fox's tails were used as period charges, and I'd have no problem with correctly drawn dragon's tails. But the feature that marks these charges as dragon's tails are the barbs at the ends --- which were not found on period dragons. (See the dragons and wyverns in Dennys' Heraldic Imagination, pp.190-191 and the plate opposite p.177; or the Oxford Guide to Heraldry, pp.102, 109, and plate 16.) I might consider tail's barbs to be artistic license, when the tail is part of a full dragon; but I cannot accept a charge whose identifying feature is a post-period artistic detail.

Either as dragon's tongues or dragon's tails, the charges here may not be registered. Dragon's tails drawn in a period style should be acceptable. (Aaron Clearwater, August, 1992, pg. 27)


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[A dragon rampant contourny vs. a dragon statant erect to sinister, wings displayed] There's ...a CD for the posture of the wings (Dana Mac an Ghabhann, September, 1992, pg. 5)


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The only difference between a wyvern and a sea-dragon is the exact shape of the tail's flukes, not enough for a CD. (Dugal MacTaveis, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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I count a Substantial Difference between a unicorn and a dragon; even when dormant, the dragon's wings are prominent (Joanna Sparhawke, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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[A two-headed double-queued eagle-winged wyvern displayed vs. a double headed eagle displayed] The changes to the wyvern (notably, the use of eagle's wings) prevent finding difference between the primary charges. (Alex of Kintail, May, 1993, pp. 16-17)


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Wyverns are statant (or sejant; for wyverns, the postures are the same) by default. See the examples in Parker , pp.122-123, and Franklyn & Tanner 354. (Gylis Kingston, August, 1993, pg. 5)


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MONSTER -- Enfield


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The main difference between a wolf and an enfield is in the front legs; when one of the beasts is holding a charge with those legs, it becomes impossible to tell the two creatures apart. We cannot give a second CD for type of primary here. (Briana ni Óda, July, 1992, pg. 17)


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MONSTER -- Griffin


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[A sea-griffin vs. a sea-griffin queue forchy] There's [not a CD] for the ...number of tails. (Laura de Botelsford, June, 1992, pg. 4)


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[A male griffin vs. a griffin] Despite its name, the male griffin is not the male of the griffin species, with the default griffin the female; they are different monsters, both usually depicted with male organs. (The male griffin is sometimes blazoned a keythong, to emphasize its distinction from a griffin.) There's a CD between the two monsters. (Jovan Greyhawk, December, 1992, pg. 6)


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Just as I would grant Complete Difference of Charge between a griffin and a pegasus, so is there Complete Difference between a griffin and a winged beagle; the only thing they have in common are the wings. (Gwenhwyfar de Hwytinton, December, 1992, pg. 11)


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[An opinicus vs. a griffin] The difference between the griffin-variants is too small to be worth a ...CD. (Bleddyn Hawk, August, 1993, pg. 15)


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There is no defined "proper" coloration for a griffin. (Gavin Gamelson, October, 1993, pg. 16)


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MONSTER -- Harpy


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The illustration in the glossary section of Rietstap shows that he considered the harpy/frauenadler to be displayed by default. (Barony of Red Spears, September, 1993, pg. 25)


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Note: the fact that [the harpy or frauenadler] were considered distinct charges in period allows us to grant a CD against eagles. (Barony of Red Spears, September, 1993, pg. 25)


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MONSTER -- Misc


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[A slip eradicated joined to a snake's head] The monster doesn't appear to have been formed in a period style; the only comparable example in period (non-armorial) art was the vegetable lamb, a tree that bore sheep as its "fruit". It was described by Sir John Mandeville, c.1371, and was evidently an attempt to describe cotton, not a mythical beast. The example of the vegetable lamb does not support the monster shown here. (Brian di Caffa, September, 1992, pg. 51)


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[A slip eradicated joined to a snake's head] The College of Arms was nearly unanimous in declaring this monster to be obtrusively modern: the references to triffids (from Day of the Triffid) and Audrey (from Little Shop of Horrors) were very strong. Laurel hasn't seen any of the productions of either, but is willing to accept the opinions of those who have. (Brian di Caffa, September, 1992, pg. 51)


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[A dragon with lion's hindquarters] The dragon-lion monster is unusual -- the accepted period hybrid of those creatures is the lion-dragon, with a lion's forequarters and wyvern's tail -- but would probably be acceptable by itself (Dafydd ap Bleiddudd, October, 1992, pg. 32)


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MONSTER -- Musimon


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[A musimon sable] The charge ...was submitted as a Jacob ram, a breed of sheep noted for its piebald coloration and double horns. (The name comes from a story in Genesis, chapter 30, where Jacob indulged in a remarkable feat of early genetic engineering.) Unfortunately, the breed dates only to the 18th Century; and since a Jacob's sheep is piebald by definition, it loses its distinctiveness when made a solid tincture, as here.

We've reblazoned this as the heraldic monster known as the musimon, defined to be a cross between a ram and a goat, with the horns of both. It is described in Guillim's Displaie of Heraldry, 1632. (Deborah bat Yosef, September, 1992, pg. 5)


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MONSTER -- Orm


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The orm is a charge unique to the Society, more complex than a simple serpent, not as complex as the Norse serpent nowed. It has been registered recently (Elina Grimmsdottir, June 91); without stronger evidence than has yet been presented, I hesitate to disallow a charge that was so recently accepted. (Canton of Fjarska Holt, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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MONSTER -- Pegasus


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Just as I would grant Complete Difference of Charge between a griffin and a pegasus, so is there Complete Difference between a griffin and a winged beagle; the only thing they have in common are the wings. (Gwenhwyfar de Hwytinton, December, 1992, pg. 11)


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MONSTER -- Phoenix


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[A phoenix gules, enflamed proper] The phoenix was blazoned on the LOI as proper, with the 12th Century Cambridge Bestiary cited as the authority (via Dennys' Heraldic Imagination). While the Bestiary describes the phoenix as "reddish purple," I would hesitate to define that as its heraldically proper tincture. As it turns out, there's at least one period heraldic example of a phoenix proper: the crest of the Worshipful Company of Painters, granted 1486, is blazoned a Fenyx in his propre nature and coloure. That phoenix is colored mostly gold, with red highlights and details. (Bromley & Child, Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London, p.184 and plate 39)

As the phoenix in this submission is not tinctured like the phoenix proper in the Painters' crest, I have reblazoned it gules. (Astrid of Flanders, October, 1992, pg. 1)


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MONSTER -- Salamander


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[On a flame Or a salamander gules] Possible conflict was ...cited with the [A salamander proper]. Technically speaking, the medieval heraldic salamander would have been a reptile with spurts of flame, or at most lying on a bed of flame; in any event, the reptile would have been the primary charge. Here, the flame is the primary charge, and the salamander a tertiary. We might still have called a visual conflict, all other things being equal, had we been able to ascertain the tincture of a salamander "proper". We still aren't sure what that might be, but it doesn't seem to have been gules: Franklyn & Tanner, for instance, state that the salamander is "Generally argent or Or, and occasionally vert." In any event, we can give the submitter the benefit of the doubt on this conflict [badge returned for a separate conflict]. (Balian de Brionne, July, 1993, pg. 15)


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MONSTER -- Sea


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[Sea-urchins] (= "fish-tailed demi-hedgehog") has been registered before, in the armory of Rufus the Short of Burgundy. In Society armory, "the sea-urchin should be assumed to be a heraldic sea-urchin unless otherwise specified." [AmCoE, 25 Jan 87] (Order of the Sea Urchin (Kingdom of Atlantia), September, 1992, pg. 18)


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The only difference between a wyvern and a sea-dragon is the exact shape of the tail's flukes, not enough for a CD. (Dugal MacTaveis, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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MONSTER -- Unicorn


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There is at least a CD between a horse and a correctly drawn (i.e. medieval) unicorn (William Palfrey, September, 1992, pg. 14)


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I count a Substantial Difference between a unicorn and a dragon; even when dormant, the dragon's wings are prominent (Joanna Sparhawke, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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Unicorns are rampant by default. [See also Theodora Delamore, September, 1993, pg. 21] (Davyd Wyndwarde, October, 1992, pg. 9)


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[Rhiannon de Licorne] "It is a long-standing policy that the name Rhiannon may not be coupled with horses or unicorns, in view of Rhiannon's function as a horse goddess." [AmCoE, 27 Sept 86] (Rhiannon de Licorne of Carreg Cennen, October, 1992, pg. 27)


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The charges in chief were blazoned as unicorns on the LOI. In fact, they are unicornate horses, which have been disallowed since at least Feb 85. Unicornate horses are not only a 20th Century fantasy rendition, they blur the distinctions between horses and genuine unicorns; for both reasons, they are unacceptable in SCA armory. Please have the client resubmit with genuine medieval unicorns: with beards, lions' tails, and tufted cloven hooves. (Meaghan Catherine McKenna, May, 1993, pg. 20)


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Lord Crescent is correct in noting that the same rationale banning unicornate horses should also ban hornless unicorns [horses with lion's tail, cloven hooves and a beard]. In either case, the distinction between genuine horses and honest unicorns is blurred; if we wish to grant period difference between these charges, we must insist on period emblazons. (Parthalan MacPhail, August, 1993, pg. 16)


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MONSTER -- Winged


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Elevated and addorsed is the default wing posture for winged monsters statant, passant or couchant. (Stanislav von Neuland, September, 1992, pg. 21)


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The lion of St. Mark is characterized by a halo, as well as wings; it is usually, but not invariably, also shown with a book. (Vinycombe, Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art, with special reference to their use in British heraldry, 1906, pp.53-55.) (Anastasia dello Scudo Rosso, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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Just as I would grant Complete Difference of Charge between a griffin and a pegasus, so is there Complete Difference between a griffin and a winged beagle; the only thing they have in common are the wings. (Gwenhwyfar de Hwytinton, December, 1992, pg. 11)


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MONSTER -- Ypotril


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We agree there's a CD between a camel and an ypotril. (Guthfrith Yrlingsson, July, 1992, pg. 12)


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MORNINGSTAR


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The charge ...was blazoned as a morningstar, for canting purposes. We will make great allowances in a blazon for the sake of a cant, but nonetheless insist that they be correct. In this case, the charge is neither the morningstar as defined in Stone's Glossary of Arms and Armor (which we'd call a spiked mace in the SCA) nor the morningstar as defined in SCA armory (which is the submitted charge with a long wooden handle attached --- essentially a spiky flail). If the submitter wishes to keep her cant, she'll have to resubmit with one of the above types of morningstar [reblazoned as a spiked ball and chain]. (Linnet Morningstar, March, 1993, pg. 2)


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MOUNTAIN


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Mountains, as variants of mounts, should be emblazoned to occupy no more than the lower portion of the field. (Barony of Blackstone Mountain, September, 1993, pg. 10)


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MULLET


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There's ...no difference between a multi-pointed mullet and a sun (Juliana Richenda Trevain, July, 1992, pg. 20)


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The commentary was strongly in favor of disallowing the rivenstar (save only to the Barony of Rivenstar, to whom it would be grandfathered), as a non-period charge. Lord Pale suggested that the charge continue to be permitted, for the sake of residents of Rivenstar who wished to show their allegiance in their armory. This suggestion would carry more weight if some Rivenstarites had ever actually registered armory with rivenstars; but according to Lord Morsulus, except for the armory of the Barony there's only one SCA registration of a rivenstar. Consequently, we have no qualms about disallowing the charge, pending evidence that it's period, or at least formed in a period manner. (Galen O'Loingsigh, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[On a mullet of four points a sea-lion vs. on a mullet a cross crosslet] Change of type only of tertiary charge is worth no difference, per Rule X.4.j; and we grant no difference between a mullet of four points and a mullet of five points.

The only way I might have called this clear was to redefine a mullet of four points as a type of cross; and if I could have found such a cross in period armory, I might have done so. But I saw no point in replacing an SCA variation of a period charge with another SCA variation of another period charge; and the thought of reblazoning all the four-pointed mullets in the A&O did nothing to soothe my weary brow. (Ilse vom Rhein, August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[A mullet vs. a compass star] Prior rulings on this point were a bit ambiguous, but in general, when there's a small change (5 vs. 6) in the number of points, we grant no difference for type of mullet --- and we do grant difference when there's a large change (5 vs. 8 or more). In this case, we have a specific precedent (LoAR of Dec 89, p.30) granting a CD between mullet and compass star, which matches the general policy. ...Pending [new] evidence, I will continue the current policy. (Steven of Mountain's Gate, September, 1992, pg. 35)


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[Azure, two mullets of six lesser and six greater points and a swan naiant within a bordure argent] This conflicts with Iver of the Black Bow ...Azure, two estoiles and a unicorn's head cabossed, all within a bordure argent. Even granting difference between mullets and estoiles, I don't believe there is Substantial Difference as required by Rule X.2. There is thus a single CD, for type of primary charge group; we cannot grant a CD for type of half the group, and another CD for type of the other half of the same group. (Enid of Crickhollow, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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Lord Crux Australis has advocated renaming the mullet of four points (elongated to base or not) as a cross estoile. The cross estoile is indeed an heraldic charge, found in the arms of van Toulon, of Utrecht; but the earliest citation I've found for it is 19th Century. (I note that Rietstap, who cites van Toulon as his exemplar for the charge, blazons it une croix étoilée (étoile à quatre rais) --- that is, even he gives mullet of four points as an alternate blazon for the charge!) Without evidence that the charge is period, I'm reluctant to start using its Victorian name --- particularly when our current usage is equally good (or bad). (Egill Gunnbjarnarson, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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There is no difference between multi-pointed mullets (Susanne Grey of York, October, 1992, pg. 31)


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[A mullet of eight points vs. a mullet of five greater and five lesser points] While the five lesser points are "lesser", they are still points; [the second] mullet is technically of ten points, from which we grant no difference from a mullet of eight points. (Anna Dimitriova Belokon, November, 1992, pg. 17)


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[A mullet pierced, the points moline] The "mullet moline" is unorthodox, to put it mildly. Before we can accept this, we need some evidence of its period use -- at the very least, that the moline treatment could be applied to anything other than crosses (and of course millrinds). Pending such evidence, this must be returned. (Roland Witt, December, 1992, pg. 18)


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We can see granting a CD between a comet and a mullet. This therefore does not suffer from the stylistic problem of using the same charge in both the semy and the primary groups. (Barony of Three Mountains, January, 1993, pg. 3)


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[A sun of eight points] There's [not a CD] between a mullet of six points and the sun as drawn here. (Eoghan O'Neill, January, 1993, pg. 23)


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We grant no difference between mullet of four points and mullet of five points. (Bengta Rolfsdatter, March, 1993, pg. 19)


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There's ...no difference between suns and multi-pointed mullets --- which includes compass stars. (Friedrich von Rabenstein, June, 1993, pg. 18)


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Mullets of six or more points may be voided and interlaced (the Star of David, for instance, is perfectly acceptable). (Diego Mundoz, August, 1993, pg. 6)


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There's [not a CD] for comet vs. mullet elongated to base. [charge actually attempted was a compass star elongated to base] (Ysmay de Chaldon, September, 1993, pg. 20)


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We grant no difference between a compass star and a rivenstar, and no difference between a compass star and a sun. (Jacques Gilbert de Gascogne, September, 1993, pg. 23)


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We grant no difference between mullets of six points and compass stars, nor between compass stars and suns, so all three are considered as variations on the same charge. Using them all in a single device is not acceptable style. (Isabella Julietta Diego y Vega, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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MUSICAL INSTRUMENT -- Bagpipe


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Bagpipes in period had at most two drones. Specifically, Scots bagpipes did not add the third, longer drone until the 18th Century. The set shown here [with three drones] is no more period than a saxophone. (Connor Mac Loghan, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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MUSICAL INSTRUMENT -- Drum


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[A tambour argent, framed of wood proper] The charge ...was blazoned a bodhrán on the LOI. The bodhrán is a large drum used in Irish folk music, and popular in the Society --- Laurel himself plays the bodhrán --- but there is no evidence that it's a period instrument. The best evidence I've found is that the bodhrán is "traditional" (Mícheál O Súilleabháin, The Bodhran: A Practical Introduction), which means it probably dates only to the 18th Century.

Fortunately, the instrument is indistinguishable from a tambour or tabor, which can be documented at least to Tudor times. Indeed, O Súilleabháin notes that the bodhrán is called a tambourine in Kerry, and its player a tambourine tipper. We have no qualms, then, in using a more readily accessible and provably period term for the charge in chief. (Cynthia Mairin of the Wilde Wode, June, 1993, pg. 15)


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MUSICAL INSTRUMENT -- Dulcimer


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Some commenters raised the question of whether the hammered dulcimer is a period instrument. The exact form shown in this submission, played with hammers, is found in the Flemish painting "Mary Queen of Heaven", c.1485. (Mary Remnant, Musical Instruments: An Illustrated History, p.117) In theory, the modifier hammered is superfluous; this was the only period form of dulcimer. In practice, enough people are acquainted only with the post-period Appalachian dulcimer that it seems safer to specify. (Dulcinea Margarita Teresa Velazquez de Ribera, August, 1993, pg. 11)


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MUSICAL INSTRUMENT -- Hautboy


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I count no difference between hautboys and recorders (Jame the Heyree Harry's son, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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MUSICAL INSTRUMENT -- Horn


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The use of two straight trumpets in saltire is reserved to the seals of Principal Heralds, and has been since at least 1983. It is the motif itself that's reserved; changes of tincture, addition of charges, or (as here) inversion of the trumpets, don't affect the reservation of that motif, any more than they affect the reservation of crowns to the armory of royal peers. (John Skinner of Rivenstar, March, 1993, pg. 24)


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Lord Palimpsest's other formal recommendation was that the College lift the reservation of the motif Two straight trumpets crossed in saltire to the seals of the Principal Heralds --- that is, permit the use of the motif by non-heralds. In this he had the concurrence of nearly all the members of the College. Nearly all, but not quite: Lord Laurel, for one, dissents.

The use of the crossed trumpets has, for many years, been strongly identified with the College of Arms --- far more strongly than, say, the key has been identified with the Seneschalate, or a pale checky gules and argent with the Exchequer. This identification has been promoted by the College: the nature of our job makes us highly visible, and our badge (besides being an example of the heraldic display we encourage) tells onlookers that our pronouncements in court and field are official. As a result, the College with its badge is probably more visible than any other group of officers with theirs.

This identification has led to submissions (at least two in recent memory) that used the crossed trumpets to deliberately invoke a connection with the College of Arms. I can recall no comparable examples with the other officers' badges --- e.g., former seneschals don't submit armory with keys in an attempt to emphasize their political clout (or at least, they haven't yet). Since our usefulness to the Society hinges on our reputation, it's in our interest to protect that reputation, by restricting to the College of Arms the use of a motif uniquely identified in the public mind with the College.

It's been argued that the reservation of the crossed trumpets represents an intolerable "perk": a privilege we permit ourselves but deny others. Folks, if I had to choose a special privilege for the College, I think I'd have picked something a bit more special. The crossed trumpets are restricted, even within the College, to the seals of the Principal Heralds --- which means that there can be only about fifteen registered armories with crossed trumpets at any given time. The effect on possible conflicts is so close to nil that God Himself couldn't tell the difference. We don't see a flood of submissions from Kingdom Colleges demanding seals, so it doesn't affect our workload. The reservation's only effect is on those submitters who want to capitalize on the College's reputation --- and while cynics may argue that such submitters deserve what they get, on the whole I'd rather not see the problem arise in the first place. (24 July, 1993 Cover Letter (June, 1993 LoAR), pg. 4)


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MUSICAL INSTRUMENT -- Jew's Harp


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The jew's harp has its opening to chief by SCA default. (Rabah az-Zafir, October, 1993, pg. 4)


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MUSICAL INSTRUMENT -- Recorder


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I count no difference between hautboys and recorders (Jame the Heyree Harry's son, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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NAMES -- Anglo-Saxon


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There was some controversy as to whether Ælfra is a valid Anglo-Saxon name. Certainly Ælf- is a documented prototheme; Searle (Onomasticon Anglosaxonicum) cites -ra as a deuterotheme, giving Burra and Ceolra as examples of its use. Searle's scholarship has been questioned by modern authorities, but it seems that Bur- is a valid prototheme as well, a variant spelling of Burg-, Burh-: there is at least one example of its use, Burric. This lends credence to Burra being a thematic name --- and -ra a valid deuterotheme. At any rate, I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt in this case. (Ælfra Long, January, 1993, pg. 9)


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NAMES -- Arabic


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[Layla Khadijah al-Khayzuran] The middle element, being an epithet, was given an article to accord with Arabic naming practice. (Layla al-Khadijah al-Khayzuran, July, 1992, pg. 5)


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The submitter's documentation shows Abih as an Arabic name: Ziyad ibn Abih was the ruler of al-Basrah in the 7th Century. (Ibrahim ibn Abih al-Thaalibi, August, 1992, pg. 21)


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The byname was submitted as al-Aziz, "the Powerful", which is one of the 99 names of Allah. So far as we can tell, this would not have been used, unmodified, in a period Arabic name. The submitter's own documentation showed the name 'Abd al-Aziz, "servant of the Powerful", which we have substituted. (Ali ibn Ibrahim 'Abd al-Aziz, October, 1992, pg. 18)


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NAMES -- Bynames


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[The name] was submitted as Mielikki Kanteletar, with the claim that the byname was Finnish for "lady harper". Unfortunately, its meaning is closer to "female zither" --- not the musician, but the instrument itself. Kanteletar is also the name of a collection of epic Finnish poetry; as such, it's not necessarily acceptable, any more than John Iliad or Mary Elder Edda would be.

In Finnish, soittaja is both the noun meaning "musician" and a suffix meaning "-player", modifying the genitive of the instrument's name. Thus harppu (harp), piano (piano), and torvi (trumpet) become harpunsoittaja (harpist), pianonsoittaja (pianist), and torvensoittaja (trumpeter), respectively. (Examples are from Wuolle's Suomalais-Englantilainen Sanakirja.) [Name registered as Kantelensoittajatar] (Mielikki Kantelensoittajatar, July, 1992, pp. 2-3)


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[Fence Splitter] While this is registerable, perhaps you could suggest to the submitter a more authentic byname: e.g. Trandill ("split-stick"), or Timbrklofandi ("timber-splitter"). (Eiríkr Fence Splitter, July, 1992, pg. 4)


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[Vanderman] The byname ...was supposed to mean "wandering man" in Dutch. It does not, nor could anyone document it as a surname. The correct Dutch for the meaning he seems to want ("wanderer, rambler, rover") is zwerver. (Magnus Zwerver, July, 1992, pg. 14)


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Wolfshead is a period term for an outlaw. (Robert Wolfshead, July, 1992, pg. 15)


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The byname was submitted as Reidleac, but that form combines English and Scots Gaelic into a single word. Such practice is disallowed per Rule III.2.a. We have substituted a completely English spelling [Reidleck]; he could also have the Gaelic Ruadhleac, if he wishes. (Odinel Reidleck, August, 1992, pg. 7)


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[Stormrkartr] The byname is incorrectly formed: in combination, stormr loses its final R. Even were it correctly formed, it wouldn't mean what the submitter claims: stormkartr means "storm cart", not "storm bringer". Finally, even if the name meant "storm bringer", it would be a claim to superhuman powers, forbidden under Rule VI.2. (Knutr Stormrkartr, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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[Thorfinn Skull Splitter] The byname is the translation of the Old Norse hausakljulfr (Geirr Bassi, p.22); and having recently accepted the epithet Fence Splitter, we feel we must accept the lingua franca translation of a period byname. (Thorfinn Skull Splitter, September, 1992, pg. 26)


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Several commenters suggested that the use of -bane with inanimate objects was post-period. However, the OED does give instances of the verb bane used with inanimate objects such as bones (in 1568) and voyages (in 1639, within our 50-year "grey zone" for documentation). The construction, I concede, owes more to historical novels than to historical evidence ...but I don't believe the usage is sufficient grounds for returning a name. (Damian Bladesbane, September, 1992, pg. 31)


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Rather to our surprise, the Classic Greek for "fire hair" really is the idiom for a redhead (Danielis Pyrsokomos, September, 1992, pg. 31)


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Although the byname Shieldwrecker is marginally registerable, it doesn't mean what the submitter thinks: it might mean "one who takes revenge on a shield", or "one who casts a shield ashore." Please advise the submitter that there are period epithets for one who damages his shield: Crakesheld (from 1327) or Breakshield would be an improvement. (Haldan Shieldwrecker of Warrior's Gate, September, 1992, pg. 32)


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Stormsinger doesn't appear to be a valid period byname; it smacks too much of fantasy, rather than history. We need some documentation for the name, or at least for similar names. (Dielle Stormsinger, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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[Serpentsbane] Given the OED's period citations of hensbane and wolfsbane, this does not seem an unreasonable construction. (Thomas Serpentsbane, October, 1992, pg. 17)


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The byname was submitted as al-Aziz, "the Powerful", which is one of the 99 names of Allah. So far as we can tell, this would not have been used, unmodified, in a period Arabic name. The submitter's own documentation showed the name 'Abd al-Aziz, "servant of the Powerful", which we have substituted. (Ali ibn Ibrahim 'Abd al-Aziz, October, 1992, pg. 18)


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The OED confirms maied as a variant form of mead, "meadow"; ironmaied would be a field where iron could be found (a meteorite fall, or an outcropping of iron ore). The toponymic, though strongly reminiscent of the Iron Maiden, does appear to be a valid construction; and if the submitter can live with the inevitable jokes, so can we. (Darbie of Ironmaid, November, 1992, pg. 2)


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[Firebow] The byname was justified as an epithet for one whose bow was decorated with flames of fire (analogous to Longsword). Most of the commenters found that argument implausible. However, fire also appears to be a variant spelling of OE fere, "bold, fierce, proud", and Proudbow is a much less implausible construction. (Brendan Firebow, November, 1992, pg. 7)


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[Wildeorcynn] The byname seems to go beyond the normal practice of animal epithets. Such epithets claim the attributes of a particular animal; for instance, the surname Deere may derive from "[swift as a] deer". Wildeorcynn means literally that she is of the same species as a deer; it is not a metaphor. Without documentation that such literal animal epithets were used in period, this must be returned. (Robyn Wildeorcynn, November, 1992, pg. 20)


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[Firehawk] As Lady Badger notes, fire is a variant spelling of ME fere, "fierce". "Fierce hawk" is not an unreasonable byname, though the total combination of name elements is on the ragged edge of acceptability. (Gaius Firehawk MacLeod, January, 1993, pg. 13)


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[Foxhair] Given the period examples in Jönsjö's Middle English Nicknames of Todheved "fox-head" and Horsher "horse-hair", the submitted byname is quite reasonable. (Joscelin Foxhair, June, 1993, pg. 2)


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[Of the Purple Moonstone] We have stated (LoAR of July 92) that "we should continue to accept [of the <adjective> <noun> bynames], so long as they aren't complete nonsense." Purple Moonstone is complete nonsense. Moonstone is a form of albite (plagioclase feldspar), and is only found in white, grey, and very light blue (Sorrell's Minerals of the World, p.220). I agree that modern synthetic stones can be given the opalescence of natural moonstone in any color, including purple --- but such synthetics are, by definition, not period. (Katherine of the Moonstone, June, 1993, pg. 5)


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This submission was an appeal of a return by the Ansteorran College for non-period style. The submitter contends that the phrase la Tisserande des Mots ("the weaver of words") could only be interpreted metaphorically, so its literal meaning is beside the point; and that a person "of poetic inclination" would have described herself by such a metaphor.

Unfortunately, the submitter has provided no evidence that period bynames were ever so fanciful or metaphoric. In both English and French, bynames are usually straightforward descriptions: of origin, of personal description, of trade or craft. Even a professional bard would call himself simply bard. Without some evidence that "abstract metaphor" was used in period bynames, the name cannot be accepted.

Even accepting the submitter's argument at face value, the construction's literal meaning ("weaver of words") doesn't yield a valid metaphor for her desired meaning ("poet, storyteller"). The concept of weaving is used in several metaphors, but always referring to the final product: the OED (under "weave" and "weaver") cites period examples of weaving allegory, history, and woe; post-period metaphors refer to weaving tales, fables and songs. In every case, the metaphor involves the final product, not the materials used: a "weaver of words" might possibly be an inventor of new words, but never a poet or storyteller. In any case, we would need hard evidence of that usage in French before we could register the byname. (Lynette la Tisserande des Mots, June, 1993, pg. 17)


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Given Lord Palimpsest's examples of "oath bynames" --- that is, bynames taken from the owner's favorite oath (e.g., Mitgoczhilfen "With God's Help", 1397) --- the use of Teufel "[to the] Devil" is not unreasonable. [Name returned for grammar problems] (Utto zur Duffel, June, 1993, pg. 20)


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NAMES -- Coined


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There are numerous period examples of bynames of the form of the [noun], and even of the [adjective] [noun]: Götz of the Iron Hand (1480-1562) springs to mind as an example of the latter. Given that, we should continue to accept such names, so long as they aren't complete nonsense. (Ingrid of the Blue Snows, July, 1992, pg. 13)


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The byname was submitted as the Mischief Maker. According to the OED, in period idiom, one would not make mischief; one would either do mischief or be mischief. We have used the latter meaning here [by registering the Mischief], as closer to both period form and his desired meaning. It would be well, however, to tell the submitter that "mischief" was a much stronger term in period; "evil" would be closer to the same meaning today. (Morgan the Mischief, August, 1992, pg. 6)


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It had been previously ruled (LoAR of 29 March 87) that the protheme Cwen- "woman, queen" was presumptuous, and unacceptable for SCA use. I agree that, as an independent element, it presents problems on a par with, say, Earl as a given name. It is a common and well-documented Anglo-Saxon name theme, however, and when correctly used, should not imply rank to a reasonable listener. I therefore reverse the current policy, and formally rule that the protheme Cwen- is acceptable for Anglo-Saxon constructions. (Cwenfolcyn de Hauteville, August, 1992, pg. 8)


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[the Ravenhaired] The OED cites examples of Shakespeare using raven as a color: e.g. eyes "raven-black", or "raven-colored love". It is more poetic than was normal for period descriptives, but seems acceptable. (Elizabeth Canynges the Ravenhaired., August, 1992, pg. 14)


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[Bee-Taymer] The OED cites tamer as "one who domesticates [animals]", so it could conceivably apply to bees. Still, Beeward is the more authentic epithet for the occupation. (Rhonda the Bee-Taymer, September, 1992, pg. 15)


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[Dagon] Morlet (vol.II, p.64) cites Dago as an early French given name. Given examples of such names adding the suffix -on (Talo/Talon, Hugo/Hugon, Malo/Malon, etc.), Dagon is at least plausible (Dagon Robert Fenwick, September, 1992, pg. 16)


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[Shieldbane] Several commenters suggested that the use of -bane with inanimate objects was post-period. However, the OED does give instances of the verb bane used with inanimate objects such as bones (in 1568) and voyages (in 1639, within our 50-year "grey zone" for documentation). The construction, I concede, owes more to historical novels than to historical evidence --- Breakshield would be a more plausible construction in this case --- but I don't believe the usage is sufficient grounds for returning a name. (Gareth Shieldbane, September, 1992, pg. 19)


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[Kökejin of the Iron Horde] The Mongol hordes were evidently named for colors, not materials; the Golden Horde wasn't so named because of an abundance of the precious metal. The White Horde and the Blue Horde, cited by Lord Clarion, reinforce this naming pattern. The OED cites the adjective iron "having the appearance of iron; of the colour of iron" from 1613, within our 50-year "grey zone" on documentation; Iron Horde is acceptable only as a very late-period translation of a Mongol term. The more period term for "iron-colored" would be irony. [see also Mochi of the Iron Horde, same page] (Kökejin of the Iron Horde, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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[Melisaundre] The given name was ...justified as a hybrid of Melisande and Alisaundre. Unfortunately, French names aren't thematic (as, e.g., Old Norse names are); melding the first half of one French name with the last half of another doesn't usually yield a valid given name. (In this case, the two names aren't even derived from the same source: Melisande is ultimately German in origin, and Alisaundre derives from the Greek.) While it might be plausible that one name would change due to the other's influence, we'd like to see some evidence of this; pending such evidence, we've substituted the documented name Melisenda. (Melisenda Brigitte Nazaire d'Avignon, September, 1992, pg. 24)


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Several commenters suggested that the use of -bane with inanimate objects was post-period. However, the OED does give instances of the verb bane used with inanimate objects such as bones (in 1568) and voyages (in 1639, within our 50-year "grey zone" for documentation). The construction, I concede, owes more to historical novels than to historical evidence ...but I don't believe the usage is sufficient grounds for returning a name. (Damian Bladesbane, September, 1992, pg. 31)


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[MacFlandry] The surname does not appear to be correctly constructed. The LOI attempted to justify MacFlandry as meaning "son of the man from Flanders". There are examples in Black of MacX surnames, where X is an ethnic name: e.g., MacBrabner, "son of the Brabanter", and MacBretny, "son of the Breton". Based on those names, we could accept "son of the man from Flanders" --- but unfortunately, the term for "man from Flanders" is Fleming, which sounds nothing like Flanders (or Flandry). The surname de Flandre, also cited in the documentation, means "of Flanders"; Mac (de) Flandre would mean "son of Flanders", which (except in a metaphoric sense) is impossible. Either Lyulf de Flandry or Lyulf MacFleming would be a valid construction; MacFlandry is not. (Lyulf MacFlandry, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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The submitter, on his submission forms, tried to justify MacFlandry as "a made-up Scots-sounding name", ...The name [however] cannot be considered "made-up" when it's documented from period elements; it's the incorrect grammar, not the choice of elements, that mandates the return. (Lyulf MacFlandry, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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[Serpentsbane] Given the OED's period citations of hensbane and wolfsbane, this does not seem an unreasonable construction. (Thomas Serpentsbane, October, 1992, pg. 17)


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The OED cites instances of horsekeeper and swinekeeper in period; wolfkeeper looks equally acceptable. (Hertha Wolfkeeper, October, 1992, pg. 18)


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Though it's been registered in the SCA, Melusine has not been documented as a period given name. The example closest to period is Melusina von der Schulenburg, cited in Withycombe, p.220; she was born in 1667, according to evidence presented for the submission of Melusine Whitcroft the Petite. Susequent registrations of Melusine have depended on this citation.

There are only a bare handful of Melusines registered, and the only documentation is post-1650; I think I can safely disallow the name, pending evidence that it's period. I'd be willing to believe it a variant form of Melisenda, Millicent --- but as it's also the name of a mythical monster, I'd like to see some evidence of its period use by humans. (Melusine d'Argent, October, 1992, pg. 21)


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The OED confirms maied as a variant form of mead, "meadow"; ironmaied would be a field where iron could be found (a meteorite fall, or an outcropping of iron ore). The toponymic, though strongly reminiscent of the Iron Maiden, does appear to be a valid construction; and if the submitter can live with the inevitable jokes, so can we. (Darbie of Ironmaid, November, 1992, pg. 2)


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[Firebow] The byname was justified as an epithet for one whose bow was decorated with flames of fire (analogous to Longsword). Most of the commenters found that argument implausible. However, fire also appears to be a variant spelling of OE fere, "bold, fierce, proud", and Proudbow is a much less implausible construction. (Brendan Firebow, November, 1992, pg. 7)


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There was some controversy as to whether Ælfra is a valid Anglo-Saxon name. Certainly Ælf- is a documented prototheme; Searle (Onomasticon Anglosaxonicum) cites -ra as a deuterotheme, giving Burra and Ceolra as examples of its use. Searle's scholarship has been questioned by modern authorities, but it seems that Bur- is a valid prototheme as well, a variant spelling of Burg-, Burh-: there is at least one example of its use, Burric. This lends credence to Burra being a thematic name --- and -ra a valid deuterotheme. At any rate, I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt in this case. (Ælfra Long, January, 1993, pg. 9)


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[Firehawk] As Lady Badger notes, fire is a variant spelling of ME fere, "fierce". "Fierce hawk" is not an unreasonable byname, though the total combination of name elements is on the ragged edge of acceptability. (Gaius Firehawk MacLeod, January, 1993, pg. 13)


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[Flamehair] We have in the past returned such epithets as Fyrlocc, on the grounds that they didn't follow known period models for English bynames. However, given the recent documentation of Pyrsokomos "flame-hair" as a valid Greek epithet, we are now inclined to permit its lingua franca translation --- but only for names where the original Greek epithet would be acceptable. The submitter will have to demonstrate regular period interaction between Ireland and Greece before this name meets that criterion --- or else show the construction follows period English models. (Fiona Flamehair, May, 1993, pg. 14)


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[Of the Purple Moonstone] We have stated (LoAR of July 92) that "we should continue to accept [of the <adjective> <noun> bynames], so long as they aren't complete nonsense." Purple Moonstone is complete nonsense. Moonstone is a form of albite (plagioclase feldspar), and is only found in white, grey, and very light blue (Sorrell's Minerals of the World, p.220). I agree that modern synthetic stones can be given the opalescence of natural moonstone in any color, including purple --- but such synthetics are, by definition, not period. (Katherine of the Moonstone, June, 1993, pg. 5)


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NAMES -- Compatible


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Angelina is a period given name: Butler's Lives of the Saints notes the Blessed Angelina of Marsciano, b.1377. (Angeline Aldwyne, September, 1992, pg. 2)


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Arianrhod is the name of the Welsh moon goddess, and has not been shown to have been used by humans in period. It has been returned ere now (LoAR of Aug 87, p.13); pending evidence of its period use, it must again be returned. (Sela nic a'Phearsoin of Clan Chattan, December, 1992, pg. 18)


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Given that Amber has explicitly been ruled SCA-compatible [BoE, 3 Feb 85], and has been accepted slightly more than a year ago (Dec 91), I'm not inclined to disallow Amber at this time. (Amber Blackwood, January, 1993, pg. 12)


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[Domus Artium Utilium, meaning House of the Useful Arts] This isn't an unreasonable name for, e.g., a school; it follows the pattern of the Academia Secretorum Naturae, founded at Naples in 1560 (1911 E.Brit., vol.I, p.99). (Domus Artium Utilium (Una Wynifreed Berry), March, 1993, pg. 15)


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Rhea is documented only as the names of two goddesses: the mother of Zeus, and the deified mother of Romulus and Remus. It was disallowed (LoAR of Nov 83) pending evidence of its period use by normal humans; such evidence remains to be presented. Without documenation, the name must once again be returned. (Rhea of Alexandria, May, 1993, pg. 18)


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Sabrina does not appear to have been a valid given name in period. Hanks & Hodges err in saying that Geoffrey of Monmouth used the name; he used the name Habren, claiming it was the name of the lady for whom the River Severn (Welsh Hafren) was named. Sabrina is evidently the name of the Celtic river goddess who dwelt in the Severn (Gruffudd 55). At any event, none of these names has been documented as being used by common period humans. (Sabrina la Rose, May, 1993, pg. 20)


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Given Lord Palimpsest's examples of "oath bynames" --- that is, bynames taken from the owner's favorite oath (e.g., Mitgoczhilfen "With God's Help", 1397) --- the use of Teufel "[to the] Devil" is not unreasonable. [Name returned for grammar problems] (Utto zur Duffel, June, 1993, pg. 20)


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Jay is documented only as a noun and surname in period; as it's the client's mundane given name, it was submitted under the aegis of Rule II.4. Such submissions, while usually acceptable, can be returned if the name is "obtrusively modern". We find Jay to be obtrusively modern, by virtue of its sound: it sounds like an initial, as in J. P. Morgan, and thus post-period.

We might have considered this acceptable as a "bird name", akin to Robin, had we been shown a common pattern of usage that birds were used as given names in period. But we could think of no examples offhand, save Robin; and one can make a good case that the bird's name derived from the given name (a diminutive of Robert) rather than the reverse. Without period examples, Jay must be considered intrusively modern, and unacceptable even under the Legal Name Allowance. (Jay MacPhunn, June, 1993, pg. 23)


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Miranda has been registered often enough to be considered compatible with period usage. Shakespeare appears to have made up the name for the character in The Tempest (1611) using principles dating from period. At any rate, I see nothing to be gained from banning it now. (Miranda Jourdaine MacDowel, October, 1993, pg. 8)


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NAMES -- Deity


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[Thora + lightning bolt] Hitherto, the combination of a lightning bolt with a name derived from Thor has been considered an excessive reference to the Norse god. (The list of Prohibited Name/Charge Combinations is found in the 1986 Glossary of Terms, and is still in force.) The rationale has been to avoid, not presumption, but the appearance of a claim of magical power or non-human descent. The need was fairly great when the rule was promulgated, a decade ago; the College had to actively discourage submissions from demi-gods, elves, and wizards. Even today, we get the occasional non-human epithet (e.g. Stormrkartr).

On the other hand, the tenor of the Society has grown more authenticist and less fantasist over the last ten years. And as Lord Dragon notes, "Reference isn't presumption": for instance, submitters named Catharine are permitted, even encouraged, to use Catharine's wheels in their armory.

There are still enough submitters Unclear On The Concept to warrant returning excessive fantasy references, or appearances of magical or non-mortal claims. But the key word is excessive: I think we can henceforth relax our standards a bit. For those names that are well documented as period human names, that also happen to be the names of gods, one armorial allusion to the god will no longer be considered excessive. (Thora of Thescorre, August, 1992, pg. 17)


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[Rhiannon de Licorne] "It is a long-standing policy that the name Rhiannon may not be coupled with horses or unicorns, in view of Rhiannon's function as a horse goddess." [AmCoE, 27 Sept 86] (Rhiannon de Licorne of Carreg Cennen, October, 1992, pg. 27)


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Eriu is both the name of a country (Ireland) and a goddess. We cannot register this without more definite evidence that this name was used by humans in period. (Eriu Morgana Nic Dhubhghlaise Crawford, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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Arianrhod is the name of the Welsh moon goddess, and has not been shown to have been used by humans in period. It has been returned ere now (LoAR of Aug 87, p.13); pending evidence of its period use, it must again be returned. (Sela nic a'Phearsoin of Clan Chattan, December, 1992, pg. 18)


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[Dyana Greenwood, Argent, on a tree proper issuant from a base purpure, a decrescent argent] The submission has two problems, each sufficient for return. The first is conflict ...The second is excessive reference to Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon and forest. We've ruled (LoAR of 23 Aug 92) that a deity name used by period humans may add a single additional reference to that deity. The use of Greenwood, the tree and the crescent each constitutes an allusion to the goddess Diana; we find the combination excessive. We've registered the name, but any device resubmission should avoid any references to the goddess Diana. (Dyana Greenwood, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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Rhea is documented only as the names of two goddesses: the mother of Zeus, and the deified mother of Romulus and Remus. It was disallowed (LoAR of Nov 83) pending evidence of its period use by normal humans; such evidence remains to be presented. Without documenation, the name must once again be returned. (Rhea of Alexandria, May, 1993, pg. 18)


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Sabrina does not appear to have been a valid given name in period. Hanks & Hodges err in saying that Geoffrey of Monmouth used the name; he used the name Habren, claiming it was the name of the lady for whom the River Severn (Welsh Hafren) was named. Sabrina is evidently the name of the Celtic river goddess who dwelt in the Severn (Gruffudd 55). At any event, none of these names has been documented as being used by common period humans. (Sabrina la Rose, May, 1993, pg. 20)


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[Aoife ni Aodhagain with Chevronelly azure and argent, a serpent glissant palewise gules holding in its mouth an apple slipped and leaved vert] It has been ruled acceptable (Thora of Thescorre, LoAR of Aug 92) to have a single armorial allusion to a deity name that's also a documented period given name. It's reasonable to extend the policy, in this case, to the Biblical name Eve (often used as an anglicization of Aoife). The allusion here is mild, and acceptable. (Aoífe ni Aodhagáin, August, 1993, pg. 6)


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NAMES -- Designation


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[Wyvern Heyghts] If Heyghts is considered the designator (equivalent to House), then Wyvern is the substantive element here, and this is clear of Wyvernwood and Wyvern Cliff: their substantive elements are wood and Cliff, respectively. If Heyghts is not the designator (i.e. not transparent, but an integral part of the name), this is still clear, for changing the substantive element from Heights to wood or Cliff respectively. (Wyvern Heyghts (Elyramere of Tymbrelyne Heyghts), July, 1992, pg. 5)


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[Seeker's Keep] Keep is the household designator here. (Seeker's Keep (Aelfric se Droflic), September, 1992, pg. 1)


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[Tempest Tower] If Tower is considered the household designator (and therefore transparent with respect to conflict), this conflicts with the Order of the Tempest ...Were we to add a designator (e.g. House Tempest Tower), so that Tower became the substantive element of the name, this would conflict with the Order of the Towers of Dreiburgen ...The designator is transparent; the addition of the branch name is worth no difference, per the ruling on the Golden Swan of Calontir; the only countable difference, under the current Rules, is the addition of the adjective Tempest --- which is insufficient, per Rule V.2. (David van den Storm, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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The word chosen for "shelter", díon, is an abstract noun, not a concrete noun. (As Lady Harpy put it, díon means "shelter" in the sense of "I was protected from the attacking dog by the shelter of the blackberries.") Consequently, we cannot consider Díon to be a group designation, as required by Rule III.1.b; (Una of Blackberry Hollow, October, 1992, pg. 33)


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[Golden Swarm] The name lacks a designator (such as House, Guild, or Company), as required by Rule III.1.b. I don't believe Swarm can be used to refer to a group of humans. (Golden Swarm (Aethelwyn Aethelredson), November, 1992, pg. 17)


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Fortaleza should be acceptable as an equivalent for the SCA branch classification of "Stronghold." (Fortaleza de la Frontera, June, 1993, pg. 8)


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[Household name Teulu Ffynnon Ddu] Lady Harpy has noted that the use of teulu ("family") with a toponymic household name does not fit Welsh name structure. However, teulu also means "warband" which makes the name more plausible. (Giovanni Fontananera, October, 1993, pg. 9)


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NAMES -- Diminutives


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Liam doesn't appear to have been a period diminutive of Uilleam. All the sources that cite Liam do so as a modern diminutive; the period diminutive was Uillec. Without evidence of period use, we can't register Liam. (Uilleam Catach ó Maoilbhreanainn, July, 1992, pg. 24)


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Janie appears to be a valid period diminutive of Jane, as Janny is from Jan (Reaney & Wilson 252) (Janie Fairchild, August, 1993, pg. 9)


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John is not the same name as Jonathan, nor its diminutive [therefore they do not conflict with each other]. (Jonathan ap Morgan, September, 1993, pg. 3)


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NAMES -- Documentable


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Liam doesn't appear to have been a period diminutive of Uilleam. All the sources that cite Liam do so as a modern diminutive; the period diminutive was Uillec. Without evidence of period use, we can't register Liam. (Uilleam Catach ó Maoilbhreanainn, July, 1992, pg. 24)


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The documentation for Delarosa was from Elsdon Smith's New Dictionary of American Family Names, a most untrustworthy source. Delarosa appears to be the Americanized form of the surname; the original Italian would be Della Rosa. The preposition was almost universally separated from the rest of the byname, according to Fucilla. [Name returned since submittor forbade grammatical changes] (Diana Delarosa di Pergola, August, 1992, pg. 23)


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The given name was submitted on the strength of a citation in Geirr Bassi's Old Norse Name. This was an error, probably due to multiple photocopying: the actual name is Kadlin, with an edh. (It appears to be the Old Norse form of the Irish Kathlín.) Kaolin turns out to be a common noun, a form of white clay used in making porcelain; as such, it's unacceptable as a given name in the SCA. (Kaolin Karsikko, August, 1992, pg. 30)


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Angelina is a period given name: Butler's Lives of the Saints notes the Blessed Angelina of Marsciano, b.1377. (Angeline Aldwyne, September, 1992, pg. 2)


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Given Withycombe's citation of Danyell in 1379, and Dauzat's citations of Michelle and Gabrielle, Danielle seems a reasonable French feminine form. (Danielle Corinna d'Assisi, September, 1992, pg. 5)


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Yonge [History of Christian Names] is no longer considered a trustworthy source. Her main strength is the breadth of languages she covered; for many of those languages (including French) she has been superceded by far more reliable works. (Estevene Grippon, September, 1992, pg. 6)


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Though it's been registered in the SCA, Melusine has not been documented as a period given name. The example closest to period is Melusina von der Schulenburg, cited in Withycombe, p.220; she was born in 1667, according to evidence presented for the submission of Melusine Whitcroft the Petite. Susequent registrations of Melusine have depended on this citation.

There are only a bare handful of Melusines registered, and the only documentation is post-1650; I think I can safely disallow the name, pending evidence that it's period. I'd be willing to believe it a variant form of Melisenda, Millicent --- but as it's also the name of a mythical monster, I'd like to see some evidence of its period use by humans. (Melusine d'Argent, October, 1992, pg. 21)


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[Order of Black Widows] While I concede that the words black and widow are period words, the phrase black widow is a modern construction. As with the Artemisian Tank Corps (returned Feb 91), though the parts of the name may be period, the name as a whole is decidedly modern. In previous appeals, the submitters have made clear that the Order's name specifically referred to the black widow spider; and that's certainly how the name will be perceived. No evidence has yet been produced that the spider was known to medieval Europeans, or even to anyone prior to the 19th Century. (It didn't even get the name black widow until the early 20th Century.) Without such evidence, we will not register the creature, by name or in armory. (Kingdom of Trimaris, October, 1992, pg. 33)


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[Azaleja] Azaleja is a common noun, Serbo-Croatian for the azalea flower. Its use as a given name is based on Bosanac's Prosvjetin Imenoslov, which is apparently a Serbo-Croatian baby-name book (on a par with most of its American counterparts). (Azaleja Imrah Antoniades, December, 1992, pg. 16)


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[Hasim] Hasim doesn't appear to be documented as a period given name. Hanks & Hodges' First Names is evidently not reliable in this case; we need to see some period examples of the name's use. (Hasim Solomon, December, 1992, pg. 16)


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Mara was the name taken briefly by Naomi in her bitterness (Ruth 1:20). The Bible presents it as a given name, and evidently it was considered a given name until recently (J. Comay, Who's Who in the Old Testament, p.293). It seems a reasonable given name for Society use. (Mara of the Oak Leaf, January, 1993, pg. 4)


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Abraxa does not appear to be a valid period placename. Its sole use as a placename was in Thomas More's 1516 novel Utopia as the original name of the island of Utopia. The submitter has argued, in an appeal of a return by Lord Vesper, that this demonstrates Abraxa to have been considered a plausible placename in period.

The appeal forgets that More's Utopia is an allegory, with its names being descriptive. They are no more to be taken as valid than the names Pride or Goodman, from medieval morality plays. Given that abraxas is far better documented as a type of incantation or amulet (OED; 1990 E.Brit., vol.1, p.38), we cannot consider it compatible with period toponymic construction --- or, indeed, with period bynames in general --- without better evidence. (Thomas of Abraxa, January, 1993, pg. 35)


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There was some question over whether Blodwen ...is a period given Name. Hanks & Hodges (Dictionary of First Names , p.43) unequivocally date it to the Middle Ages. However, Lady Harpy could find no period examples of the name's use in all her sources; she quotes the opinion of a professor in Medieval Welsh that Blodwen as a name dates from the 19th Century. I'd trust Lady Harpy's expertise in this area far more than that of Hanks & Hodges; but either I must declare Hanks & Hodges completely unreliable, even in their most authoritative statements (as we've done for Yonge), or else give the submitter the benefit of the doubt. Since Blodwen has already been accepted for Society use (LoAR of Sept 92), the latter seems the more generous course. (Blodwen ferch Margred, June, 1993, pg. 10)


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Short mottos sometimes became became heraldic titles in period. Franklyn and Tanner's Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry cites the following: the Ich Dien Pursuivant who served the Prince of Wales, c.1475 (p.179), and Il Faut Faire Pursuivant; maintained by Sir John Falstaf and from his word or motto (p.180). We will accept such heraldic titles on a case by case basis. (East Kingdom, September, 1993, pg. 11)


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The Arabic name Rabah is indeed cited as a period masculine given name in "Arabic Naming Practices" by Da'ud ibn Auda, West Kingdom Known World Symposium Proceedings, 1987, p.47. (It's translated as "gain".) Lord Clarion's comment on this submission suggests that the entry may have been a typo, but it certainly isn't the result of over-photocopying, or a mistake on the submitter's part. I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt here. (If it is a typo, it will have to be formally corrected.) (Rabah az-Zafir, October, 1993, pg. 4)


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NAMES -- Dutch


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[Vanderman] The byname ...was supposed to mean "wandering man" in Dutch. It does not, nor could anyone document it as a surname. The correct Dutch for the meaning he seems to want ("wanderer, rambler, rover") is zwerver. (Magnus Zwerver, July, 1992, pg. 14)


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The v [in van] wasn't capitalized in Dutch names until later, when they were coalesced into a single surname (e.g. Vanderbilt). (David van den Storm, September, 1992, pg. 5)


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NAMES -- English


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The byname was submitted as Reidleac, but that form combines English and Scots Gaelic into a single word. Such practice is disallowed per Rule III.2.a. We have substituted a completely English spelling [Reidleck]; he could also have the Gaelic Ruadhleac, if he wishes. (Odinel Reidleck, August, 1992, pg. 7)


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[The Blacksword] The examples of weaponry epithets in Jönsjö generally lack the definite article [name registered without "the"]. (Gaufrid Kelson Blacksword, September, 1992, pg. 19)


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Several commenters suggested that the use of -bane with inanimate objects was post-period. However, the OED does give instances of the verb bane used with inanimate objects such as bones (in 1568) and voyages (in 1639, within our 50-year "grey zone" for documentation). The construction, I concede, owes more to historical novels than to historical evidence ...but I don't believe the usage is sufficient grounds for returning a name. (Damian Bladesbane, September, 1992, pg. 31)


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Although the byname Shieldwrecker is marginally registerable, it doesn't mean what the submitter thinks: it might mean "one who takes revenge on a shield", or "one who casts a shield ashore." Please advise the submitter that there are period epithets for one who damages his shield: Crakesheld (from 1327) or Breakshield would be an improvement. (Haldan Shieldwrecker of Warrior's Gate, September, 1992, pg. 32)


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[De la Waterford] While there's ample evidence of the Norman de being used with English placenames, such constructions would not have added a superfluous article; we've therefore deleted it here. (Matilda de Waterford, October, 1992, pg. 11)


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[Boris Brighthill] The use of the Russian given name with the English surname violates our requirements for cultural contact, as outlined in Rule III.2. We need some evidence of period interaction between Russia and England. [Such evidence was later presented; see Tatiana Todhunter, March, 1993, pg. 18] (Boris Brighthill, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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[Anthony Iron Skull] The byname is a translation into our lingua franca of the Old Norse epithet járnhauss. Given analogous epithets in Latin (testifer, "iron head", 1297) and English (brasenhed, "brass head", 1434), this is not unreasonable even in translation. While [Ironskull] would be a more authentic construction, the above form is acceptable. (Anthony Iron Skull, January, 1993, pg. 3)


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According to Lord Palimpsest, Withycombe 's entry on Quentin is inaccurate; it was a masculine name in period, not a feminine name. In this case, it goes well with the masculine patronymic Ó Riordáin; but the submitter should probably be told that her name would have been a man's name in period (even with the feminine Siobhan added). (Quentyn Siobhan Ó Riordáin, January, 1993, pg. 20)


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The submitter documents period interaction between England and Russia: Ivan the Terrible took some pains to cultivate a friendly relationship with England. He chartered the London-based Muscovy Company in 1555 to set up trading depots throughout Muscovy (Basil Dmytryshny, Medieval Russia: A Source Book, 900-1700), and himself sought to marry one of Queen Elizabeth's ladies (1911 E.Brit., vol.xv, p.90). Henceforth, we will register English-Russian names from that period. [Supercedes precedent of October 1992, pg. 29 (Boris Brighthill)] (Tatiana Todhunter, March, 1993, pg. 18)


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Logan seems acceptable as an anglicization of the Irish Locân, Leogán (Logan Hawkwood, May, 1993, pg. 12)


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[Foxhair] Given the period examples in Jönsjö's Middle English Nicknames of Todheved "fox-head" and Horsher "horse-hair", the submitted byname is quite reasonable. (Joscelin Foxhair, June, 1993, pg. 2)


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[Lucius Thayne] A thane (or thegn) was a free retainer in pre-Conquest England, and in Scotland up to the 15th Century; the term denotes a member of territorial nobility corresponding to the Norman baron or knight. The title was one step below the eorl, and might be either earned or inherited. In the SCA, the term is used as the Old English equivalent of "baron", and is therefore reserved. Old English usage puts the title after the name: Ælfred cyning, Leofric eorl, Lyfing arcebisceop. The submitted name is thus exactly in the form that would have been used by a period thane. That fact, along with the Society use of the title, and its hereditary nature in period, outweighs the documented use of Thane, Thaine as a surname later in period. It must therefore be returned as presumptuous. (OED, under the entries for earl, king and thane; '93 E.Brit., vol.11, p.672; Reaney DBS II, pp.112, 345). (Lucius Thayne, July, 1993, pg. 15)


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Janie appears to be a valid period diminutive of Jane, as Janny is from Jan (Reaney & Wilson 252) (Janie Fairchild, August, 1993, pg. 9)


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John is not the same name as Jonathan, nor its diminutive [therefore they do not conflict with each other]. (Jonathan ap Morgan, September, 1993, pg. 3)


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[James o' Gordon] Please make sure the submitter understands that the byname is not a patronymic; it is a toponymic, "of Gordon", the latter being a place. This would be acceptable even without the apostrophe: the OED cites o as a period spelling of "of". (James o' Gordon, October, 1993, pg. 1)


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Note that we have in the past allowed the use of Mac with English given names. (Logan Mersc Macjenkyne, October, 1993, pg. 11)


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Note that Spanish-English cultural interaction is easily attested via various Tudor marriages; Philip of Spain and Bloody Mary spring to mind. (Maria Adelina Garcia de Macjenkyne, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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NAMES -- Epithets


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[Layla Khadijah al-Khayzuran] The middle element, being an epithet, was given an article to accord with Arabic naming practice. (Layla al-Khadijah al-Khayzuran, July, 1992, pg. 5)


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[Dragon Seeker] Given that the epithet has been registered within the last year (James the Dragonseeker, Aug 91), it's hard to claim that this name exceeds the Society's current standards. The current case need not even be considered a fantasy epithet: both Dragon and Seeker appear to be period surnames. Dragon is documented in Reaney (DBS2 , p.107), and Seeker is a reasonable variant of Seker, Seaker, Seeger (Black 717). (Dougal Dragon Seeker, July, 1992, pg. 12)


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The byname was submitted as the Mischief Maker. According to the OED, in period idiom, one would not make mischief; one would either do mischief or be mischief. We have used the latter meaning here [by registering the Mischief], as closer to both period form and his desired meaning. It would be well, however, to tell the submitter that "mischief" was a much stronger term in period; "evil" would be closer to the same meaning today. (Morgan the Mischief, August, 1992, pg. 6)


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[Guardian of the Night with a Mongolian first name] The epithet follows no period naming practice of which we are aware; on the surface, it seems so patently fantasy-oriented as to be unacceptable. At the very least, we need some evidence that Mongols styled themselves in this manner. (Jochi, Guardian of the Night, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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[The Blacksword] The examples of weaponry epithets in Jönsjö generally lack the definite article [name registered without "the"]. (Gaufrid Kelson Blacksword, September, 1992, pg. 19)


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[Anthony Iron Skull] The byname is a translation into our lingua franca of the Old Norse epithet járnhauss. Given analogous epithets in Latin (testifer, "iron head", 1297) and English (brasenhed, "brass head", 1434), this is not unreasonable even in translation. While [Ironskull] would be a more authentic construction, the above form is acceptable. (Anthony Iron Skull, January, 1993, pg. 3)


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[Flamehair] We have in the past returned such epithets as Fyrlocc, on the grounds that they didn't follow known period models for English bynames. However, given the recent documentation of Pyrsokomos "flame-hair" as a valid Greek epithet, we are now inclined to permit its lingua franca translation --- but only for names where the original Greek epithet would be acceptable. The submitter will have to demonstrate regular period interaction between Ireland and Greece before this name meets that criterion --- or else show the construction follows period English models. (Fiona Flamehair, May, 1993, pg. 14)


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NAMES -- Feminine


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[Uodalrica] There was some question in the commentary about the validity of the given name. The original root, Uodalric, is masculine by virtue of its masculine deuterotheme -ric. It's possible that the Latinized form Uodalricus is simply be the default spelling for that time and place --- and therefore, unlike classical Latin names such as Julius/Julia, incapable of being feminized by changing -us to -a. The question cannot be definitively answered, on the basis of the evidence presented for this submission. However, the Society has traditionally been tolerant of feminized forms of period masculine names, whether such feminized names were documented or not; in part, this is an acknowledgement that women's names simply weren't recorded as often as men's names. As a general rule, if the masculine form of a name is documented to period, we assume the feminized form is acceptable. In this particular case, barring any direct evidence to the contrary, we will give the submitter the benefit of the doubt. (Uodalrica MacDonnell, September, 1993, pp. 5-6)


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NAMES -- Finnish


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[The name] was submitted as Mielikki Kanteletar, with the claim that the byname was Finnish for "lady harper". Unfortunately, its meaning is closer to "female zither" --- not the musician, but the instrument itself. Kanteletar is also the name of a collection of epic Finnish poetry; as such, it's not necessarily acceptable, any more than John Iliad or Mary Elder Edda would be.

In Finnish, soittaja is both the noun meaning "musician" and a suffix meaning "-player", modifying the genitive of the instrument's name. Thus harppu (harp), piano (piano), and torvi (trumpet) become harpunsoittaja (harpist), pianonsoittaja (pianist), and torvensoittaja (trumpeter), respectively. (Examples are from Wuolle's Suomalais-Englantilainen Sanakirja.) [Name registered as Kantelensoittajatar] (Mielikki Kantelensoittajatar, July, 1992, pp. 2-3)


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NAMES -- French


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Given Withycombe's citation of Danyell in 1379, and Dauzat's citations of Michelle and Gabrielle, Danielle seems a reasonable French feminine form. (Danielle Corinna d'Assisi, September, 1992, pg. 5)


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Yonge [History of Christian Names] is no longer considered a trustworthy source. Her main strength is the breadth of languages she covered; for many of those languages (including French) she has been superceded by far more reliable works. (Estevene Grippon, September, 1992, pg. 6)


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[DuPray] Neither [Reaney, Dictionary of British Surnames nor Dauzat] supported the coalesced, doubly-capitalized form submitted. (Facon du Pray, September, 1992, pg. 6)


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[Melisaundre] The given name was ...justified as a hybrid of Melisande and Alisaundre. Unfortunately, French names aren't thematic (as, e.g., Old Norse names are); melding the first half of one French name with the last half of another doesn't usually yield a valid given name. (In this case, the two names aren't even derived from the same source: Melisande is ultimately German in origin, and Alisaundre derives from the Greek.) While it might be plausible that one name would change due to the other's influence, we'd like to see some evidence of this; pending such evidence, we've substituted the documented name Melisenda. (Melisenda Brigitte Nazaire d'Avignon, September, 1992, pg. 24)


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[d'Ailleurs] The French byname literally means "of Elsewhere", which seems highly improbable as a period locative. (Its more common idiomatic meaning is "on the other hand", which makes even less sense.) We have previously returned names whose locatives were this unspecific: v. Dughal MacDonnel of Kennaquhair ("of Know-Not-Where"), LoAR of Oct 91. (Anne-Marie d'Ailleurs, October, 1992, pg. 21)


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The submitter cites hyphenated feminine names from near-period: Anne-Julienne Dumont, b.1646 (Lorraine), and Jeanne-Marie DuBois, who bore a son in 1640 (Angouleme). (Dictionnaire Genealogique des Families Canadiennes) These being within our 50-year "grey area" for documentation, they support this form as a late-period French name. (Nicole-Julienne Laviolette, December, 1992, pg. 14)


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The use of the Russian given name with the French epithet is in apparent violation of Rule III.2. We need evidence of regular period contact between Russia and France before we can register this name. (Marina la Perdu, January, 1993, pg. 34)


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This submission was an appeal of a return by the Ansteorran College for non-period style. The submitter contends that the phrase la Tisserande des Mots ("the weaver of words") could only be interpreted metaphorically, so its literal meaning is beside the point; and that a person "of poetic inclination" would have described herself by such a metaphor.

Unfortunately, the submitter has provided no evidence that period bynames were ever so fanciful or metaphoric. In both English and French, bynames are usually straightforward descriptions: of origin, of personal description, of trade or craft. Even a professional bard would call himself simply bard. Without some evidence that "abstract metaphor" was used in period bynames, the name cannot be accepted.

Even accepting the submitter's argument at face value, the construction's literal meaning ("weaver of words") doesn't yield a valid metaphor for her desired meaning ("poet, storyteller"). The concept of weaving is used in several metaphors, but always referring to the final product: the OED (under "weave" and "weaver") cites period examples of weaving allegory, history, and woe; post-period metaphors refer to weaving tales, fables and songs. In every case, the metaphor involves the final product, not the materials used: a "weaver of words" might possibly be an inventor of new words, but never a poet or storyteller. In any case, we would need hard evidence of that usage in French before we could register the byname. (Lynette la Tisserande des Mots, June, 1993, pg. 17)


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[Clemence d'Avignon] The anti-popes of Avignon do not seem to have exercised the same secular authority there that their Roman counterparts did in the Vatican; and the legitimate Popes who made Avignon their seat did so as the guests of the Counts of Provence. (1911 E.Brit., vol.iii, p.64, and vol.xx, pp.702-704) The name thus does not conflict with those Popes in Avignon (real and anti-) named Clement. (Cala of Savatthi, August, 1993, pg. 11)


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NAMES -- Generic


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There have recently been some questions about Society branches registering badges to generic names: e.g. a badge for the Stonemarche Scribes' Guild, or for the Keeper of the Regalia of the Principality of the Sun. How are such generic names protected? Why do we register them?

To my mind, these are not names, not in the same style as Order names, household names, heraldic titles, and the like. A better term might be "job-description:" a simple declaration of the intended use of the badge. As such, we haven't held these to the same standards of conflict as other group names: for instance, both Caid and An Tir have badges registered to the Office of the Lists, without any infringement. If every branch officer who may can register a badge, then no one Kingdom may claim sole use of the name of the office; otherwise, only the West could have a Constable. By extension, the same holds true for other branch functions: Baronial Guard, King's Champion, Brewers' Guild, etc. So long as the badge is associated with a purely functional name, it's neither checked for conflict during submission or protected from conflict afterwards.

The key is for the name to be unarguably generic. Lyondemere Baronial Guard is functional, generic, and thus not held to conflict standards. The Lyondemere Levy, a deliberately alliterative name, is not generic, and must meet the normal name submission standards; once registered, it is then protected equally with Order names. (Notice that there are no generic Order names.) Generic names may only be registered by SCA branches, for common branch functions; but such generic names need not be checked for conflict, any more than the names of officers. (28 March, 1993 Cover Letter (January, 1993 LoAR), pg. 2)


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[The Caravan] The household name runs afoul of Rule III.1, which requires all names to have at least two name elements; group names must have a designator and "at least one descriptive element" (III.1.b). To put it another way, the name is too generic to be reserved to a single group. Just as we would decline to register The Household or The Group --- or, just as we declined to register The Buttery (Marion of Edwinstowe, LoAR of April 89) --- so must we return this name. If they add a descriptive element (and assuming no conflicts), it should be acceptable. (Taichleach Selwyn, March, 1993, pg. 25)


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NAMES -- German


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Evidently, the Irish were often found on the Continent during the first millenium A.D., as clerks, missionaries, and scholars. Alcuin brought Irish scribes to the university at Aachen, sponsored by Charlemagne; and St. Gall, the founder of the model monastery in Switzerland, was himself Irish, a disciple of St. Columba. An Irish/German name is thus not beyond the bounds of reason. (Dallán Ó Fearchaidhe vom Kirschwald, July, 1992, pg. 9)


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[Kresten] The byname was ...said to be a variant form of the German surname Kriesten, Kristen. However, without documentation, this is too great a change of pronunciation to accept as a mere spelling variant. [name registered as Kresten] (Anastasius Kriesten, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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[Susanna Elizabeth Marie Wiegner von Kassel] With five name elements in three languages, we require some documentation that this is acceptable period style. Presumably (because of the locative) the primary language is German, so any resubmission should address period German naming style: are there period examples of German names with five elements? Without such examples, I must rule as I did for English names (LoAR of July 92) and Italian names (Sept 92), and disallow German names of five or more elements. (Susanna Elizabeth Marie Wiegner von Kassel, October, 1992, pg. 32)


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Lady Harpy has provided documentation from Socin of the use of zu in its older form ze in locatives with the names of towns and villages: ze Froberg, ze Bernowe (p. 272) and ze Tattenriet (p. 277). (Anna zu Euskirchen, September, 1993, pg. 9)


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NAMES -- Given


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Gargan seems a reasonable anglicization of Geargán. (Gargan Garnet, June, 1992, pg. 1)


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St. Kiara was a female Irish saint, c. 680, according to Butler's Lives of the Saints; the name might also be considered an anglicization of the Irish feminine name Ceara (O Corrain & Maguire p.50). (Kiara o Ddinas Emry, July, 1992, pg. 1)


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St. Kiara was a female Irish saint, c.680, according to Butler's Lives of the Saints. Kiera has been accepted as a variant spelling (Kiera nic an Bhaird, April 92). (Kiera Lye d'Alessandria, July, 1992, pg. 13)


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Liam doesn't appear to have been a period diminutive of Uilleam. All the sources that cite Liam do so as a modern diminutive; the period diminutive was Uillec. Without evidence of period use, we can't register Liam. (Liam O Dubhghaill, July, 1992, pg. 20)


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Given such names as Michelle and Raphaelle, Arielle seems a reasonable feminization of the Hebrew masculine name Ariel. Certainly, it's preferable to the widespread use of the latter by female personae. (Arielle ni Sheanain, August, 1992, pg. 3)


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The given name was submitted as Leala, claimed to be a variant form of Leila. The documentation did not support that claim: in particular, as Leila derives from the Arabic Lailaa, it probably wouldn't change pronunciation so radically.[The name was registered as Leila] (Leila Angwin of the Silver Stallion, August, 1992, pg. 5)


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Withycombe, p.24, cites Angelica as the "name of the lady beloved by Orlando" in the works of Ariosto (1474-1533); we find it, and its French form Angelique, acceptable. (Angelique Marielle DuBois, August, 1992, pg. 20)


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The submitter's documentation shows Abih as an Arabic name: Ziyad ibn Abih was the ruler of al-Basrah in the 7th Century. (Ibrahim ibn Abih al-Thaalibi, August, 1992, pg. 21)


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Briallen is the Welsh for "primrose", and does not seem to have been a given name in period; nor does it belong to a class of common nouns that were regularly used as names in period Welsh. (Briallen o Llanrwst, August, 1992, pg. 22)


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The submitter's own documentation gives Rolan as a surname; the closest given name is Rodhlann (or, in modern Irish, Rólann). The double-N changes the sound of the last vowel; it is not a trivial spelling variant [name retured as submittor permitted no changes]. (Rolan O'Cellaigh the Gentle, August, 1992, pg. 25)


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The given name was submitted on the strength of a citation in Geirr Bassi's Old Norse Name. This was an error, probably due to multiple photocopying: the actual name is Kadlin, with an edh. (It appears to be the Old Norse form of the Irish Kathlín.) Kaolin turns out to be a common noun, a form of white clay used in making porcelain; as such, it's unacceptable as a given name in the SCA. (Kaolin Karsikko, August, 1992, pg. 30)


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[Dagon] Morlet (vol.II, p.64) cites Dago as an early French given name. Given examples of such names adding the suffix -on (Talo/Talon, Hugo/Hugon, Malo/Malon, etc.), Dagon is at least plausible (Dagon Robert Fenwick, September, 1992, pg. 16)


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Tirlach seems a reasonable anglicization of the Irish given name Toirdhealbhach. (Tirlach Kinsella, September, 1992, pg. 17)


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[Melisaundre] The given name was ...justified as a hybrid of Melisande and Alisaundre. Unfortunately, French names aren't thematic (as, e.g., Old Norse names are); melding the first half of one French name with the last half of another doesn't usually yield a valid given name. (In this case, the two names aren't even derived from the same source: Melisande is ultimately German in origin, and Alisaundre derives from the Greek.) While it might be plausible that one name would change due to the other's influence, we'd like to see some evidence of this; pending such evidence, we've substituted the documented name Melisenda. (Melisenda Brigitte Nazaire d'Avignon, September, 1992, pg. 24)


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The name Aurora "occurs as a Christian name in inscriptions of the Roman Empire." (Dunkling & Gosling, p.36) (Aurora Gillybary, September, 1992, pg. 28)


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[Thyrin] The LOI attempted to justify [the given name] as a variant of Thorin. However, the Y/O shift appears implausible for the period in which Thorin was a name [old Norse]. [The documented Norse name Thyrnni was registered instead.] (Thyrnni of Wolfskrag, September, 1992, pg. 36)


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[Richenda] Using my predecessor's "Auda/Ali" test, this is clear of [Richard]. The two names have differently emphasized syllables, and Richenda does not seem to directly derive from Richard. (Richenda of Locksley, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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While Brennan may be an anglicization of the Irish Brénainn, as suggested in the LOI, Lord Dolphin notes that it's also a common anglicization of surnames derived from the given name Bránan --- and should therefore be an acceptable spelling of that name as well. (Brennan Conyngham of Ayrshire, October, 1992, pg. 6)


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[Scota] Given the citation of Uchtred filius Scot in 1124 (Reaney DBS II, p.309), we're prepared to believe that Scot is a period given name. Scota would be a reasonable feminization of the Latin form Scotus. (Scota MacAuliffe., October, 1992, pg. 11)


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Gary ...appears to be an acceptable anglicization of the Gaelic Garaidh. (Hanks & Hodges, DFN 129). (Gary Tavistok, October, 1992, pg. 14)


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Though it's been registered in the SCA, Melusine has not been documented as a period given name. The example closest to period is Melusina von der Schulenburg, cited in Withycombe, p.220; she was born in 1667, according to evidence presented for the submission of Melusine Whitcroft the Petite. Susequent registrations of Melusine have depended on this citation.

There are only a bare handful of Melusines registered, and the only documentation is post-1650; I think I can safely disallow the name, pending evidence that it's period. I'd be willing to believe it a variant form of Melisenda, Millicent --- but as it's also the name of a mythical monster, I'd like to see some evidence of its period use by humans. (Melusine d'Argent, October, 1992, pg. 21)


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O Corrain and Maguire (Irish Names ) cite Tara as an anglicization of the period given name Temair, Teamhair. Tara has been submitted by others before, but returned for several reasons: Tara is also the name of the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland, and it didn't seem to be a valid rendering of Temair. ("TAH-wair" would be closer to the latter's pronunciation.) The assumption in previous submissions was that Tara is a modern given name, based on the Irish toponymic (or the mansion in Gone with the Wind), and its association with Temair a back-formation; the historical and magical connotations of the Hill of Tara made it unsuitable for a given name.

However, the Irish name for the Hill of Tara (Teamhair) is identical to the documented given name (Columbia Lippincott Gazetter, p.1877; Room's Dictionary of Irish Place Names, p.118). (O Corrain and Maguire note that the Hill was, in fact, named after a Temair of Irish myth.) If the given name and the placename are identical in Irish, and Tara is a valid anglicization of the latter, then it should be acceptable as an anglicization of the former. A similar argument, using surnames instead of placenames, was accepted in the registration of Brayden, on the LoAR of July 92; I see no reason not to accept it here. (Tara of Seaborough., November, 1992, pg. 9)


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The submitter cites hyphenated feminine names from near-period: Anne-Julienne Dumont, b.1646 (Lorraine), and Jeanne-Marie DuBois, who bore a son in 1640 (Angouleme). (Dictionnaire Genealogique des Families Canadiennes) These being within our 50-year "grey area" for documentation, they support this form as a late-period French name. (Nicole-Julienne Laviolette, December, 1992, pg. 14)


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No documentation has been presented to show Alec as a period diminutive of Alexander; indeed, suchevidence as exists suggests it to be a purely modern diminutive. Without evidence of period use, we cannot register Alec. (Alec Tristan d'Avignon, December, 1992, pg. 16)


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Dorian was not a name in period, but an adjective: "pertaining to the inhabitants of Doris, in Greece." Its first use as a given name was in Oscar Wilde's Portrait of Dorian Grey. (Dorian Elwinwood, December, 1992, pg. 17)


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Mara was the name taken briefly by Naomi in her bitterness (Ruth 1:20). The Bible presents it as a given name, and evidently it was considered a given name until recently (J. Comay, Who's Who in the Old Testament, p.293). It seems a reasonable given name for Society use. (Mara of the Oak Leaf, January, 1993, pg. 4)


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Given that Amber has explicitly been ruled SCA-compatible [BoE, 3 Feb 85], and has been accepted slightly more than a year ago (Dec 91), I'm not inclined to disallow Amber at this time. (Amber Blackwood, January, 1993, pg. 12)


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According to Lord Palimpsest, Withycombe's entry on Quentin is inaccurate; it was a masculine name in period, not a feminine name. In this case, it goes well with the masculine patronymic Ó Riorda\áin; but the submitter should probably be told that her name would have been a man's name in period (even with the feminine Siobhan added). (Quentyn Siobhan Ó Riorda\áin, January, 1993, pg. 20)


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[Uodalrica] There was some question in the commentary about the validity of the given name. The original root, Uodalric, is masculine by virtue of its masculine deuterotheme -ric. It's possible that the Latinized form Uodalricus is simply be the default spelling for that time and place --- and therefore, unlike classical Latin names such as Julius/Julia, incapable of being feminized by changing -us to -a. The question cannot be definitively answered, on the basis of the evidence presented for this submission. However, the Society has traditionally been tolerant of feminized forms of period masculine names, whether such feminized names were documented or not; in part, this is an acknowledgement that women's names simply weren't recorded as often as men's names. As a general rule, if the masculine form of a name is documented to period, we assume the feminized form is acceptable. In this particular case, barring any direct evidence to the contrary, we will give the submitter the benefit of the doubt. (Uodalrica MacDonnell, September, 1993, pp. 5-6)


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Miranda has been registered often enough to be considered compatible with period usage. Shakespeare appears to have made up the name for the character in The Tempest (1611) using principles dating from period. At any rate, I see nothing to be gained from banning it now. (Miranda Jourdaine MacDowel, October, 1993, pg. 8)


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NAMES -- Grammar


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[á Kerry] Since Kerry is the anglicized form of the Irish Ciarraí, we have substituted the English preposition. (Berwyn of Kerry, July, 1992, pg. 3)


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I'm told that Spanish/Scots interaction, like Spanish/English, was not inconsiderable in the 16th Century, so [a name combining both] is not beyond the bounds of reason. (Alvira MacDonald, July, 1992, pg. 6)


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Evidently, the Irish were often found on the Continent during the first millenium A.D., as clerks, missionaries, and scholars. Alcuin brought Irish scribes to the university at Aachen, sponsored by Charlemagne; and St. Gall, the founder of the model monastery in Switzerland, was himself Irish, a disciple of St. Columba. An Irish/German name is thus not beyond the bounds of reason. (Dallán Ó Fearchaidhe vom Kirschwald, July, 1992, pg. 9)


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Withycombe (p.xliii) mentions "very rare, isolated examples" of period names with multiple name elements: they grow more common in the late 16th Century, but don't become abundant until the 17th Century. Of those rare instances that do occur, three elements seem to have been the norm: e.g. John William Whytting, c.1386; Robert Browne Lilly, b.1593; Arthur Rous Russhe, b.1564. English names with four elements are so rare in period that I would consider the usage a "weirdness," costing a submitter the benefit of the doubt; and English names with five elements ...I must consider over the edge of acceptability. (Catherine Elizabeth Holly Winthrop of Lincolnshire, July, 1992, pg. 18)


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[Tamás of Midian] The land of Midian is mentioned only in Exodus (Moses married a princess of Midian), and does not seem to have still existed by the time of Christ, when Thomas came into use as a name --- much less by medieval times, when the latter was modified by the Magyars to Tamás. As Lord Green Anchor notes, Rule III.2 requires multi-cultural names to show "regular contact between the cultures." While one might argue some contact (albeit one-way) between, say, Old English and Middle English, that argument cannot hold between the Sinai, c.1200 BC, and Hungary, c.1000 AD. These are as culturally incompatible as Aztec and Viking, and may not be used in this manner. (Tamás of Midian, July, 1992, pg. 23)


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Pending a full discussion of Irish patronymics (called for in last month's LoAR cover letter), I am taking the grammatically correct route: female names should use the female patronymic particle. (Briana Nig Uidhir, August, 1992, pg. 3)


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We have no evidence of regular period contact between Russia ...and Cornwall (Fiona Morwenna Seaborne, August, 1992, pg. 4)


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The byname was submitted as Reidleac, but that form combines English and Scots Gaelic into a single word. Such practice is disallowed per Rule III.2.a. We have substituted a completely English spelling [Reidleck]; he could also have the Gaelic Ruadhleac, if he wishes. (Odinel Reidleck, August, 1992, pg. 7)


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According to Lord Palimpsest, [in Irish Gaelic] while the particle Ó prefixes an h to the following vowel, ni does not. (Caitriona Keavy ni Ainle, September, 1992, pg. 4)


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[Kara of Kirriemuir] The given name was submitted as Kara, documented as a Russian diminutive of Karina. However, no evidence was presented for the period Russian/Scots interaction such a name would require [the first name was converted to a Latin name with a similar sound]. (Cara of Kirriemuir, September, 1992, pg. 30)


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[Arianna Gunnarsdottir] The Italian given name does not seem compatible with the Old Norse patronymic. Per Rule III.2, we need evidence of period Old Norse/Italian interaction before we can register this name. (Arianna Gunnarsdottir, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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Stormsinger doesn't appear to be a valid period byname; it smacks too much of fantasy, rather than history. We need some documentation for the name, or at least for similar names. (Dielle Stormsinger, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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The use of the Russian given name with the Irish patronymic violates our requirements for cultural contact, as outlined in Rule III.2. We need some evidence of period interaction between Russia and Ireland. (Akilina O'Cinndeargain, October, 1992, pg. 22)


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[Boris Brighthill] The use of the Russian given name with the English surname violates our requirements for cultural contact, as outlined in Rule III.2. We need some evidence of period interaction between Russia and England. [Such evidence was later presented; see Tatiana Todhunter, March, 1993, pg. 18] (Boris Brighthill, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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The use of four elements in an English name is anomalous (a "weirdness"), costing the submitter the benefit of the doubt (LoAR of July 92, p.18); it's permissible only if there are no other problems with the name. (Aric Thomas Percy Raven, October, 1992, pg. 30)


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[Susanna Elizabeth Marie Wiegner von Kassel] With five name elements in three languages, we require some documentation that this is acceptable period style. Presumably (because of the locative) the primary language is German, so any resubmission should address period German naming style: are there period examples of German names with five elements? Without such examples, I must rule as I did for English names (LoAR of July 92) and Italian names (Sept 92), and disallow German names of five or more elements. (Susanna Elizabeth Marie Wiegner von Kassel, October, 1992, pg. 32)


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The use of [a] Russian given name with [a] French surname violates our requirements for cultural contact, as outlined in Rule III.2. We need some evidence of period interaction between Russia and France. (Tamara Germain, October, 1992, pg. 32)


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A few recent registrations have left some commenters wondering about the exact status of the College's lingua franca rules. Originally, these were simply the acknowledgement of a hard fact: that the grand majority of SCA folk speak modern English, not Russian, Saxon, Latin, Old Norse, or whatever. The principle was first expressed as a Board ruling (after they'd received correspondence written in medieval Latin!), and codified in the 1986 edition of the Rules for Submissions:

"The official language of the Society is and shall be correct modern English ...Simple particles, such as 'of', may be used without necessarily increasing the counted number of languages contained in the name. The formula <given name + 'of' + placename>, whatever the original languages, is acceptable. This is the usual historian's manner, and therefore Otto of Freising is a familiar form, though he would have been Otto von Freising or some other more Geman or Latin version in most contemporary documents." [NR1]
The same allowance for of is found in the current Rules (Rule III.2.a), though not spelled out in such detail.

Less codified, but of long practice, has been the translation of epithets into our lingua franca. Again, this follows a common historian's usage: Harald I of Norway, for instance, is far better known as Harald Fairhair than by the untranslated Harald Haarfagr. Eric the Red, Philip the Good, Charles the Fat, all are translations of the period names, not the period names themselves. SCA names are permitted a similar translation: a simple epithet, documented as a period form, may be translated into English. (We prefer to register the untranslated form, but I concede that such rigor doesn't always serve our clients' best interests.)

The use of lingua franca translation is extended only to single, simple descriptives. Given names, for instance, may not normally be translated into their putative meaning: e.g. Bear may not be used as a given name, even though it's the lingua franca translation of the given name Björn. Placenames, hereditary surnames, and bynames from different languages (e.g. French and German) likewise don't fall under the lingua franca allowance.

The English translation should be chosen to minimize any intrusive modernity: e.g. the Old Norse byname kunta is better translated as "wench" than as the intrusive "bimbo". (Well, actually, neither of those is exactly right, but there may be children reading.) Period terms are always preferable, but when necessary, we will translate documented period epithets into the Society's common tongue. That seems to be the best compromise between the needs of authenticity and ease of use. (28 March, 1993 Cover Letter (January, 1993 LoAR), pp. 2-3)


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In asking commenters to present documentation on Gaelic patronymics (LoAR cover letter of 3 Aug 92), I'd hoped to reach a final synthesis based on research. Results of that research to date have supported our current policy: that, for purely Gaelic patronymics, masculine constructions should not be used in female names. (A handful of examples were offered of female names in masculine constructions --- but they all seem to be anglicized forms, not pure Gaelic forms.) I'd be delighted if counter-evidence were presented --- I all but got down on my knees and begged for such counter-evidence to be presented --- but none has been received to date. As our current policy is based on evidence, so must any change in policy be based on evidence. (Katherine ni Cheallaigh of Skye, January, 1993, pg. 19)


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The use of the Russian given name with the French epithet is in apparent violation of Rule III.2. We need evidence of regular period contact between Russia and France before we can register this name. (Marina la Perdu, January, 1993, pg. 34)


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[The name] was submitted as Caer Daibhidh, combining Welsh and Scots Gaelic in a single phrase. This isn't normally permitted, per Rule III.2.a, and has been the reason for the last three returns of their name. The submitters provided evidence (augmented by Lady Harpy) that the element caer- is found in many Scots placenames: e.g. Caerlaverock, Caerlanrig, Caer Ruther. However, in those cases caer- doesn't seem to be from Welsh; the prefix derives either from the Gaelic cathair or from the extinct Cumbric cair, and is only spelled Caer in its modern form, due to the Welsh influence.

It could be argued that, even if Caer were derived from the Gaelic cathair, the submitted name would still seem acceptable, given the cited examples. Most of those examples, though, are anglicized forms; and while an anglicized Caerdavid would be perfectly acceptable, the submitted Gaelic spelling of Daibhidh requires a plausible construction for that language. Not only must Daibhidh be put into the genitive case, but an unanglicized form of Caer must be used. The submission forms do not forbid grammatical corrections, so we've substituted the correct Gaelic spelling; the pronunciation is nearly unchanged from their submitted form. If they prefer the spelling Caer, they may resubmit Caerdavid or the fully Welsh Caer Ddafydd. (College of Cathair Dhaibhaidh, March, 1993, pg. 3)


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A couple of our onomasticists have argued for increased standards of temporal compatibility in SCA names: that the English of the 5th and 16th Centuries are as culturally immiscible as Aztec and Viking, and should be as unacceptable, per Rule III.2. The College has mostly been concerned that the parts of a name be compatible geographically (e.g. French and Italian); we've never been strict about the equivalent temporal mismatches. Both Mistress Alisoun and Master Da'ud declined to make temporal compatibility a reason for return. To paraphrase Mistress Alisoun, in a Society where a 10th Century Viking can sit beside an Elizabethan lady at a feast, temporal requirements probably aren't worth the grief. Moreover, some names changed very little over time, in any given country (the modern English John hasn't changed in half a millennium); temporal problems are thus more difficult to demonstrate than geographic problems.

I've no intention of completely overturning the policy of my predecessors. However, in a number of my recent rulings, I've ruled that excessive temporal mismatching can be considered a "weirdness", costing the submitter the benefit of the doubt. With this LoAR, I hereby make the new policy official: If the elements of a submitted name are dated too far apart, then any other anomaly in the name may combine to force it to be returned. The greater the temporal divide, the greater the anomaly: a given name and byname whose spellings are documented within, say, a century of each other will probably be all right, but a three-century divide is pushing it.

By itself, temporal incompatibility is still not sufficient reason for return. I haven't yet been faced with a case so extreme (a couple of millennia, say) to require a return; our worst instance of temporal mismatch (Tamas of Midian) also involved geographic mismatch as well. But henceforth, excessive temporal mismatch may contribute to a name's unacceptability; another problem with the name may cause it to be returned. (8 May, 1993 Cover Letter (March, 1993 LoAR), pg. 4)


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[Catherine of Deva] The city now called Chester ceased to be called Deva around the time of the birth of Christ; the use of the latter with the name of a 3rd Century martyr is, in Lady Harpy's words, "screamingly improbable." It is, however, the only "weirdness" in the name, and we're generally forgiving of such anachronisms. (Catherine of Deva, March, 1993, pg. 9)


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The submitter documents period interaction between England and Russia: Ivan the Terrible took some pains to cultivate a friendly relationship with England. He chartered the London-based Muscovy Company in 1555 to set up trading depots throughout Muscovy (Basil Dmytryshny, Medieval Russia: A Source Book, 900-1700), and himself sought to marry one of Queen Elizabeth's ladies (1911 E.Brit. , vol.xv, p.90). Henceforth, we will register English-Russian names from that period. [Supercedes precedent of October 1992, pg. 20 (Boris Brighthill)] (Tatiana Todhunter, March, 1993, pg. 18)


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We accept German/Spanish interaction, thanks to the Hapsburgs, but German/Argentinian interaction in period remains to be demonstrated (Magda Azul, May, 1993, pg. 1)


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[Diego Florez Mendez] The use of the double surname is documented to the late 13th Century: e.g. Pedro Fernandez Vermudiz, 1244. It's acceptable here, since both Florez and Mendez are patronymic forms; the submitted name means "Diego, son of Floro, son of Menendo." (Diego Florez Mendez, May, 1993, pg. 6)


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The submitter has documented a pattern of use involving Gaelic names with the Welsh patronymic particle ap. It's reasonable to extend this exception to Rule III.2.a to the feminine equivalent ferch. (Mwynwenn ferch Maelsnectain, July, 1993, pg. 10)


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Yiddish, from Eastern Europe, has not been shown to have enough period interaction with Irish to justify combining them in a name. (Deborah Fey O'Mora, August, 1993, pg. 9)


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While we have evidence of Arabic/Italian interaction in period, Persian/Italian interaction has yet to be demonstrated. (Beatrice Carmela Mercante, September, 1993, pg. 6)


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Lady Harpy has provided documentation from Socin of the use of zu in its older form ze in locatives with the names of towns and villages: ze Froberg, ze Bernowe (p. 272) and ze Tattenriet (p. 277). (Anna zu Euskirchen, September, 1993, pg. 9)


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[Magnus Bjornsson Fairhair] The current construction describes the submitter's father Bjorn as "fairhair" and not himself. If the submitter wishes to be the blond, he should resubmit as Magnus Fairhair Bjornsson. (Magnus Bjornsson Fairhair, September, 1993, pg. 13)


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[James o' Gordon] Please make sure the submitter understands that the byname is not a patronymic; it is a toponymic, "of Gordon", the latter being a place. This would be acceptable even without the apostrophe: the OED cites o as a period spelling of "of". (James o' Gordon, October, 1993, pg. 1)


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[Borhe Olafs] Lacking any direct evidence to the contrary, we will assume that the genitive form of the father's name [Olafr], with no suffixes or particles, is as acceptable here as it would be in English (e.g. Stevens). (Borhe Olafs, October, 1993, pg. 6)


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Swedish-Italian interaction is documented in the Saga of Harald the Ruthless, the story of a Viking's expedition to Sicily: "Actually, King Harald the Ruthless didn't do so well in southern Italy because he met up with compatriots, tribal brothers. Normans from Normandy had moved down there ...even threatening Byzantine properties." (The Norsemen by Count Eric Oxenstierna, p. 279). Swedes, of course, formed the original Verangian guard in Byzantium, and from there they sailed the Mediterranean. The Italian historian Liudprand (ca. 922-972) wrote in Byzantium, "There is a race living in the north whom the Greeks, because of a peculiarity [he is referring to their red-blond coloring] call Rusii, whereas we call them Normans, according to the location of their homeland. " (quotes in original text, ibid., p. 107). An Italian-Scandinavian name would therefore be acceptable. (Sylvia Stjarnstirrare, October, 1993, pg. 10)


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Note that we have in the past allowed the use of Mac with English given names. (Logan Mersc Macjenkyne, October, 1993, pg. 11)


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There was some question of Gaelic-Italian interaction in period, but note that St. Columbanus of Ireland (b. Leinster, 543 AD) founded his last monastery in Bobbio, in the foothills of the Apennine mountains of Italy, bringing Christianity to the heathens living there. (Gabriella Allegra Palumbo O'Loingsigh, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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Note that Spanish-English cultural interaction is easily attested via various Tudor marriages; Philip of Spain and Bloody Mary spring to mind. (Maria Adelina Garcia de Macjenkyne, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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NAMES -- Greek


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Rather to our surprise, the Classic Greek for "fire hair" really is the idiom for a redhead (Danielis Pyrsokomos, September, 1992, pg. 31)


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[Flamehair] We have in the past returned such epithets as Fyrlocc, on the grounds that they didn't follow known period models for English bynames. However, given the recent documentation of Pyrsokomos "flame-hair" as a valid Greek epithet, we are now inclined to permit its lingua franca translation --- but only for names where the original Greek epithet would be acceptable. The submitter will have to demonstrate regular period interaction between Ireland and Greece before this name meets that criterion --- or else show the construction follows period English models. (Fiona Flamehair, May, 1993, pg. 14)


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NAMES -- Group


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[Shire of Fire Mountain Keep] Given that the Latin and Old Norse terms for volcano translate more-or-less to "mountain with fire", we can consider this name a translation into the Society's lingua franca. (Shire of Fire Mountain Keep, June, 1992, pg. 1)


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[Sigelhundas] Some commenters wondered whether the name's meaning ["sun-dogs"] was reasonable, but given such Anglo-Saxon terms as sigelwaras "sun-men" (their term for Ethiopians), we saw no reason not to accept the construction. The Saxons probably would have used the term to refer to African dogs, not to the refraction of sunlight by ice crystals in the upper atmosphere, but I suspect the submitters know that [dogs were used in the armory]. (Shire of Sigelhundas, July, 1992, pg. 2)


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There was some question as to whether the released name of a disbanded group could be used in a new personal name. Such new names must start from scratch, but the original documentation of the dead SCA branch might still be consulted. (Sebastian of Ventbarre, September, 1992, pg. 35)


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[Canton of Chuzan] There was some discussion as to whether this conflicts with Chuzan, the old name of central Okinawa (where the canton is located). The 1986 edition of the Rules for Submission permitted branch names to "use an old in-period name for the territory actually encompassed in the mundane world by that branch", so long as the old name wasn't in modern use (NR18.c). Thus, for instance, a Society branch along the Atlantic Canadian coast could call itself Vinland under the old Rules.

The current Rules do not contain that provision for obsolete placenames to be used by Society branches. I asked Mistress Alisoun, former Laurel Queen of Arms, and she told me the omission was deliberate. The 1986 Rules protected all mundane placenames, no matter how unimportant or obscure; a special dispensation for SCA branches was sometimes needed. The current Rules protect only famous or important placenames. Thus, if the obsolete name for a territory currently occupied by a Society branch is important or famous, it's protected against conflict by anyone (including the SCA branch); if the obsolete name is unimportant, there's no conflict in the first place, and any branch could use the name [name returned for a different conflict]. (Canton of Chuzan, September, 1992, pg. 53)


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Two ...possible problems with the name were mentioned in the commentary .. . The second question, raised in the LOI, involved the use in the SCA, by a Society group, of the mundane name of the same group. Most of the officers and members of Windwardshire are mundanely the officers and members of the Windward Foundation, a 20th Century non-profit corporation. The Society does not permit its members to use their legal names as their SCA names, requiring some distance between modern and medieval identities; the prohibition is found in the Administrative Guidelines, Protected Items -- I: Any Name or Armory used by the Submitter outside the Society. The LOI raised the question as to whether the prohibition applied to groups as well as individuals.

A case could be made for maintaining some distance between modern and medieval identities, even for groups. The two most persuasive concerns are the need to avoid confusion, and the desire to not compel SCA members to join a modern group. The first concern can be better illustrated by, say, a campus group submitting the name of their college (e.g. a group at Santa Monica College, here in Caid, submitting the name College of Santa Monica). The second concern (which I hasten to note is as yet hypothetical!) would have the mundane group require membership in the mundane group as a condition for participating with the SCA group; it's irrelevant whether such a requirement were de jure or simply through social pressure.

The first concern was addressed by the commenters. Most of them felt that, just as simple non-identity prevented confusion between an individual's legal and Society names, it would prevent confusion between a group's legal and Society names. The mundane group is not called Windwardshire; the SCA group is never called anything else.

The other concern is not solely the province of the College of Arms. All the Powers That Be in a Kingdom should object to any illegal coercion such as I've described. A submissions herald might suspect, by a group's choice of name, that such coercion may be happening; if so, he should bring it to the attention of the Kingdom Seneschal, and the two officers should deal with the matter as seems best ...But the mere suspicion of possible future misconduct by a group is not, by itself, grounds for returning their name [name returned for mundane conflict]. (Windwardshire, August, 1993, pg. 14)


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NAMES -- Guild


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[Saltare] This was submitted as the name for the Kingdom dance guild. Unfortunately, the infinitive verb "to dance" (in English or in Latin) doesn't seem to be a valid group name. Similar guild names in period seem to have been straightforward descriptions of their craft: Company of Coopers, Baker's Guild, etc. We could see a bit more fanciful name, such as the Guild of St. Vitus or the Terpsichorean Guild. We could even see using the Latin saltare, properly conjugated, as part of a Latinized guild name. But the simple "to dance", with no noun or designator, cannot be accepted without more evidence than we've been given. (Kingdom of Meridies, September, 1992, pg. 49)


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[Weasel Works] The household name doesn't seem to follow known period usage. The word works appears to be a late-period term referring to a factory; when modified with a noun, the noun is considered the product of the factory (e.g. iron works). A weasel works, then, would not be a factory owned by a man named Weasel, but a factory that made weasels. This appears highly implausible, even as a metaphor. We need some evidence of period compatibility before we can register this name. (Weasel Works (Morgaine Brisen), January, 1993, pg. 27)


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NAMES -- Holding


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[Alternate name returned for lack of primary name] I don't believe holding names can be formed for anything but armory. (Sophia Sans Peur (Sophia Fearadaigh), August, 1992, pg. 29)


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Lord Rocket has asked whether we've changed our policy on the formation of holding names. I wasn't aware that I'd made any changes --- if anything, I've tried to follow the policy as I'd learned it, as outlined in the LoAR of 19 Jan 86. Unfortunately, nowhere in the current Rules do we explicitly state how holding names are to be formed; precedent and "tradition" must therefore be our guides.

When he first took over the Laurel office, Master Da'ud began a series for Tournaments Illuminated; his first column (Winter 90, p.8) discussed holding names. In re-reading that column, I note at least one statement with which I seriously disagree: the statement that a holding name "is NOT your `registered' name, nor are you `stuck' with it." Au contraire: the holding name is indeed a submitter's registered name, until such time as a corrected name is resubmitted. It's in the A&O, it's on the file folder in Laurel's files, we check it for conflict and protect it afterward --- that fits the definition of "registered" in Laurel's eyes. The holding name is to be used in court, on scrolls, on the tourney field, and for all official functions --- until the submitter changes it. We encourage the submitter to change it: by definition, a holding name is used when we would otherwise have to return the armory submission for lack of a name, and we charge no fee for changing a holding name.

That being the case, the holding name should serve "to emphasize the fact that this was a temporary measure, not an unauthorized modification. (Timothy of Carraig Ban ...is more obviously a temporary substitute than [the submitted name with the objectionable phrase omitted].) The idea is to encourage the submitter to correct the problem himself." [LoAR of Jan 86, p.7]

Depending on the case, I will usually form a holding name by combining the submitter's mundane given name with the name of his/her SCA branch. Exceptions may be made when the submitter has specified the holding name he/she would like to receive, or when the use of the mundane given name would sound modern to the ear. In the end, it shouldn't matter exactly how the holding name was formed; submitters with holding names should still be encouraged to resubmit their names, with the problems corrected. (10 June, 1993 Cover Letter (May, 1993 LoAR), pg. 3)


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The name Jay MacPhunn was returned on the LoAR of June 93. Normally, we'd register the device submission under a holding name. However, we could not legitimately form a holding name in this case. We usually form holding names from the submitter's mundane given name and his local SCA group; in special cases, we might borrow from the submitted name as well. But the original name was returned because Jay, the submitter's mundane given name, is intrusively modern [See under NAMES -- Legal]. A holding name formed in the usual manner would have the same problem; indeed, all the alternate names suggested by the submitter had that problem. We could not form a holding name in this case --- and therefore cannot register the device.

Some of my staff thought it unfortunate that this device be returned on a technicality regarding the name, and urged me to form a holding name out of whole cloth: Jason of Havbjorn, for instance. I considered it, but decided not to set such a dangerous precedent. The College of Arms already has a reputation for arbitrarily changing people's names. I see no need to fuel that reputation by selecting a name for this client from thin air; that would be truly arbitrary. At least, when correcting people's grammar, we try to give them a name with their desired meaning; when forming a holding name, we either use elements from the submitted name (which we can therefore assume are acceptable to the client) or else the mundane name and SCA branch, following a procedure carefully defined beforehand. Choosing a name on a whim for this submitter would follow neither his preference nor our procedure; it would usurp his privilege to choose his own Society name. Even with the best of intentions --- to register his device --- I'm not willing to take that step. (Jay MacPhunn, July, 1993, pg. 17)


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NAMES -- Household


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Households, as they are generally known in the Society, don't appear to have historical equivalents; they seem to be unique to the SCA. My best definition would be: "A household is a non-official group of people who like to do things together in a Society context, to the point where they can be treated as a single unit." That definition covers groups of friends, small families, professional guilds (entertainment, brewing, waterbearers, &c), fighting units, and even businesses.

While there were no exact parallels in period to SCA households, there were historical groups that shared one or more functions with the latter. These include the Scots clans (Clan Stewart); ruling dynasties (House of Anjou); professional guilds (Baker's Guild of Augsburg, Worshipful Company of Coopers); military units, including mercenaries (The White Company); and inns (House of the White Hart). Such names as these groups took, then, should be the pattern on which SCA household names are built.

Some house names were taken from the place of origin: House of York, House of Lorraine, House of Valois. Some were taken from a personal epithet of the founder, shared by neither his father nor siblings: House Capet. Some were taken from the founders' surnames -- which, in turn, might be derived originally from a patronymic (Clan MacGregor), a toponymic (Clan Kerr), or an occupation (Clan Stewart). Guild names were straightforward descriptions of their crafts. Mercenary units might be more fanciful, and inn names most fanciful of all; but these still referred to livery or signboards -- in short, to a badge, which was a tangible thing.

House names in period don't seem to have been overly fantastic. For the most part, they come from the same linguistic well as period bynames. In particular, since a period house name was so often simply the surname, byname, or epithet of its founder, any such epithet that is acceptable in a Society personal name should be acceptable as a Society household name. This is the rule of thumb I've formulated for determining the acceptability of household names henceforth. If we would register John X, we should register House X as well. We would not permit John Starwalker, so we should not permit House Starwalker. We would register John of the Red Sickles (wincing, perhaps, but we would), so we should register House of the Red Sickles. (2 July, 1992 Cover Letter (June, 1992 LoAR), pg. 3)


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[House Shadowglade] The household name does not appear to follow period exemplars. For one thing, it's nonsense: by definition, a glade is a sunny area. For another thing, we've no period documentation of shadow- used as a theme in English placenames. While I might have stretched that point for an otherwise-acceptable construction, I can't see period houses using such an oxymoron as this. (Tristan Blackmoor of Darkwoods, August, 1992, pg. 23)


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[Egil's Nest] This conflicts with Eagle's Nest, a place among the Killarney Lakes in County Kerry, Ireland. It is cited in a general reference (The New Century Cyclopedia of Names, vol.I, p.1379), so it's important enough to protect. (Egill von Stahl, August, 1992, pg. 27)


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[House Catmask] Catmask doesn't seem to be a period term; the closest phrase in the OED, cat-face, dates to the 19th Century. Even as a constructed noun, it doesn't seem a plausible house name; it might conceivably be an inn name, but only if it were a period noun. (House Catmask (Iarngard Ragnarson), August, 1992, pg. 32)


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[Seeker's Keep] Keep is the household designator here. (Seeker's Keep (Aelfric se Droflic), September, 1992, pg. 1)


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[Tempest Tower] If Tower is considered the household designator (and therefore transparent with respect to conflict), this conflicts with the Order of the Tempest ...Were we to add a designator (e.g. House Tempest Tower), so that Tower became the substantive element of the name, this would conflict with the Order of the Towers of Dreiburgen ...The designator is transparent; the addition of the branch name is worth no difference, per the ruling on the Golden Swan of Calontir; the only countable difference, under the current Rules, is the addition of the adjective Tempest --- which is insufficient, per Rule V.2. (David van den Storm, September, 1992, pg. 38)


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[Iron Horde of Cathanar] As in the case of the Company of the Checquered Shield of Western Seas (LoAR of 19 Jan 91), the use of the SCA branch name implies this is an official group of the Barony of Cathanar. As the submitter doesn't represent Cathanar, he may not style his household in a way that suggests official sanction. (If he has official sanction from Cathanar, the name should be registered to Cathanar.)

Normally, we'd delete the problematic part of the name, and register this as simply the Iron Horde, but that would then introduce conflicts. Specifically, it would conflict with the Iron Guard, a Rumanian fascist organization founded in 1924. Paramilitary and strongly anti-Semite, it played a major role in Rumanian history prior to and during World War II (including the assassination of one Premier and the installation of another). Since it's cited in several general references (The New Century Cyclopedia of Names, vol.II, p.2135; 1991 Encyclopedia Britannica, vol.7, p.388), the Iron Guard is important enough to protect. (And in any case, I doubt the submitter would like a household name so close to a group whose atrocities offended even the Nazi Gestapo.) (Mengü of Cathanar, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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The sennachie, or seanchaidhe, were more than simply historians; they studied and told the old tales and legends, and were the keepers of genealogy and tradition in Ireland and the Scottish highlands. The sennachie became a semi-hereditary class, similar to bards; and it's worth noting that the office of the High Sennachie was the precursor to the Lyon King of Arms. As such, seanchaidhe is a title and rank, not merely the Irish for "historian"; it may not be registered as a household name. (Seonaid of Nairn, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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[House Castor Bellator] The household name is Latin for "warrior beaver". This doesn't follow our current guidelines for household names: we wouldn't register John the Warrior Beaver, so we shouldn't register this. It is barely possible that House of the Warrior Beaver might be a late-period English inn name --- but such a name wouldn't be in Latin. (Eadwyn Inhold., September, 1992, pg. 48)


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[Maison des Animaux] The name is intrusively modern, strongly evoking the film Animal House (of which the name is an exact translation). Translation into another tongue can bring a name clear, per Rule V.4.b --- but only if the pronunciation is significantly altered. The difference between Animal and Animaux is too small to be considered significant; and the household designator (House, Maison) is transparent, and counts for no difference. As for the "fame" of the conflict, if a sizable fraction of the populace (of which the College of Arms may be considered a representative sample) recognizes Animal House as a movie title, it's probably necessary to protect it from conflict --- not so much for its own sake, as to keep the modern movie reference from intruding on our medieval re-creation. (Jacqueline de Lyons, September, 1992, pg. 49)


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The household name and badge were twice submitted on the LOI: once under [the submitter's] name, and once under the name of [another submitter]. Per our current policy on joint badge registration (LoAR cover letter of 3 Aug 92), one of these gentles must be designated the primary badge-holder. [Name and badge attached to other name and returned for unrelated reasons]. (Ursus Imminere (Jane Falada of Englewood), October, 1992, pg. 28)


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RamSword does not appear to be a valid construction for a household name: the internal capitalization is implausible, and the word seems to have no meaning. By our rule of thumb on such names, if we wouldn't accept John RamSword (and we wouldn't!), we shouldn't accept House RamSword. (Alaric of Wyvernwood, October, 1992, pg. 31)


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[Weasel Works] The household name doesn't seem to follow known period usage. The word works appears to be a late-period term referring to a factory; when modified with a noun, the noun is considered the product of the factory (e.g. iron works). A weasel works, then, would not be a factory owned by a man named Weasel, but a factory that made weasels. This appears highly implausible, even as a metaphor. We need some evidence of period compatibility before we can register this name. (Weasel Works (Morgaine Brisen), January, 1993, pg. 27)


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[Domus Artium Utilium, meaning House of the Useful Arts] This isn't an unreasonable name for, e.g., a school; it follows the pattern of the Academia Secretorum Naturae, founded at Naples in 1560 (1911 E.Brit., vol.I, p.99). (Domus Artium Utilium (Una Wynifreed Berry), March, 1993, pg. 15)


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[Household name Teulu Ffynnon Ddu] Lady Harpy has noted that the use of teulu ("family") with a toponymic household name does not fit Welsh name structure. However, teulu also means "warband" which makes the name more plausible. (Giovanni Fontananera, October, 1993, pg. 9)


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NAMES -- Irish


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Gargan seems a reasonable anglicization of Geargán. (Gargan Garnet, June, 1992, pg. 1)


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St. Kiara was a female Irish saint, c. 680, according to Butler's Lives of the Saints; the name might also be considered an anglicization of the Irish feminine name Ceara (O Corrain & Maguire p.50). (Kiara o Ddinas Emry, July, 1992, pg. 1)


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[á Kerry] Since Kerry is the anglicized form of the Irish Ciarraí, we have substituted the English preposition. (Berwyn of Kerry, July, 1992, pg. 3)


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Two of July's name submissions sparked a debate on acceptable style for Irish patronymics --- as opposed to grammatically correct style, not quite the same thing --- with Lord Dragon taking one position in the debate and Lord Habicht the other. As far as I can follow the debate, the first position holds that Irish patronymics have a correct grammar which must be used; and, in particular, this means:

  1. O'[given name], with an apostrophe, is an anglicized form, and should use the anglicization of the given name. If the Irish spelling of the given name is desired, the correct form is Ó [given name], with a fada. The two forms should not be mixed: O'Connor and Ó Conchobhair are correct, but not Ó Connor or O'Conchobhair.
  2. Ó [given name] and Mac [given name] are pure patronymics, used by male descendants of [given name]; they should not be used by female descendants, who have their own particles (Ui, ni). Females wishing to use O or Mac should employ the anglicized forms, which were used during and after the transition from pure patronymics to family surname: either, say, Mor ni Chonchobhair or Mor O'Connor, but not Mor Ó Conchobhair.

The second position holds that, while the above statements are grammatically correct, they were not as strictly followed as grammarians might like; there were, in fact, so many grammatical violations in period that it makes no sense to adhere to the above rules. Combinations of Irish particles with anglicized names (and vice versa), or feminine given names with "male-form" patronymics, were commonly used in period; and we should permit them in Society names as well.

I'm undoubtedly over-simplifying both positions enormously --- and perhaps gotten some details wrong, too --- but I hope I've correctly portrayed the essence of each argument. My forte isn't onomastics, so I must rely on the advice of the onomasticists in the College. Cases that require changing (or even returning) an Irish name will depend on which of these arguments I follow. I don't want to make unnecessary changes to submitted names; but I don't want to condone incorrect practice, either.

This sort of debate is best settled by period evidence. Lord Habicht tells me he's compiled evidence that women did use "male-form" patronymics; Lord Dragon tells me he has documentation for his side as well. Other knowledgeable parties in the College may likewise have evidence to present. I urge everyone, therefore, to publish their findings and viewpoints within the next few months. It would be nice if we could end the year with this matter discussed and settled, once and for all [Policy adopted while waiting follows Lord Dragon's view]. (3 August, 1992 Cover Letter (July, 1992 LoAR), pp. 3-4)


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Evidently, the Irish were often found on the Continent during the first millenium A.D., as clerks, missionaries, and scholars. Alcuin brought Irish scribes to the university at Aachen, sponsored by Charlemagne; and St. Gall, the founder of the model monastery in Switzerland, was himself Irish, a disciple of St. Columba. An Irish/German name is thus not beyond the bounds of reason. (Dallan O Fearchaidhe vom Kirschwald, July, 1992, pg. 9)


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St. Kiara was a female Irish saint, c.680, according to Butler's Lives of the Saints. Kiera has been accepted as a variant spelling (Kiera nic an Bhaird, April 92). (Kiera Lye d'Alessandria, July, 1992, pg. 13)


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[ni Connor] The patronymic was submitted as ni Connor, which mixed an Irish particle with an anglicized given name. Lord Dragon found examples of ny as an anglicization of the Irish ; we have substituted that. (Margaret ny Connor, August, 1992, pg. 16)


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The submitter's own documentation gives Rolan as a surname; the closest given name is Rodhlann (or, in modern Irish, Rólann). The double-N changes the sound of the last vowel; it is not a trivial spelling variant [name retured as submittor permitted no changes]. (Rolan O'Cellaigh the Gentle, August, 1992, pg. 25)


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The submitter's documentation gives the surname as Ó Ceallaigh, not O'Cellaigh; the construction O'[name], with an apostrophe, is used with anglicized forms [name retured as submittor permitted no changes]. (Rolan O'Cellaigh the Gentle, August, 1992, pg. 25)


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According to Lord Palimpsest, [in Irish Gaelic] while the particle Ó prefixes an h to the following vowel, ni does not. (Caitriona Keavy ni Ainle, September, 1992, pg. 4)


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Tirlach seems a reasonable anglicization of the Irish given name Toirdhealbhach. (Tirlach Kinsella, September, 1992, pg. 17)


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Particularly for the old Irish form used here, Mag is a masculine particle, and cannot be used with the feminine name Eórann. (Eórann MagUidir, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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Kairenn (Cairenn) appears to be a unique name, that of the mother of Njall of the Nine Hostages of Irish legend. It has been returned before now (Cairenn of CuaRuadh Keep, Aug 91). (Kairenn Suile Gairitecha, September, 1992, pg. 53)


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While Brennan may be an anglicization of the Irish Brénainn, as suggested in the LOI, Lord Dolphin notes that it's also a common anglicization of surnames derived from the given name Bránan --- and should therefore be an acceptable spelling of that name as well. (Brennan Conyngham of Ayrshire, October, 1992, pg. 6)


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The use of the Russian given name with the Irish patronymic violates our requirements for cultural contact, as outlined in Rule III.2. We need some evidence of period interaction between Russia and Ireland. (Akilina O'Cinndeargain, October, 1992, pg. 22)


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Ó Corráin and Maguire (Irish Names ) cite Tara as an anglicization of the period given name Temair, Teamhair. Tara has been submitted by others before, but returned for several reasons: Tara is also the name of the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland, and it didn't seem to be a valid rendering of Temair. ("TAH-wair" would be closer to the latter's pronunciation.) The assumption in previous submissions was that Tara is a modern given name, based on the Irish toponymic (or the mansion in Gone with the Wind), and its association with Temair a back-formation; the historical and magical connotations of the Hill of Tara made it unsuitable for a given name.

However, the Irish name for the Hill of Tara (Teamhair) is identical to the documented given name (Columbia Lippincott Gazetter, p.1877; Room's Dictionary of Irish Place Names, p.118). (Ó Corráin and Maguire note that the Hill was, in fact, named after a Temair of Irish myth.) If the given name and the placename are identical in Irish, and Tara is a valid anglicization of the latter, then it should be acceptable as an anglicization of the former. A similar argument, using surnames instead of placenames, was accepted in the registration of Brayden, on the LoAR of July 92; I see no reason not to accept it here. (Tara of Seaborough., November, 1992, pg. 9)


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The patronymic was submitted as Ó Ceallaigh, with the LOI stating that the submitter "strongly prefers the Gaelic spelling." Her forms, however, also request us to amend the grammar and spelling to be correct for that language. The use of the patronymic particle Ó with a Gaelic name is a purely masculine construction, so far as we can tell from any evidence presented. We've substituted a feminine construction [ní Cheallaigh], with the patronymic aspirated accordingly.

The change described above is our current policy on Irish patronymics; this submission was presented, in part, as an appeal of that policy. The appeal was supposed to have been based on period usage, but little evidence was presented in support: The LOI refers the reader to the client's previous submission (West LOI of 4 April 92). That LOI, in turn, refers to an LOC by Lord Habicht, 10 Nov 88. That LOC, in its turn, refers to a biography of Grania O'Malley (Anne Chambers' Granuaile) which "gives a listing of the many ways that Grania Ui Mhaille's name was rendered in both Gaelic and English records" --- without citing names or dates. At this point, the appeal has gone beyond the bounds of "evidence" into the realm of "folklore".

In asking commenters to present documentation on Gaelic patronymics (LoAR cover letter of 3 Aug 92), I'd hoped to reach a final synthesis based on research. Results of that research to date have supported our current policy: that, for purely Gaelic patronymics, masculine constructions should not be used in female names. (A handful of examples were offered of female names in masculine constructions --- but they all seem to be anglicized forms, not pure Gaelic forms.) I'd be delighted if counter-evidence were presented --- I all but got down on my knees and begged for such counter-evidence to be presented --- but none has been received to date. As our current policy is based on evidence, so must any change in policy be based on evidence.

The submitter may be ní Cheallaigh (purely Irish) or O'Kelly (anglicized Irish), but without real documentation to support the construction, she may not be ...Ó Ceallaigh. (Katherine ní Cheallaigh of Skye, January, 1993, pg. 19)


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Fionnula, in Irish legend, was one of the children of Lir who was transformed into a swan. However, as the name was much used by humans in late period, the combination of Fionnula with a swan is not an excessive reference to the legend; see the LoAR of Aug 92, p.17. (Deirdre ni Fhionnula, May, 1993, pg. 4) Logan seems acceptable as an anglicization of the Irish Locân, Leogán (Logan Hawkwood, May, 1993, pg. 12)


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Yiddish, from Eastern Europe, has not been shown to have enough period interaction with Irish to justify combining them in a name. (Deborah Fey O'Mora, August, 1993, pg. 9)


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While we have evidence of Arabic/Italian interaction in period, Persian/Italian interaction has yet to be demonstrated. (Beatrice Carmela Mercante, September, 1993, pg. 6)


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There was some question of Gaelic-Italian interaction in period, but note that St. Columbanus of Ireland (b. Leinster, 543 AD) founded his last monastery in Bobbio, in the foothills of the Apennine mountains of Italy, bringing Christianity to the heathens living there. (Gabriella Allegra Palumbo O'Loingsigh, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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NAMES -- Italian


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The documentation for Delarosa was from Elsdon Smith's New Dictionary of American Family Names, a most untrustworthy source. Delarosa appears to be the Americanized form of the surname; the original Italian would be Della Rosa. The preposition was almost universally separated from the rest of the byname, according to Fucilla. [Name returned since submittor forbade grammatical changes] (Diana Delarosa di Pergola, August, 1992, pg. 23)


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The submitter documented the last three bynames as Italian nouns ("Mark John Dragon White Wind"), which doesn't appear to be a valid style for Italian names. Even with evidence that Drago, Bianco and Vento are surnames, the use of five name elements is excessive. The longest Italian name documented in the commentary was a 16th Century name with four elements (Giovan Francesco Palladio della Olivi, cited by Lady Ensign). Pending evidence that five-element names are acceptable, I must return this [see aslo the January 1993 LoAR, pg. 23] (Marco Giovanni Drago Bianco Vento, September, 1992, pg. 41)


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[Arianna Gunnarsdottir] The Italian given name does not seem compatible with the Old Norse patronymic. Per Rule III.2, we need evidence of period Old Norse/Italian interaction before we can register this name. (Arianna Gunnarsdottir, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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[Allesandra] According to Lord Palimpsest, Italian pronunciation of double-consonants differs significantly from single consonants; this therefore doesn't seem to be a reasonable variant of the documented Alessandra. (Alessandra Beatrice Desiderio, September, 1993, pg. 1)


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Swedish-Italian interaction is documented in the Saga of Harald the Ruthless, the story of a Viking's expedition to Sicily: "Actually, King Harald the Ruthless didn't do so well in southern Italy because he met up with compatriots, tribal brothers. Normans from Normandy had moved down there ...even threatening Byzantine properties." (The Norsemen by Count Eric Oxenstierna, p. 279). Swedes, of course, formed the original Verangian guard in Byzantium, and from there they sailed the Mediterranean. The Italian historian Liudprand (ca. 922-972) wrote in Byzantium, "There is a race living in the north whom the Greeks, because of a peculiarity [he is referring to their red-blond coloring] call Rusii, whereas we call them Normans, according to the location of their homeland. " (quotes in original text, ibid., p. 107). An Italian-Scandinavian name would therefore be acceptable. (Sylvia Stjarnstirrare, October, 1993, pg. 10)


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There was some question of Gaelic-Italian interaction in period, but note that St. Columbanus of Ireland (b. Leinster, 543 AD) founded his last monastery in Bobbio, in the foothills of the Apennine mountains of Italy, bringing Christianity to the heathens living there. (Gabriella Allegra Palumbo O'Loingsigh, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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NAMES -- Japanese


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"It has previously been determined that, as far as the College of Arms is concerned, the names of the clans with an hereditary claim to the shogunate of Japan are equivalent to the surnames of royal families in Europe, and so may not be registered. I agree with this decision, and am upholding it. Tokugawa may not be used." [BoE, 18 May 86] I agree with this decision, and am upholding it. Tokugawa may not be used. (Tokugawa Basha, May, 1993, pg. 16)


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NAMES -- Jewish


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There remains the question of whether a Hebrew name is in fact a "legal name" within the meaning of II.4. Not all religious names are necessarily legal names; I once had the dubious pleasure of meeting someone from a New Age commune known as Brother Sunshine. In this case, however, the Hebrew name is used in legal documents, including marriage contracts, divorce records, and the like (Michael Asheri, Living Jewish: the Lore and Law of Being a Practicing Jew, p.31). I think it qualifies as a "legal name". (Levia Rhys Llaw Wen, September, 1992, pp. 16-17)


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The name was submitted as Elisheva bas Yehudah Arye ha Cohen. Yehudah and Arye are Hebrew given names; they are also nouns meaning "land of Judah" and "lion". There was concern among the commenters that Yehudah Arye might be a title ("the Lion of Judah"), and the name a claim of relationship. "Lion of Judah" was used as a title by the Emperor of Ethiopia, in the 20th Century; it was also applied to Christ (Revelations 5:5).

As it turns out, Yehudah Arye does not mean "Lion of Judah". According to Lady Triton, the word order in Hebrew determines the meaning of a phrase. "Lion of Judah" would thus be Aryeh (shel) Yehudah. The submitted name is therefore not a claim of relationship to a titled individual [Arye dropped to avoid claim of relationship with Yehudah Aryeh ha Cohen (1571-1648)] (Elisheva bas Yehudah ha Cohen, May, 1993, pg. 7)


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NAMES -- Joke


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[Porsche Audi] Lord Crescent is correct when he states that there is no Rule explicitly banning intrusively modern names. Nonetheless, intrusive modernity is given as a reason for armorial return (VIII.4.b); it is given as a reason for not accepting mundane names, even under the Mundane Name Allowance (II.4); we may reasonably infer that intrusive modernity is unacceptable.

If a specific Rule must be cited, Rule I.1 requires all names to be "compatible with the period and domain of the Society"; moreover, even names formed from period elements can be returned if "they have been specifically declared incompatible by these rules, Laurel precedent, or a policy statement from the Board of Directors." Intrusive modernity has been declared sufficient reason for return in the past: Joe Westermark, the Artemisian Tank Corps, Rolling Thunder, and the Societas Historum Mortum have all been returned for modernity. The precedent is well-established, and therefore, by I.1 may be cited as reason for return.

The fact that this is a "joke name" is not, in and of itself, a problem. The College has registered a number of names, perfectly period in formation, that embodied humor: Drew Steele, Miles Long, and John of Somme Whyre spring to mind as examples. They may elicit chuckles (or groans) from the listener, but no more. Intrusively modern names grab the listener by the scruff of the neck and haul him, will he or nill he, back into the 20th Century. A name that, by its very presence, destroys any medieval ambience is not a name we should register. (Porsche Audi, August, 1992, pg. 28)


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The OED confirms maied as a variant form of mead, "meadow"; ironmaied would be a field where iron could be found (a meteorite fall, or an outcropping of iron ore). The toponymic, though strongly reminiscent of the Iron Maiden, does appear to be a valid construction; and if the submitter can live with the inevitable jokes, so can we. (Darbie of Ironmaid, November, 1992, pg. 2)


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NAMES -- Latin


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[House Castor Bellator] The household name is Latin for "warrior beaver". This doesn't follow our current guidelines for household names: we wouldn't register John the Warrior Beaver, so we shouldn't register this. It is barely possible that House of the Warrior Beaver might be a late-period English inn name --- but such a name wouldn't be in Latin. (Eadwyn Inhold., September, 1992, pg. 48)


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[Saltare] This was submitted as the name for the Kingdom dance guild. Unfortunately, the infinitive verb "to dance" (in English or in Latin) doesn't seem to be a valid group name. Similar guild names in period seem to have been straightforward descriptions of their craft: Company of Coopers, Baker's Guild, etc. We could see a bit more fanciful name, such as the Guild of St. Vitus or the Terpsichorean Guild. We could even see using the Latin saltare, properly conjugated, as part of a Latinized guild name. But the simple "to dance", with no noun or designator, cannot be accepted without more evidence than we've been given. (Kingdom of Meridies, September, 1992, pg. 49)


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[Uodalrica] There was some question in the commentary about the validity of the given name. The original root, Uodalric, is masculine by virtue of its masculine deuterotheme -ric. It's possible that the Latinized form Uodalricus is simply be the default spelling for that time and place --- and therefore, unlike classical Latin names such as Julius/Julia, incapable of being feminized by changing -us to -a. The question cannot be definitively answered, on the basis of the evidence presented for this submission. However, the Society has traditionally been tolerant of feminized forms of period masculine names, whether such feminized names were documented or not; in part, this is an acknowledgement that women's names simply weren't recorded as often as men's names. As a general rule, if the masculine form of a name is documented to period, we assume the feminized form is acceptable. In this particular case, barring any direct evidence to the contrary, we will give the submitter the benefit of the doubt. (Uodalrica MacDonnell, September, 1993, pp. 5-6)


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NAMES -- Legal


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When the mundane middle name is a given, not a surname, it can be used as the SCA given name per Rule II.4. (Dyan of Caledonia, July, 1992, pg. 8)


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There remains the question of whether a Hebrew name is in fact a "legal name" within the meaning of II.4. Not all religious names are necessarily legal names; I once had the dubious pleasure of meeting someone from a New Age commune known as Brother Sunshine. In this case, however, the Hebrew name is used in legal documents, including marriage contracts, divorce records, and the like (Michael Asheri, Living Jewish: the Lore and Law of Being a Practicing Jew, p.31). I think it qualifies as a "legal name". (Levia Rhys Llaw Wen, September, 1992, pp. 16-17)


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It has long been one of the axioms of the Society's re-creation that our players' SCA names should differ from their mundane names. The purpose of the rule is to distance the SCA and mundane worlds, and it's considered almost as fundamental as the requirement for period garb at events. The rule is currently found in the Administrative Handbook, Protected Items --- I: Any name or armory used by the submitter outside the Society.

Until the current Rules, the ban on mundane names was narrowly defined: anything that changed the spelling and pronunciation was sufficient difference from the mundane name. "The minimum change (the one regarded as a loophole by liberals and conservatives alike) is probably the addition or removal of a single syllable (e.g. John Smith to John the Smith)." [BoE, 14 April 85, p.16] However, under the current Rules, the same standard of conflict was applied to the mundane name as to any other protected name. This is a much broader ban, and requires a greater change from the mundane name.

Given the fundamental reason for the mundane name ban, I believe that our current standard is too strict. The Rules say that "no item will be registered to a submitter if it is identical to an item used by the submitter ...outside the Society." (emphasis mine). This suggests that non-identity should suffice to distinguish the Society persona from the mundane. The situation isn't quite the same as for the other names we protect: the concept of "conflict" isn't apropos, there being no infringement involved, and in any case the submitter could always grant himself permission.

Henceforth, I shall apply the previous standard of non-identity: a significant change in spelling and pronunciation will clear a submitted name from the mundane name. In the present case, the addition of the preposition atte suffices to bring the name clear of the submitter's mundane name. (Kenrick atte Kyte, November, 1992, pg. 8)


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[Terrill ferch Mordeyrn] Terrill is documented only as a surname (v. Reaney DBS 350), not as a given name in period. It also happens to be the submitter's mundane middle name. Rule II.4 permits the submitter to use her mundane middle name as her SCA middle name; to use it as any other part of the SCA name requires evidence that the usage is appropriate. We have no evidence in this instance. (Terrill ferch Mordeyrn, January, 1993, pg. 26)


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Jay is documented only as a noun and surname in period; as it's the client's mundane given name, it was submitted under the aegis of Rule II.4. Such submissions, while usually acceptable, can be returned if the name is "obtrusively modern". We find Jay to be obtrusively modern, by virtue of its sound: it sounds like an initial, as in J. P. Morgan, and thus post-period.

We might have considered this acceptable as a "bird name", akin to Robin, had we been shown a common pattern of usage that birds were used as given names in period. But we could think of no examples offhand, save Robin; and one can make a good case that the bird's name derived from the given name (a diminutive of Robert) rather than the reverse. Without period examples, Jay must be considered intrusively modern, and unacceptable even under the Legal Name Allowance. (Jay MacPhunn, June, 1993, pg. 23)


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This submission raised the question of how much difference is needed between the SCA and mundane names. In the LoA&R of November 1992, I returned us to our previous standard of non-identity: "The minimum change (the one regarded as a loophole by liberals and conservatives alike) is probably the addition or deletion of a single syllable (e.g. John Smith to John the Smith)." [LoA&R of April 1985]. Any changes smaller than a single syllable may not be sufficient; they must be argued case by case.

In this case, the submitter's mundane name (Valerie La Rue) was too close to the name she submitted (Valerie Le Roux). The fact that the bynames had different derivations and spellings was irrelevant; their pronunciation was nearly identical. Even under our new relaxed standards, there was not enough separation between the mundane name and SCA persona. Fortunately (!), the submitted byname was also grammatically incorrect: it used the masculine form of the adjective. The feminine equivalent is la Rousse and this is sufficiently different from La Rue to be acceptable in this case. (Valerie la Rousse, September, 1993, pg. 16)


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NAMES -- Mongolian


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[Guardian of the Night with a Mongolian first name] The epithet follows no period naming practice of which we are aware; on the surface, it seems so patently fantasy-oriented as to be unacceptable. At the very least, we need some evidence that Mongols styled themselves in this manner. (Jochi, Guardian of the Night, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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[Kökejin of the Iron Horde] The Mongol hordes were evidently named for colors, not materials; the Golden Horde wasn't so named because of an abundance of the precious metal. The White Horde and the Blue Horde, cited by Lord Clarion, reinforce this naming pattern. The OED cites the adjective iron "having the appearance of iron; of the colour of iron" from 1613, within our 50-year "grey zone" on documentation; Iron Horde is acceptable only as a very late-period translation of a Mongol term. The more period term for "iron-colored" would be irony. [see also Mochi of the Iron Horde, same page] (Kökejin of the Iron Horde, September, 1992, pg. 20)


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NAMES -- Non-Roman Alphabets


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[Ingiriðr] As we've learned to our sorrow in trying to read the numerous formats of the disks sent to us, non-Roman characters are hard to handle, for us and for the Armorial. We register names in the Roman alphabet, not in Cyrillic, kanji, Greek, or runes --- including edhs and thorns. She may certainly spell it with an edh, once the name is registered; but for the record, we have substituted a standard transliteration of the edh [d]. (Ingiridr Hikri Fridriksdottir, August, 1992, pg. 16)


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NAMES -- Norse


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[Fence Splitter] While this is registerable, perhaps you could suggest to the submitter a more authentic byname: e.g. Trandill ("split-stick"), or Timbrklofandi ("timber-splitter"). (Eirikr Fence Splitter, July, 1992, pg. 4)


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[Stormrkartr] The byname is incorrectly formed: in combination, stormr loses its final R. Even were it correctly formed, it wouldn't mean what the submitter claims: stormkartr means "storm cart", not "storm bringer". Finally, even if the name meant "storm bringer", it would be a claim to superhuman powers, forbidden under Rule VI.2. (Knutr Stormrkartr, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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[Magnidottir] Magni is indeed the genitive form of Magnus --- in Latin. The correct form of the name would be either Magnadottir (if her father is Magni) or Magnúsdottir (if her father is Magnus) [name returned as submittor permitted no corrections]. (Ingfridh Magnidottir, August, 1992, pg. 30)


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[Thorfinn Skull Splitter] The byname is the translation of the Old Norse hausakljúlfr (Geirr Bassi, p.22); and having recently accepted the epithet Fence Splitter, we feel we must accept the lingua franca translation of a period byname. (Thorfinn Skull Splitter, September, 1992, pg. 26)


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[Thyrin] The LOI attempted to justify [the given name] as a variant of Thorin. However, the Y/O shift appears implausible for the period in which Thorin was a name [old Norse]. [The documented Norse name Thyrnni was registered instead.] (Thyrnni of Wolfskrag, September, 1992, pg. 36)


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[Arianna Gunnarsdottir] The Italian given name does not seem compatible with the Old Norse patronymic. Per Rule III.2, we need evidence of period Old Norse/Italian interaction before we can register this name. (Arianna Gunnarsdottir, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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[Asbjornsson] Though Asbjarnarson is the standard patronymic form for Old Norse, there are period examples (e.g. Bjornsson) of this variation. (Thorsteinn Asbjornsson, October, 1992, pg. 10)


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[Magnus Bjornsson Fairhair] The current construction describes the submitter's father Bjorn as "fairhair" and not himself. If the submitter wishes to be the blond, he should resubmit as Magnus Fairhair Bjornsson. (Magnus Bjornsson Fairhair, September, 1993, pg. 13)


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[Borhe Olafs] Lacking any direct evidence to the contrary, we will assume that the genitive form of the father's name [Olafr], with no suffixes or particles, is as acceptable here as it would be in English (e.g. Stevens). (Borhe Olafs, October, 1993, pg. 6)


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Swedish-Italian interaction is documented in the Saga of Harald the Ruthless, the story of a Viking's expedition to Sicily: "Actually, King Harald the Ruthless didn't do so well in southern Italy because he met up with compatriots, tribal brothers. Normans from Normandy had moved down there ...even threatening Byzantine properties." (The Norsemen by Count Eric Oxenstierna, p. 279). Swedes, of course, formed the original Verangian guard in Byzantium, and from there they sailed the Mediterranean. The Italian historian Liudprand (ca. 922-972) wrote in Byzantium, "There is a race living in the north whom the Greeks, because of a peculiarity [he is referring to their red-blond coloring] call Rusii, whereas we call them Normans, according to the location of their homeland. " (quotes in original text, ibid., p. 107). An Italian-Scandinavian name would therefore be acceptable. (Sylvia Stjarnstirrare, October, 1993, pg. 10)


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NAMES -- Occupational


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[Bee-Taymer] The OED cites tamer as "one who domesticates [animals]", so it could conceivably apply to bees. Still, Beeward is the more authentic epithet for the occupation. (Rhonda the Bee-Taymer, September, 1992, pg. 15)


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The OED cites instances of horsekeeper and swinekeeper in period; wolfkeeper looks equally acceptable. (Hertha Wolfkeeper, October, 1992, pg. 18)


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NAMES -- Order


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[Order of the Swan and Escallop] This is clear of [Order of the Swan] Per Rule V.2, addition of the phrase "and the Escallop" brings it clear. A similar argument brings it clear of the [Order of the Escallop]. (Order of the Swan and Escallop (Barony of One Thousand Eyes), October, 1992, pg. 4)


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[L'Ordre du Papillon Argente d'Artemisie] Possible conflict was cited with the Papillon Pursuivant, registered to the Kingdom of the West. The original submission (Order of the Papillon of Artemisia) was returned Nov 90 for that conflict; the submitters have added the color. Many commenters felt that there was still a conflict: the designator (Pursuivant/Order of) is transparent, and explicitly worth no difference, per Rule V.4.d; and neither the addition of the adjective nor the branch name is sufficient difference.

The question is whether the combination --- the adjective and the branch name --- is sufficient difference. We've had conflicting precedents on this point: the Order of the Sable Thistle of Ansteorra was deemed clear of the Order of the Thistle on the LoAR of May 80, but the Order of the Golden Swan of Calontir was deemed to conflict with the Order of the Swan on the LoAR of June 88. Neither of those precedents, however, was made under the current Rules.

Under current precedent, the combination of the adjective and the branch name is sufficient difference. This was ruled in the case of the Order of the Sable Lion of Caerthe (LoAR of Aug 90), which was deemed clear of the Lyon King of Arms. We might be moved to make an exception to this policy in extreme cases (e.g. the Order of the Noble Chivalry of the West, or some such thing), but in general it seems a reasonable policy to maintain. (l'Ordre du Papillon Argente d'Artemisie (Principality of Artemisia), May, 1993, pg. 2)


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[Order of the Radiant Rose of Atenveldt] The name conflicts with the SCA's Order of the Rose. Our general policy is that the addition of an adjective plus the territorial branch name is sufficient difference between names --- that is, a hypothetical Order of the White Star of the Middle would not conflict with France's Order of the Star. But we make an exception for the SCA Orders of Peerage, due to their universal application and importance within the Society. We suggest choosing some other noun for the order's name. (Order of the Radiant Rose of Atenveldt (Kingdom of Atenveldt), May, 1993, pg. 14)


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[Order of Perseus] Unlike the cases of Compaignie Mercurie (returned Oct 92) and House Sirius (returned Oct 91), the use of a constellation name here neither infringes on an important location, nor appears to be a claim to extraterrestriality. On the first point, a constellation is not a place; it's a pattern of lights. On the second point, most constellations were named either for artifacts or after characters from ancient myth --- which, during the Renaissance, were also the source for Order names. Given the recent registration of the Order of the Pisces (LoAR of June 92), this is acceptable. (Order of Perseus (Barony of Carolingia), June, 1993, pg. 7)


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NAMES -- Patronymic


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Pending a full discussion of Irish patronymics (called for in last month's LoAR cover letter), I am taking the grammatically correct route: female names should use the female patronymic particle. (Briana Nig Uidhir, August, 1992, pg. 3)


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The byname was submitted as ap Tiernon. This is not a valid variant spelling of the documented ap Teyrnon, according to Lady Harpy. We have substituted the documented form. (Llewellyn ap Teyrnon, August, 1992, pg. 16)


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[Magnidottir] Magni is indeed the genitive form of Magnus --- in Latin. The correct form of the name would be either Magnadottir (if her father is Magni) or Magnusdottir (if her father is Magnus) [name returned as submittor permitted no corrections]. (Ingfridh Magnidottir, August, 1992, pg. 30)


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[MacFlandry] The surname does not appear to be correctly constructed. The LOI attempted to justify MacFlandry as meaning "son of the man from Flanders". There are examples in Black of MacX surnames, where X is an ethnic name: e.g., MacBrabner, "son of the Brabanter", and MacBretny, "son of the Breton". Based on those names, we could accept "son of the man from Flanders" --- but unfortunately, the term for "man from Flanders" is Fleming, which sounds nothing like Flanders (or Flandry). The surname de Flandre, also cited in the documentation, means "of Flanders"; Mac (de) Flandre would mean "son of Flanders", which (except in a metaphoric sense) is impossible. Either Lyulf de Flandry or Lyulf MacFleming would be a valid construction; MacFlandry is not. (Lyulf MacFlandry, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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Particularly for the old Irish form used here, Mag is a masculine particle, and cannot be used with the feminine name Eórann. (Eórann MagUidir, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[Asbjornsson] Though Asbjarnarson is the standard patronymic form for Old Norse, there are period examples (e.g. Bjornsson) of this variation. (Thorsteinn Asbjornsson, October, 1992, pg. 10)


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When used as a patronymic particle, the Welsh merch mutates to ferch. There are some early-period texts where the particle didn't mutate in its written form, but did in its spoken form --- i.e. written "merch" but still pronounced "ferch". We've changed the submitter's spelling, to better match the correct pronunciation; she may resubmit with merch if she wishes, but it seemed best that she do so with full knowledge of its orthoepic niceties. (Rhonwen ferch Alun, December, 1992, pg. 13)


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NAMES -- Persian


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While we have evidence of Arabic/Italian interaction in period, Persian/Italian interaction has yet to be demonstrated. (Beatrice Carmela Mercante, September, 1993, pg. 6)


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NAMES -- Place Names


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It doesn't seem likely that coalescing willow + wood would cause the initial letter of wood to vanish, any more than with oakwood [name was corrected to Willowwood]. (Edward of Willowwood, July, 1992, pg. 12)


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[Glenn Kirrke] Neither the double-N nor the double-R were really plausible variant spellings; the two together stretched plausibility to the breaking point [name registered as Glenkirke]. (Margret of Glenkirke, July, 1992, pg. 14)


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No commenter was comfortable with the argument in the LOI supporting Kithwall ["Kithwall is a constructed place name base on the patter found in Kirkwall (the county seat of Orkney) with the initial element coming from Kithehilt (1296) found in Black as a variant of the locative surname Kinhilt"]. A better case can be made, though: Ekwall cites instances (as well he should) of -wall used as a deuterotheme in English place names (e.g. Thirlwall, from OE thirel, "perforation" + weall, "wall"). Hall's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary gives cith, cyth, "seed, germ, shoot" -- so kithwall means essentially "grassy wall", a reasonable toponymic. (Rorius Domhnall Kithwall, July, 1992, pg. 15)


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[Heronter] The use of -ter in Ekwall is rare, but seems acceptable; however, Herontor would be a far more probable name. (Shire of Heronter, August, 1992, pg. 15)


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There was some question as to whether the released name of a disbanded group could be used in a new personal name. Such new names must start from scratch, but the original documentation of the dead SCA branch might still be consulted. (Sebastian of Ventbarre, September, 1992, pg. 35)


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[d'Ailleurs] The French byname literally means "of Elsewhere", which seems highly improbable as a period locative. (Its more common idiomatic meaning is "on the other hand", which makes even less sense.) We have previously returned names whose locatives were this unspecific: v. Dughal MacDonnel of Kennaquhair ("of Know-Not-Where"), LoAR of Oct 91. (Anne-Marie d'Ailleurs, October, 1992, pg. 21)


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[Calanais Nuadh ("New Calanais")] Nueva España (today called Mexico) was named in 1518; Nouveau France, in 1535; Terra Nova was renamed New-Foundland by 1541; and John Smith gave New England its name in 1614. Given such constructions, the submitted name isn't unreasonable. (Shire of Calanais Nuadh, December, 1992, pg. 5)


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[Wolfgang of Flame] The byname does not seem to be acceptable style. The submitter is from the Barony of the Flame; Wolfgang of the Flame would thus be acceptable. Following the example of his Baron and Baroness, he could also be Wolfgang Flame. But just as those nobles do not style themselves Baron and Baroness of Flame, so is his submitted byname incorrect. As he forbade any changes to his name, this must be returned. (Wolfgang of Flame, January, 1993, pg. 31)


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Abraxa does not appear to be a valid period placename. Its sole use as a placename was in Thomas More's 1516 novel Utopia as the original name of the island of Utopia. The submitter has argued, in an appeal of a return by Lord Vesper, that this demonstrates Abraxa to have been considered a plausible placename in period.

The appeal forgets that More's Utopia is an allegory, with its names being descriptive. They are no more to be taken as valid than the names Pride or Goodman, from medieval morality plays. Given that abraxas is far better documented as a type of incantation or amulet (OED; 1990 E.Brit., vol.1, p.38), we cannot consider it compatible with period toponymic construction --- or, indeed, with period bynames in general --- without better evidence. (Thomas of Abraxa, January, 1993, pg. 35)


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NAMES -- Roman


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The name Aurora "occurs as a Christian name in inscriptions of the Roman Empire." (Dunkling & Gosling, p.36) (Aurora Gillybary, September, 1992, pg. 28)


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NAMES -- Russian


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The name was submitted as Mikhail Vojakin Kazimir, with documentation from Unbegaun. Unfortunately, that documentation does not support this form. Vojakin is not Russian for "warrior", but a surname derived from the word for "warrior" (voyaka, or as Unbegaun spells it, vojaka). If it's to be used as a surname, it should not be in the middle of the name. Likewise, Kazimir is a given name, not a surname, and should not be used in the surname's place. We have made the minimal necessary changes to correct the form of the name [to Mikhail Vojaka Kazimirov]; Mikhail Kazimirovich Vojakin would also be acceptable. (Mikhail Vojaka Kazimirov, August, 1992, pg. 12)


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[Kara of Kirriemuir] The given name was submitted as Kara, documented as a Russian diminutive of Karina. However, no evidence was presented for the period Russian/Scots interaction such a name would require [the first name was converted to a Latin name with a similar sound]. (Cara of Kirriemuir, September, 1992, pg. 30)


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The use of the Russian given name with the Irish patronymic violates our requirements for cultural contact, as outlined in Rule III.2. We need some evidence of period interaction between Russia and Ireland. (Akilina O'Cinndeargain, October, 1992, pg. 22)


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[Boris Brighthill] The use of the Russian given name with the English surname violates our requirements for cultural contact, as outlined in Rule III.2. We need some evidence of period interaction between Russia and England. [Such evidence was later presented; see Tatiana Todhunter, March, 1993, pg. 18] (Boris Brighthill, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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It should be remembered that Unbegaun [in Russian Surnames] originally wrote in German; his transliterations from Cyrillic use the German pronunciation of vowels and consonants. This isn't normally a problem, when the Russian pronunciation is unambiguous; but in this case, given that Russian has a tch letter, Unbegaun's spelling of Voronichin would be incorrectly pronounced by English-speakers. [name registered as Voronikhin]. (Aleksej Voronikhin, November, 1992, pg. 10)


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The use of the Russian given name with the French epithet is in apparent violation of Rule III.2. We need evidence of regular period contact between Russia and France before we can register this name. (Marina la Perdu, January, 1993, pg. 34)


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The submitter documents period interaction between England and Russia: Ivan the Terrible took some pains to cultivate a friendly relationship with England. He chartered the London-based Muscovy Company in 1555 to set up trading depots throughout Muscovy (Basil Dmytryshny, Medieval Russia: A Source Book, 900-1700), and himself sought to marry one of Queen Elizabeth's ladies (1911 E.Brit. , vol.xv, p.90). Henceforth, we will register English-Russian names from that period. [Supercedes precedent of October 1992, pg. 29 (Boris Brighthill)] (Tatiana Todhunter, March, 1993, pg. 18)


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It's been learned that Russian names did use double given names in period: the first was a baptismal (church) name, and the second a popular (secular) name (Unbegaun 8-10). (Vladimir Rurik Sheremetyev, May, 1993, pg. 3)


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NAMES -- Scottish


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No commenter was comfortable with the argument in the LOI supporting Kithwall ["Kithwall is a constructed place name base on the patter found in Kirkwall (the county seat of Orkney) with the initial element coming from Kithehilt (1296) found in Black as a variant of the locative surname Kinhilt"]. A better case can be made, though: Ekwall cites instances (as well he should) of -wall used as a deuterotheme in English place names (e.g. Thirlwall, from OE thirel, "perforation" + weall, "wall"). Hall's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary gives cith, cyth, "seed, germ, shoot" -- so kithwall means essentially "grassy wall", a reasonable toponymic. (Rorius Domhnall Kithwall, July, 1992, pg. 15)


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The byname was submitted as Reidleac, but that form combines English and Scots Gaelic into a single word. Such practice is disallowed per Rule III.2.a. We have substituted a completely English spelling [Reidleck]; he could also have the Gaelic Ruadhleac, if he wishes. (Odinel Reidleck, August, 1992, pg. 7)


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[Sgórrlámh] The byname ...was intended to mean "scar-hand" in Scots Gaelic. Sgórr means "scar" in the sense of "scar on the land; peak, cliff, notch". The word for the mark of a wound is éarradh, so we've followed Lord Habicht's suggestion and changed the byname [to Lamhearradh]. (Duncan Lamhearradh Campbell, September, 1992, pg. 19)


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[Kara of Kirriemuir] The given name was submitted as Kara, documented as a Russian diminutive of Karina. However, no evidence was presented for the period Russian/Scots interaction such a name would require [the first name was converted to a Latin name with a similar sound]. (Cara of Kirriemuir, September, 1992, pg. 30)


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[MacFlandry] The surname does not appear to be correctly constructed. The LOI attempted to justify MacFlandry as meaning "son of the man from Flanders". There are examples in Black of MacX surnames, where X is an ethnic name: e.g., MacBrabner, "son of the Brabanter", and MacBretny, "son of the Breton". Based on those names, we could accept "son of the man from Flanders" --- but unfortunately, the term for "man from Flanders" is Fleming, which sounds nothing like Flanders (or Flandry). The surname de Flandre, also cited in the documentation, means "of Flanders"; Mac (de) Flandre would mean "son of Flanders", which (except in a metaphoric sense) is impossible. Either Lyulf de Flandry or Lyulf MacFleming would be a valid construction; MacFlandry is not. (Lyulf MacFlandry, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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The submitter, on his submission forms, tried to justify MacFlandry as "a made-up Scots-sounding name", ...The name [however] cannot be considered "made-up" when it's documented from period elements; it's the incorrect grammar, not the choice of elements, that mandates the return. (Lyulf MacFlandry, September, 1992, pg. 43)


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The Society considers the use of a clan name (Guinne, Gunn) with the seat of the clan (Kilernan) to be presumptuous; the only examples we've found of such usage are by clan chiefs and their immediate families. (Sine Guinne of Kilernan, January, 1993, pg. 24)


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[The name] was submitted as Caer Daibhidh, combining Welsh and Scots Gaelic in a single phrase. This isn't normally permitted, per Rule III.2.a, and has been the reason for the last three returns of their name. The submitters provided evidence (augmented by Lady Harpy) that the element caer- is found in many Scots placenames: e.g. Caerlaverock, Caerlanrig, Caer Ruther. However, in those cases caer- doesn't seem to be from Welsh; the prefix derives either from the Gaelic cathair or from the extinct Cumbric cair, and is only spelled Caer in its modern form, due to the Welsh influence.

It could be argued that, even if Caer were derived from the Gaelic cathair, the submitted name would still seem acceptable, given the cited examples. Most of those examples, though, are anglicized forms; and while an anglicized Caerdavid would be perfectly acceptable, the submitted Gaelic spelling of Daibhidh requires a plausible construction for that language. Not only must Daibhidh be put into the genitive case, but an unanglicized form of Caer must be used. The submission forms do not forbid grammatical corrections, so we've substituted the correct Gaelic spelling; the pronunciation is nearly unchanged from their submitted form. If they prefer the spelling Caer, they may resubmit Caerdavid or the fully Welsh Caer Ddafydd. (College of Cathair Dhaibhaidh, March, 1993, pg. 3)


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Lord Obelisk has noted a Laurel precedent (v. Duncan Forbes of Crathes, LoAR of Nov 90) that disallowed any use of a Scots surname with a Scots toponymic, as it "implies landedness in possession of a feudal barony." I suspect this was not intended to be a permanent change in our policy, which hitherto had disallowed the use of a Scots clan surname with the seat of the clan. Certainly, in the months following the above ruling, we registered Duncan MacFergus of Kintyre (Dec 90, p.7), John MacRobert of Grandloch (Feb 91, p.6), Fergus MacKillop of Skye (April 91, p.5), Gareth MacGunther of Gordon (April 91, p.8), etc. I believe that, in practice if not explicitly, the Nov 90 precedent has been overturned.

Moreover, there is counter-evidence suggesting that Scots surname-toponymic combinations don't necessarily imply possession of a feudal barony. Frank Adams (Clans, Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands) gives an instance (p.402) of a small homestead, about five acres, being sufficient to warrant the addition of the toponymic. Adams notes that clan names could be modified for a number of reasons, not all of which concern nobiliary claims: he cites "those who, though unconnected by blood with the clan, had become bound to it by bonds of manrent", and "those of the clan who were ...distinguished by the name of the part of the clan territory occupied by them" (p.398). Black (Surnames of Scotland) corroborates this in several of his entries; for instance, on p.xxiv we find two examples (Jhon Mour de Sanchar, Robert Mour de Skeldowy), taken from a guild roster of 1431: non-noble, unconnected to the chief of Clan Muir, but definitely combining a Scots surname with a Scots patronymic.

We will continue to prohibit the use of a Scots clan name with the seat or territory of that clan (e.g. Cameron of Lochiel), or a surname with the phrase of that Ilk (or its functional equivalent, e.g Macintosh of Macintosh). That usage, with or without the given name, is the title of the actual chief of the clan or his immediate kin; its use in the SCA represents a direct infringement on actual nobility, and also appears to be a claim to rank, either of which is grounds for return. But by and large, the use of a Scots surname with a Scots placename is acceptable for SCA use. (Alexander MacIntosh of Islay, March, 1993, pp. 7-8)


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...the combination of a clan name with the seat or territory of the clan is the prerogative of the chief of the clan, and is thus disallowed in the Society. (Magdalene Katherine MacDonald of Sleat, August, 1993, pg. 17)


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NAMES -- Spanish


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[Diego Florez Mendez] The use of the double surname is documented to the late 13th Century: e.g. Pedro Fernandez Vermudiz, 1244. It's acceptable here, since both Florez and Mendez are patronymic forms; the submitted name means "Diego, son of Floro, son of Menendo." (Diego Florez Mendez, May, 1993, pg. 6)


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[De Albuquerque] This is the name of the House of Albuquerque, descended from Sancho de Albuquerque, bastard son of Alphonso XI of Castile. The house may have taken its name from the town of Alburquerque (with two Rs), but the spellings diverged almost immediately. (1911 E.Brit., vol.I, p.516; Louda & Maclagan, table 48) Thus de Albuquerque is not analogous to the English of York; its sole period use was as the surname of a noble house. (Albuquerque, NM, was founded in the early 18th Century; it was named after a Duke of Albuquerque, who was Viceroy of Mexico at the time.) It's not often that a single letter can make the difference between presumption and non-presumption, but that appears to be the case here [name registered as de Alburquerque] (Juana de Alburquerque, May, 1993, pp. 10-11)


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The custom of a Spanish woman changing her name upon marriage only took root within the last hundred years, which is out of period. (Maria Adelina Garcia de Macjenkyne, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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Note that Spanish-English cultural interaction is easily attested via various Tudor marriages; Philip of Spain and Bloody Mary spring to mind. (Maria Adelina Garcia de Macjenkyne, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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NAMES -- Spelling Variants


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Alvira appears acceptable as a variant form of the Spanish Elvira. (Alvira MacDonald, July, 1992, pg. 6)


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It doesn't seem likely that coalescing willow + wood would cause the initial letter of wood to vanish, any more than with oakwood [name was corrected to Willowwood]. (Edward of Willowwood, July, 1992, pg. 12)


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St. Kiara was a female Irish saint, c.680, according to Butler's Lives of the Saints. Kiera has been accepted as a variant spelling (Kiera nic an Bhaird, April 92). (Kiera Lye d'Alessandria, July, 1992, pg. 13)


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[Glenn Kirrke] Neither the double-N nor the double-R were really plausible variant spellings; the two together stretched plausibility to the breaking point [name registered as Glenkirke]. (Margret of Glenkirke, July, 1992, pg. 14)


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The given name was submitted as Leala, claimed to be a variant form of Leila. The documentation did not support that claim: in particular, as Leila derives from the Arabic Lailaa, it probably wouldn't change pronunciation so radically. (Leila Angwin of the Silver Stallion, August, 1992, pg. 5)


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The byname was submitted as ap Tiernon. This is not a valid variant spelling of the documented ap Teyrnon, according to Lady Harpy. We have substituted the documented form. (Llewellyn ap Teyrnon, August, 1992, pg. 16)


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[ni Connor] The patronymic was submitted as ni Connor, which mixed an Irish particle with an anglicized given name. Lord Dragon found examples of ny as an anglicization of the Irish ni; we have substituted that. (Margaret ny Connor, August, 1992, pg. 16)


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Dafyd ...doesn't appear to be a valid variant of the Welsh Dafydd; the two are pronounced quite differently. (Dafydd son of Donwald, August, 1992, pg. 18)


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The submitter's own documentation gives Rolan as a surname; the closest given name is Rodhlann (or, in modern Irish, Rólann). The double-N changes the sound of the last vowel; it is not a trivial spelling variant [name retured as submittor permitted no changes]. (Rolan O'Cellaigh the Gentle, August, 1992, pg. 25)


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The v [in van] wasn't capitalized in Dutch names until later, when they were coalesced into a single surname (e.g. Vanderbilt). (David van den Storm, September, 1992, pg. 5)


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[DuPray] Neither [Reaney, Dictionary of British Surnames nor Dauzat] supported the coalesced, doubly-capitalized form submitted. (Facon du Pray, September, 1992, pg. 6)


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[Thyrin] The LOI attempted to justify [the given name] as a variant of Thorin. However, the Y/O shift appears implausible for the period in which Thorin was a name [old Norse]. [The documented Norse name Thyrnni was registered instead.] (Thyrnni of Wolfskrag, September, 1992, pg. 36)


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[Sparhawke] The byname was submitted as Sparrhawke, but none of our sources could document the double-R. Since it seems to have altered the pronunciation in period, we've substituted the documented spelling. (Joanna Sparhawke, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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While Brennan may be an anglicization of the Irish Brénainn, as suggested in the LOI, Lord Dolphin notes that it's also a common anglicization of surnames derived from the given name Bránan --- and should therefore be an acceptable spelling of that name as well. (Brennan Conyngham of Ayrshire, October, 1992, pg. 6)


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[Asbjornsson] Though Asbjarnarson is the standard patronymic form for Old Norse, there are period examples (e.g. Bjornsson) of this variation. (Thorsteinn Asbjornsson, October, 1992, pg. 10)


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[De la Waterford] While there's ample evidence of the Norman de being used with English placenames, such constructions would not have added a superfluous article; we've therefore deleted it here. (Matilda de Waterford, October, 1992, pg. 11)


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[Kresten] The byname was ...said to be a variant form of the German surname Kriesten, Kristen. However, without documentation, this is too great a change of pronunciation to accept as a mere spelling variant. [name registered as Kresten] (Anastasius Kriesten, October, 1992, pg. 16)


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[verth Evan] Apparently, verth is a rare but acceptable variant of the Welsh patronymic particle verch (ferch). However, it is in effect a period misspelling; and the submitter's own documentation gives verth Jevan as the consistent form of this byname [name registered]. (Eona verth Evan, November, 1992, pg. 2)


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Ó Corráin and Maguire (Irish Names) cite Tara as an anglicization of the period given name Temair, Teamhair. Tara has been submitted by others before, but returned for several reasons: Tara is also the name of the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland, and it didn't seem to be a valid rendering of Temair. ("TAH-wair" would be closer to the latter's pronunciation.) The assumption in previous submissions was that Tara is a modern given name, based on the Irish toponymic (or the mansion in Gone with the Wind), and its association with Temair a back-formation; the historical and magical connotations of the Hill of Tara made it unsuitable for a given name.

However, the Irish name for the Hill of Tara (Teamhair) is identical to the documented given name (Columbia Lippincott Gazetter, p.1877; Room's Dictionary of Irish Place Names, p.118). (O Corrain and Maguire note that the Hill was, in fact, named after a Temair of Irish myth.) If the given name and the placename are identical in Irish, and Tara is a valid anglicization of the latter, then it should be acceptable as an anglicization of the former. A similar argument, using surnames instead of placenames, was accepted in the registration of Brayden, on the LoAR of July 92; I see no reason not to accept it here. (Tara of Seaborough., November, 1992, pg. 9)


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The letter å seems to have been introduced into Swedish during its orthographic reforms at the turn of the century, replacing the older aa [thus å is changed to aa when registering names]. (Torbjorn Dawidsson Staalklinga, November, 1992, pg. 10)


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When used as a patronymic particle, the Welsh merch mutates to ferch. There are some early-period texts where the particle didn't mutate in its written form, but did in its spoken form --- i.e. written "merch" but still pronounced "ferch". We've changed the submitter's spelling, to better match the correct pronunciation; she may resubmit with merch if she wishes, but it seemed best that she do so with full knowledge of its orthoepic niceties. (Rhonwen ferch Alun, December, 1992, pg. 13)


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[Allesandra] According to Lord Palimpsest, Italian pronunciation of double-consonants differs significantly from single consonants; this therefore doesn't seem to be a reasonable variant of the documented Alessandra. (Alessandra Beatrice Desiderio, September, 1993, pg. 1)


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NAMES -- Surnames

The byname was submitted as di Rucellai, implying either a patronymic or a toponymic. Rucellai being documented only as a surname, the preposition was inappropriate, and was deleted. (Gabriella Marguerite Simonetti Rucellai, June, 1992, pg. 1)


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Much of the commentary opposed the byname Windhorse as overly fantastical ("horse that runs on the wind"). Were that the only interpretation of the epithet, I'd agree it would be unacceptable. Ekwall's Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names, however, also cites wind as a variant of OE winn, "meadow, pasture" (as in such names as Windley and Windridge), and "meadow horse" is a much less objectionable byname. (Angharad Gwendraeth o Fynydd Blaena, July, 1992, pg. 1)


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[the Seaborne] While [Seaborne] was unlikely as an epithet, deleting the article made it an acceptable surname. Reaney (DBS2, p.310) derives several similar surnames from the OE Saebeorn, and Bardsley cites the surname Seiborne to 1581. (Fiona Morwenna Seaborne, August, 1992, pg. 4)


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The name was submitted as Mikhail Vojakin Kazimir, with documentation from Unbegaun. Unfortunately, that documentation does not support this form. Vojakin is not Russian for "warrior", but a surname derived from the word for "warrior" (voyaka, or as Unbegaun spells it, vojaka). If it's to be used as a surname, it should not be in the middle of the name. Likewise, Kazimir is a given name, not a surname, and should not be used in the surname's place. We have made the minimal necessary changes to correct the form of the name [to Mikhail Vojaka Kazimirov]; Mikhail Kazimirovich Vojakin would also be acceptable. (Mikhail Vojaka Kazimirov, August, 1992, pg. 12)


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The submitter's documentation gives the surname as Ó Ceallaigh, not O'Cellaigh; the construction O'[name], with an apostrophe, is used with anglicized forms [name retured as submittor permitted no changes]. (Rolan O'Cellaigh the Gentle, August, 1992, pg. 25)


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The custom of a Spanish woman changing her name upon marriage only took root within the last hundred years, which is out of period. (Maria Adelina Garcia de Macjenkyne, October, 1993, pg. 19)


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NAMES -- Titles


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The sennachie, or seanchaidhe, were more than simply historians; they studied and told the old tales and legends, and were the keepers of genealogy and tradition in Ireland and the Scottish highlands. The sennachie became a semi-hereditary class, similar to bards; and it's worth noting that the office of the High Sennachie was the precursor to the Lyon King of Arms. As such, seanchaidhe is a title and rank, not merely the Irish for "historian"; it may not be registered as a household name. (Seonaid of Nairn, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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Baatour is a Mongolian title analogous to "knight;" in the variant spelling Bahadur, it has been reserved as a Society title, for use by Mongol-persona Knights, on the LoAR cover letter of 13 Sept 89. As such, it may not be registered in a name. (Timur Baatour Khitai, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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[Sara Annchen Baumeister] Until such time as the Board of Directors releases the title Master for use by the populace, it must be considered a title of peerage in the Society; we will not register any name that claims to be a "Master [anything]". In the case of the Master Bowmen of the East (LoAR of July 90), it was ruled: "We cannot, in good conscience, register a title reserved by Corpora to peers to any non-peerage group, no matter in what form they propose to use it." The same argument applies to individuals. (Sara Annchen Baumeister, October, 1992, pg. 24)


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It is an ancient and honorable tradition to name heraldic offices after orders: Garter and Toison d'Or (Golden Fleece) are well- known medieval examples, while the classic Society example is (ahem) Laurel. (Kingdom of the East, March, 1993, pg. 5)


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[Taurine Pursuivant] While most heraldic titles in period are nouns (Garter, Lyon), there are a few examples taken from war-cries (Montjoie) and adjectives (Volant) [name accepted]. (Taurine Pursuivant (Middle Kingdom), March, 1993, pg. 13)


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[Falkemeister]Meister (master) is a reserved title in the SCA, and may not be registered --- either alone, or in combination. (David Falkemeister, March, 1993, pg. 19)


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A large part of the Society's re-creation involves titles: bestowing them, earning them, using them. A fundamental axiom is that title, rank and honor may not simply be claimed; John can't call himself Sir John unless he is, in fact, a Knight of the Society. The College's Rules on presumption (in particular, Rule VI.1) follow from this axiom: we won't register any name that sounds like a claim to title, rank or honor.

If someone were to submit an obvious titular claim --- say, Michael Rex --- then the need for return is fairly clear-cut. It's the less straightforward cases that give us headaches: when the "claim" is ambiguous, or when a title evolves into a documented period name. How can we judge which borderline cases are truly presumptous, and which are acceptable?

Examples of period usage help, but don't settle the matter; we also deal with SCA usage, and the perceptions of folk within the Society. (If period usage were our sole guide, then Lord wouldn't be our lowest-ranking title, nor Master one of our highest.) Our lodestar may be found in the Corpora section on Titles (VII.C): our main concern is the appearance of landedness, and of noble or hereditary rank. That, and the list of Society titles, provide some guidelines for judging names, to be balanced with period documentation.

Let me give some concrete examples of the balance we try to keep. The classic example is the given name Regina: a documented given name, but also the Latin for "queen", and on the College's list of titles for use in the Society. If it weren't documented as a name in period, it probably wouldn't be registerable at all (the current case for its masculine counterpart Rex); but as it is documented, it can be used so long as it doesn't violate Corpora's ban on the appearance of landedness. Regina the Baker is acceptable; Regina of Germany is not.

Other names may be acceptable because, even interpreted as titles, they don't interfere with the Society's official title structure. Mary the Apprentice would be registerable because the name implies neither landedness nor official SCA rank. Robert Abbot would be registerable because the "title" is a documented byname, and again implies no official SCA rank. (However, Robert Abbot of Lincoln would imply territoriality, and would be returned.)

Our biggest headache to date has been the title Master/Mistress. Its Society usage as a title of peerage would prevent anyone registering, say, Peter the Master --- despite Master being a documented byname in a number of cultures. Peter the Brewing Master or Peter the Falconry Master are likewise unacceptable, as would be translations into other tongues. This is a case where Society usage takes precedence over such documented bynames as Baumeister. Short of a time machine set for A.S. II, when the first Masters of the Laurel were created, I don't see that anything can be done about the problem at this late date.

The submission that prompted this discussion (Lucius Thayne) was one of these borderline cases. Thaine, Thayne is a documented surname; it's also a rank and title, both in period and in the Society (the OE alternative title for Baron). Its etymology, and literal translation, is "servant"; but that's also the literal translation of knight, so the fact didn't help much. Thane certainly implied landedness in period. The fact that a period thane would have used his title as [Name] thegn, the exact structure of the submitted name, was the deciding factor for me; it gave the submission the appearance of a claim of rank, exactly what our Rules are meant to prevent. Without that final point, the period documentation might have sufficed to make the name acceptable; I really don't know. But you see, now, what sort of juggling act we have to perform --- and why universal satisfaction is impossible. (20 August, 1993 Cover Letter (July, 1993 LoAR), pp. 3-4)


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[Lucius Thayne] A thane (or thegn) was a free retainer in pre-Conquest England, and in Scotland up to the 15th Century; the term denotes a member of territorial nobility corresponding to the Norman baron or knight. The title was one step below the eorl, and might be either earned or inherited. In the SCA, the term is used as the Old English equivalent of "baron", and is therefore reserved. Old English usage puts the title after the name: Ælfred cyning, Leofric eorl, Lyfing arcebisceop. The submitted name is thus exactly in the form that would have been used by a period thane. That fact, along with the Society use of the title, and its hereditary nature in period, outweighs the documented use of Thane, Thaine as a surname later in period. It must therefore be returned as presumptuous. (OED, under the entries for earl, king and thane; '93 E.Brit., vol.11, p.672; Reaney DBS II, pp.112, 345). (Lucius Thayne, July, 1993, pg. 15)


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Short mottos sometimes became became heraldic titles in period. Franklyn and Tanner's Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry cites the following: the Ich Dien Pursuivant who served the Prince of Wales, c.1475 (p.179), and Il Faut Faire Pursuivant; maintained by Sir John Falstaf and from his word or motto (p.180). We will accept such heraldic titles on a case by case basis. (East Kingdom, September, 1993, pg. 11)


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It is poor policy to give a canton, and an incipient canton at that, an heraldic title, but this is an internal matter for the kingdom involved. (East Kingdom, September, 1993, pg. 11)


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NAMES Two Element Requirement


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[The Caravan] The household name runs afoul of Rule III.1, which requires all names to have at least two name elements; group names must have a designator and "at least one descriptive element" (III.1.b). To put it another way, the name is too generic to be reserved to a single group. Just as we would decline to register The Household or The Group --- or, just as we declined to register The Buttery (Marion of Edwinstowe, LoAR of April 89) --- so must we return this name. If they add a descriptive element (and assuming no conflicts), it should be acceptable. (Taichleach Selwyn, March, 1993, pg. 25)


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NAMES -- Unique


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Kairenn (Cairenn) appears to be a unique name, that of the mother of Njall of the Nine Hostages of Irish legend. It has been returned before now (Cairenn of CuaRuadh Keep, Aug 91). (Kairenn Suile Gairitecha, September, 1992, pg. 53)


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Lord Crescent has noted that the only instance of Hiel in the Bible is the name of a man "cursed before the Lord"; he suggests that, for this reason, Hiel would never have actually been used in the Middle Ages. In fact, the names of "cursed" people in the Bible were often used by the non-cursed, even by saints; it's assumed that the name was perfectly innocent before its use by one wicked person. Judas, for instance, was used both by the betrayer of Christ and by one of the Apostles (John 14:22). There's also Ananias, the name of a man struck dead for lying to Peter (Acts 5:5) and of the disciple who restored Paul's sight (Acts 9:17). There are too many such examples for us to disallow a valid period name solely because of "guilt by association"; the name must be shown to be uniquely (or at least overwhelmingly) associated with its "cursed" holder. Lacking such evidence for Hiel, the name should be available for SCA use. (Abiel ben Hiel, March, 1993, pg. 7)


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Without evidence that the courtesan Lalage of antiquity had a unique name, we must assume her name to be generally acceptable. (Lalage la Peregrina, June, 1993, pg. 9)


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NAMES -- Welsh


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Dafyd ...doesn't appear to be a valid variant of the Welsh Dafydd; the two are pronounced quite differently. (Dafydd son of Donwald, August, 1992, pg. 18)


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Briallen is the Welsh for "primrose", and does not seem to have been a given name in period; nor does it belong to a class of common nouns that were regularly used as names in period Welsh. (Briallen o Llanrwst, August, 1992, pg. 22)


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[Iestyn ap Cadfael ap Ianto ap Danno ap Richard ap Owen ap Rhys o'r Cwm] Lord Hund has noted the use on a Welsh gravestone of a similarly lengthy name (John ap Robert ap Porth ap Daffyd ap Gruffydd ap Daffyd Vaughan ap Blethyn ap Gruffydd ap Meredith ap Jerworth ap Llewellyn ap Jerom ap Heilin ap Cowryd ap Cadwan ap Alawgwa ap Cadell of Powys, born 1547). The gravestone is as much a legal "document" as a birth record. (Iestyn ap Cadfael ap Ianto ap Danno ap Richard ap Owen ap Rhys o'r Cwm, September, 1992, pg. 33)


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[verth Evan] Apparently, verth is a rare but acceptable variant of the Welsh patronymic particle verch (ferch). However, it is in effect a period misspelling; and the submitter's own documentation gives verth Jevan as the consistent form of this byname [name registered]. (Eona verth Evan, November, 1992, pg. 2)


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When used as a patronymic particle, the Welsh merch mutates to ferch. There are some early-period texts where the particle didn't mutate in its written form, but did in its spoken form --- i.e. written "merch" but still pronounced "ferch". We've changed the submitter's spelling, to better match the correct pronunciation; she may resubmit with merch if she wishes, but it seemed best that she do so with full knowledge of its orthoepic niceties. (Rhonwen ferch Alun, December, 1992, pg. 13)


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[The name] was submitted as Caer Daibhidh, combining Welsh and Scots Gaelic in a single phrase. This isn't normally permitted, per Rule III.2.a, and has been the reason for the last three returns of their name. The submitters provided evidence (augmented by Lady Harpy) that the element caer- is found in many Scots placenames: e.g. Caerlaverock, Caerlanrig, Caer Ruther. However, in those cases caer- doesn't seem to be from Welsh; the prefix derives either from the Gaelic cathair or from the extinct Cumbric cair, and is only spelled Caer in its modern form, due to the Welsh influence.

It could be argued that, even if Caer were derived from the Gaelic cathair, the submitted name would still seem acceptable, given the cited examples. Most of those examples, though, are anglicized forms; and while an anglicized Caerdavid would be perfectly acceptable, the submitted Gaelic spelling of Daibhidh requires a plausible construction for that language. Not only must Daibhidh be put into the genitive case, but an unanglicized form of Caer must be used. The submission forms do not forbid grammatical corrections, so we've substituted the correct Gaelic spelling; the pronunciation is nearly unchanged from their submitted form. If they prefer the spelling Caer, they may resubmit Caerdavid or the fully Welsh Caer Ddafydd. (College of Cathair Dhaibhaidh, March, 1993, pg. 3)


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There was some question over whether Blodwen ...is a period given Name. Hanks & Hodges (Dictionary of First Names, p.43) unequivocally date it to the Middle Ages. However, Lady Harpy could find no period examples of the name's use in all her sources; she quotes the opinion of a professor in Medieval Welsh that Blodwen as a name dates from the 19th Century. I'd trust Lady Harpy's expertise in this area far more than that of Hanks & Hodges; but either I must declare Hanks & Hodges completely unreliable, even in their most authoritative statements (as we've done for Yonge), or else give the submitter the benefit of the doubt. Since Blodwen has already been accepted for Society use (LoAR of Sept 92), the latter seems the more generous course. (Blodwen ferch Margred, June, 1993, pg. 10)


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The submitter has documented a pattern of use involving Gaelic names with the Welsh patronymic particle ap. It's reasonable to extend this exception to Rule III.2.a to the feminine equivalent ferch. (Mwynwenn ferch Maelsnectain, July, 1993, pg. 10)


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[Household name Teulu Ffynnon Ddu] Lady Harpy has noted that the use of teulu ("family") with a toponymic household name does not fit Welsh name structure. However, teulu also means "warband" which makes the name more plausible. (Giovanni Fontananera, October, 1993, pg. 9)


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NAMES -- Yiddish


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Yiddish, from Eastern Europe, has not been shown to have enough period interaction with Irish to justify combining them in a name. (Deborah Fey O'Mora, August, 1993, pg. 9)


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NEEDLE


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[Per pall inverted arrondi [or schne] a threaded needle inverted bendwise, the needle extending to cover about half the distance possible] As drawn, the needle is completely unidentifiable. It is far too small for the available space; while this normally requires only an admonition to "Draw the charge larger", the flaw is fatal on this field. (Even a correctly-sized needle would be hard pressed to be identified on a field per pall inverted arrondi; the curved lines of the field and thread, and the thinness of the needle, combine to cause confusion rather than clarity.)

If the needle were drawn larger, this might be acceptable; but the submitter would be better advised to choose another field as well. (Hannah Graham, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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NESSELBLATT


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A <charged> nesselblatt is not equivalent to a <charge> within an indented bordure. This would be more apparent if the armory were displayed on a rectangular banner: the nesselblatt would keep its triangular shape, where the bordure would follow the line of the field. (Mielikki Kantelensoittajatar, October, 1993, pg. 1)


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OFFENSIVENESS


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[A triskelion of scythes within an annulet] According to Lord Pale (now Lord Dragon), this motif --- essentially a triskelion gammadion within an annulet --- is the logo of the Afrikaaner Weerstandsbeweging, a pro-apartheid white supremacist group in South Africa. The triskelion gammadion has been used by white supremacists before this: it was the ensign of the Nazi SS's "volunteer" division in Belgium, during WWII. ("Hateful Heraldry", Vuong Manh, in the Caerthan Symposium Proceedings) While the Nazis' use of the symbol doesn't necessarily poison it for our use, the fact that modern racists still use it as their logo suggests it has acquired a permanent symbolism, one that's offensive to many people. The triskelion gammadion, and its variants (such as the triskelion gammadion in annulo, or the current submission's triskelion of scythes) must therefore be disallowed, per Rule IX.4. [See also Nov. 92 LoAR, pg. 14] (Geeraert av København, September, 1992, pg. 39)


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[Haus Robbenschlage, intended to mean "seal-beater"] Clubbing baby seals is repugnant; making jokes about clubbing baby seals is merely in poor taste. However, as several commenters noted, this name seems expressly calculated to offend any listeners, which makes it an affront to courtesy. (Translating it into German does not remove the offense, any more than would translating [redacted] into German.) [name returned for grammatical reasons]. (Maximillian von Halstern, November, 1992, pg. 16)


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[Per bend sinister, a sinister gauntlet sustaining a club, and a seal contourny] The design of the badge does not appear to be offensive. Lord Crescent is probably correct in thinking that the submission of Haus Robbenschlage [intended to mean "seal-beater"], earlier on the LOI, sensitized the College to any suggestion of seal-clubbing. But given the constant heraldic use of weapons (maces, swords, axes, etc.) with animals, this design by itself is unremarkable. (Timothy of Arindale, November, 1992, pg. 16)


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[Azure, three annulets interlaced one and two argent, overall a Latin cross flory Or veiled purpure.] Several commenters wondered whether the combination of the cross, purple Lenten veil, and Trinity symbol constituted excessive religious symbolism. Such excessive symbolism is disallowed under Rule IX.2. This submission has less symbolism than the example of excessive symbolism given in Rule IX.2, but more than an obviously acceptable example (e.g. a single cross). I don't know whether it should be considered excessive, but the submitter should be prepared to argue his case, should he resubmit with this motif. [device returned for contrast and identifiability problems] (Petruccio Alfonso Maria Cuccieri de Cataluña, January, 1993, pg. 26)


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[Or semy of whips sable, a feather bendwise and on a chief gules, a pair of manacles Or] The majority of the commenters found the design offensive, with its overwhelming connotations of bondage and degradation (B&D). While each of the charges may, by itself, be acceptable -- scourges, for instance, were used as martyrs' symbols in period -- the overall effect is excessive. This must be returned, per Rule I.2.

Additionally, many found the semy of whips unidentifiable. Period armory used scourges, with several lashes, to increase recognition; as drawn here, the charges look more like the ends of shepherd's crooks. (Hans the Gentle, July, 1993, pg. 11)


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ORLE


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This is the correct placement of an orle with a chief: the orle runs parallel to the edge of the chief, and is not surmounted by it. See the arms of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, used by them c.1590. (Bromley & Child, Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London, p.180). (Guillaume de la Rapiere, August, 1992, pg. 4)


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[Gyronny azure and argent, an orle vs. Gyronny azure and argent] The orle, as a peripheral ordinary, is by definition not a primary charge; Rule X.1 cannot be invoked here. (Galen MacDonald, August, 1992, pg. 29)


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There was a strong feeling in the College that the double tressure dancetty braced was non-period style, and at first I was inclined to agree. On reflection, however, I found I couldn't put a name to exactly why I felt so. Visually, this is not so different from an orle masculy, or saltorels couped and conjoined in orle, either of which would have raised far less objection. It's balanced, blazonable, and reproducible. The College has in the past registered bars dancetty braced (Katherine d'Argentigny, July 86), so we even have a precedent for this.

I suspect most of the College's objection arose from our long-standing ban on Celtic knotwork, which sometimes extends to anything even resembling Celtic knotwork. As noted in the commentary, though, this isn't Celtic knotwork: the sharp corners and lack of braiding make that clear.

With no substantive reason to return the motif, I've decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. I'm open to further arguments for or against it, and I would definitely count it a "weirdness" --- but not reason for return. (Shire of Otherhill, January, 1993, pg. 4)


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The orle is considered a peripheral charge (LoAR of Aug 92, p.29), so its addition does not invoke Rule X.1. (Frithiof Sigvardsson Skägge, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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[Per fess purpure and vert, a <charge> within a bordure argent charged with a tressure per fess purpure and vert, originally blazoned as an orle and a bordure] The submission caused us a few minutes of heartburn. The equal width of the outer three stripes, and the fact that the central stripe is of the field, gave this the appearance of a bordure voided, not of an orle within a bordure. Bordures voided and fimbriated have been disallowed since Aug 83. Playing with the widths a bit, to make this a bordure cotised, would be equally unacceptable. On the other hand, a bordure charged with a tressure is a perfectly legal design. In the end, we decided that the latter blazon is the most accurate and reproducible description of the submitted emblazon --- and since it appears to be legal, we've accepted it. It also guarantees the device to be clear of [Azure, a <same charge> within a double tressure argent]. (Lisette de Ville, August, 1993, pg. 10)


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The orle flory has been disallowed for SCA use: it's too reminiscent of the double tressure flory counter-flory, which is an augmentation from the Scots crown. This precedent has been affirmed as recently as the LoAR of Sept 89. Indeed, given period renditions of the arms of Scotland with an orle flory instead of a double tressure flory counter-flory (e.g. Siebmacher, plate 2), and given a recent statement from the Lyon Office of Scotland declining to register orles flory without the Queen's express command, the precedent seems worth keeping. (Patrick Drake, August, 1993, pg. 19)


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PALE


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[Per fess paly azure and argent, and argent] The upper portion of the device was blazoned on the LOI as four pallets argent on an azure background. Visually, however, this is a striped field partition; and that impression is reinforced by the fact that it occupies only one portion of a Per fess field. There is certainly no heraldic difference between the two blazons; and multiply-divided fields were occasionally drawn with an odd number of traits for aesthetic reasons. (St.John-Hope, Heraldry for Craftsmen and Designers, p.49). (Leidhrun Leidolfsdottir, September, 1992, pg. 10)


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[Party of six pieces, three bells] This was blazoned on the LOI as [Per fess, on a pale counterchanged between two bells, a bell]. That would be the normal modern blazon, but not the period blazon. In period, this was considered a field division, not a counterchanged pale ...this [is] a conflict with [Gules, three bells]. [For full discussion, see under FIELD DIVISION -- General] (Laeghaire ua'Laverty, October, 1992, pg. 25)


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PALL


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[Per chevron Or and azure, a pall inverted between three <charges> counterchanged] The previous submission (Per chevron inverted sable and Or, a pall counterchanged Or and gules between in chief a bezant charged with a cross formy fitchy at the foot, and in base two crosses formy fitchy at the foot gules, each within an annulet sable) was returned Sept 83 for over-complexity and non-period style. Laurel suggested at the time that the submitter "Please use a simple pall gules", implying that the counterchanging of the pall over the field division was part of the non-period style.

This resubmission, though greatly simplified, still has a pall (this time inverted) counterchanged over a Per chevron field division. We have in the past registered solidly-tinctured palls inverted over Per chevron divisions (or the same motif inverted); the pall is then understood to overlie the line of the field. The same understanding cannot apply when the pall is counterchanged: the line of the field could legally be under the center of the pall, under one of its edges, or even extending beyond the pall on the other side.

Moreover, the visual effect is that of a pall inverted (the lower limbs narrower than that in chief) and a point pointed azure, all on an Or field. The visual confusion, combined with the problems of reproducibility, combine to make this motif unacceptable. (Allen of Moffat, June, 1993, pp. 20-21)


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PILE


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[Per chevron inverted, three piles in point, pile ending in the upper section] Piles are properly drawn throughout, or nearly so; they would not come to a point at the point of the field division, as here. If [the submittor] drew this with the piles crossing the line of division, it would be acceptable; or [the submittor] might try [chassé, three piles], etc. (Elwin Dearborn, August, 1992, pg. 31)


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[A pile, with &ap; 14 indentations on each side] The indentations on the pile are too small to be considered good medieval style. For an example of a medieval pile indented, see the arms of Sire John de Forneus, 1322 (Foster, p.91). (Cailean McArdle, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[Sable chausse argent, <charges> vs. Argent, on a pile sable, <difference charges>] We grant no difference between a charged pile and a chaussé field; there is at most a CD for the change of tertiary charges. (Elgar of Stonehaven, November, 1992, pg. 14)


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[Three piles and in base a <charge>] There was some question as to whether this could be considered a chief indented. Roger Pye, in a series of articles ("Evolution of the Arms of Douglas of Lochleven", Coat of Arms, N.S. vol.III No.107, Autumn 78; "Development of the Pile in Certain Graham Arms", Coat of Arms, N.S. vol.III No.110, Summer 79), has shown that the indented chief in some Scots arms came to be drawn as three piles palewise, as in this submission. However, the earliest example he cites of such a variation dates from 1672, which puts it beyond our use. If this were resubmitted with a true chief indented, it would probably be acceptable; but I can't see any way to register this with piles, so long as there's a charge in base. (Iciar Albarez de Montesinos, January, 1993, pg. 28)


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PLANT -- Aloe Vera


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The device had been returned on the LoAR of March 92 for lack of identifiability of the aloe vera plant ...The submitter has appealed that return, providing evidence that the aloe vera was known in period, and that it was used in (post-period) armory in the form shown here. I agree that the charge would probably have been as recognizable as, say, the lotus flower; it should be acceptable for SCA use. (Randwulf the Hermit, June, 1993, pg. 2)


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PLANT -- Fern


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The Venus-hair fern was known by that name in period, according to the OED; it's also called maiden-hair. (Kateline MacFarlane, January, 1993, pg. 2)


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PLANT -- Mandrake


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The mandrake is a plant of the genus Mandragora and is native to Southern Europe and the East. It is characterized by very short stems, thick fleshy, often forked, roots, and by fetid lance-shaped leaves (OED). Of the two examples cited in Parker, p. 390, one (de Champs) blazons them as plantes de mandragore (plants of mandrake). The other cited example, the only one in English armory, is actually shown in Rodney Dennys' The Heraldic Imagination, p.130, as more humanoid. Dennys states that "the Mandrake is not, of course, a monster or chimerical creature in the strict sense of the term, but in heraldic art it has acquired such anthropomorphic characteristics that it can be rated as one of the more fanciful of the fabulous creatures of heraldry" (p. 129). We feel there is a CD between a mandrake and human figures as there is between other fanciful heraldic creatures (e.g. angels) and human figures. (Leandra Plumieg, September, 1993, pg. 12)


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PLANT -- Sprig


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[A branch of rosemary vs. sprig of three bluebells] There's [not a CD] for type of sprig.

There were also a number of other conflicts, all based on granting no difference for type of sprig: e.g., [a slip of three leaves], or [a sprig of parsley]. (Mairin ferch Howell, September, 1992, pg. 40)


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PLANT -- Wheat


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There should be a CD between three stalks of barley and a garb. (Siobhan Chantoiseau de Longpont sur Orges, November, 1992, pg. 5)


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PORTCULLIS


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Portcullises in heraldic art are generally identified by their square grillwork and their dangling chains. Omitting one of those aspects might be dismissed as artistic license; omitting both of them renders the portcullises unidentifiable, and so unregisterable. (Bronwen O'Riordan, July, 1992, pg. 18)


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POSITION


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Turning a charge to sinister does not change its type, either technically or visually. These [charges] are identical charges for the purposes of Rule X.4.j.ii. (Briana Morgan of the Valley, July, 1992, pg. 3)


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POSTURE


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By SCA precedent, there's no difference between rampant and sejant erect. The only real change is the placement of a hind leg. (Killian Nc Iain VcFarland, June, 1992, pg. 4)


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Prior rulings notwithstanding, there is no difference between naiant and naiant "embowed": the naiant posture often includes a slight embowment. (Aldwin Wolfling, July, 1992, pg. 21)


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[A bear sejant erect vs. a bear rampant or a bear erect] In each case, there's [not a CD] for the posture of the bear. (Henry of Three Needles, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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[(Fieldless) A narwhale hauriant embowed argent] This is the fieldless version of [the submittor's] current device, ...Per pale vert and sable, a narwhale haurient embowed argent. Several commenters called conflict against [Sable, a whale haurient argent]. The same conflict call was made against his device, during its submission. Lord Laurel explicitly ruled the two armories to be clear of conflict: "There's a CVD for the field and a CVD for haurient embowed versus haurient." [LoAR of May, 1991] Exactly the same point count applies to the badge.

I happen to disagree with that ruling: I don't think there's a CD between haurient embowed and haurient, and I won't be granting it in future. However, I also believe that, given such an explicit ruling, in good conscience we have to call [the submittor's] badge clear ...The Grandfather Clause does apply to conflict, as well as stylistic problems; the badge conflicts no more (and no less) than the device, and if Gest may display the latter, it would be unreasonable to tell him he may not display the former. (Gest Grimsson, September, 1992, pg. 7)


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[Volant affronty] This is an inherently unidentifiable posture, and so unsuitable for heraldry. (Robin Telfer, September, 1992, pg. 48)


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Sejant tergiant is not an heraldic posture, previous registrations notwithstanding. It renders the <beast> unrecognizable, where the whole purpose of heraldry is identification (Catraoine ni Risteaird, September, 1992, pg. 52)


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There are examples from Continental armory of birds displayed and rotated from the vertical: e.g. von Eptingen (Siebmacher, plate 129), Or, an eagle displayed and fesswise sable. (James d'Orleans, October, 1992, pg. 2)


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Volant affronty is not a recognizable posture. (Eirikr Eyvindarson, October, 1992, pg. 23)


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The dormant posture should be used carefully, as it can all too easily render a beast unidentifiable. In this case, the wolf's head, paws and tail are neatly tucked in, making him indistinguishable from a meatloaf. This must be returned, per Rule VIII.3. (Vladimir Andreivich Aleksandrov, January, 1993, pg. 24)


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As has been noted in the past, the dormant posture should be used cautiously, as it all too often obscures the beast's head, tail and feet, rendering it unidentifiable. (Anderewe Fouchier of the White Dove, March, 1993, pg. 22)


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[A wingless dragon "displayed"] The displayed posture is not applicable to non-winged creatures, just as rampant is no longer applicable to birds (LoAR of May 91). No other blazon adequately describes this posture (although if the dragon's back were to the viewer, instead of its belly, it might be tergiant).

Moreover, since the dragon's posture (however blazoned) is indistinguishable from tergiant, this conflicts with [a natural salamander tergiant] ...putting the dragon in this posture greatly reduces any difference to be granted for type of reptile. (Balthasar of Eastwick, March, 1993, pg. 22)


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The College has judged inverted creatures to be unacceptable style, barring documentation of this practice in period heraldry. (Mistylla of the Misty Isle, September, 1993, pg. 21)


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[Falcons rising displayed, each with the dexter wing inverted] A similar wing posture is found in the arms of the English College of Arms: Argent, a cross gules between four doves, each with the dexter wing displayed and inverted azure. (Oxford Guide to Heraldry , plate 4). (Dunecan Falkenar de la Leie, October, 1993, pg. 6)


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We grant no difference between sejant erect and rampant. (Alistrina de Mann, October, 1993, pg. 15)


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PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION


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This was submitted as Anne Marie Constable of Kilbirnie. Such a form is tantamount to claiming a rank and title --- potentially a fairly high rank, considering that the Constable of England ranked with the Earl Marshall. We have deleted the problematic element of the name. (Anne Marie of Kilbirnie, August, 1992, pg. 7)


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Perhaps I'm paranoid, but MacQueen seems to fall into the same category as FitzEmpress: doubtless a documented name, but one that claims royal rank to the average yeoman-on-the-road [the name was registered with the Gaelic spelling (MacShuibne)] (Brenainn MacShuibne, August, 1992, pg. 14)


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[Thora + lightning bolt] Hitherto, the combination of a lightning bolt with a name derived from Thor has been considered an excessive reference to the Norse god. (The list of Prohibited Name/Charge Combinations is found in the 1986 Glossary of Terms, and is still in force.) The rationale has been to avoid, not presumption, but the appearance of a claim of magical power or non-human descent. The need was fairly great when the rule was promulgated, a decade ago; the College had to actively discourage submissions from demi-gods, elves, and wizards. Even today, we get the occasional non-human epithet (e.g. Stormrkartr).

On the other hand, the tenor of the Society has grown more authenticist and less fantasist over the last ten years. And as Lord Dragon notes, "Reference isn't presumption": for instance, submitters named Catharine are permitted, even encouraged, to use Catharine's wheels in their armory.

There are still enough submitters Unclear On The Concept to warrant returning excessive fantasy references, or appearances of magical or non-mortal claims. But the key word is excessive: I think we can henceforth relax our standards a bit. For those names that are well documented as period human names, that also happen to be the names of gods, one armorial allusion to the god will no longer be considered excessive. (Thora of Thescorre, August, 1992, pg. 17)


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[Stormrkartr] The byname is incorrectly formed: in combination, stormr loses its final R. Even were it correctly formed, it wouldn't mean what the submitter claims: stormkartr means "storm cart", not "storm bringer". Finally, even if the name meant "storm bringer", it would be a claim to superhuman powers, forbidden under Rule VI.2. (Knutr Stormrkartr, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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Except in rare instances (Regina being the prime example), we don't care about the putative meanings of given names, so long as they're correctly formed period names. Ælfmæg [meaning effectively "elf-kin"] seems to be such a name, and is thus acceptable. (Ælfmæg McKuenn, September, 1992, pg. 1)


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[On a targe Or, a Celtic cross] In precedents dating back to June 86, it has been ruled that, in a fieldless badge, a charge commonly used for armorial display (e.g. an escutcheon, a delf, a lozenge, etc.) should not itself be charged. That includes roundles, and most particularly targes (a shield by any other name).

Moreover, considering this as a display, on a round shield, of [Or, a Celtic cross], this would conflict with [Or, a Celtic cross, overall a <charge>]. There would be a single CD, for deleting the overall charge. (Kieran ó Chonnacht, September, 1992, pg. 40)


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The billet is one of the charges used for armorial display, and thus (per Rule XI.4) may not be charged with more than one tertiary. This is especially true for fieldless badges, where such charged billets look like displays of independent armory. (See also the LoAR of 8 June 86, p.7.) (Tostig Logiosophia, September, 1992, pg. 42)


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[Christian Vicarius] Though each element in the name is reasonable in itself, the combination is too evocative of the title Vicar of Christ (Christis Vicarius), one of the titles of the Pope. (Christian Vicarius, September, 1992, pg. 44)


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[Juan Sanchez Ramirez] [The name] infringes on Sancho I Ramirez, King of Aragon in 1063 and of Navarre in 1066 (Louda & Maclagan, Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe, table 45). Sanchez is the patronymic form of Sancho (being the genitive case; it means literally "of Sancho"), so the name is a claim of descent, prohibited under Rule V.5. (Juan Sanchez Ramirez, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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The sennachie, or seanchaidhe, were more than simply historians; they studied and told the old tales and legends, and were the keepers of genealogy and tradition in Ireland and the Scottish highlands. The sennachie became a semi-hereditary class, similar to bards; and it's worth noting that the office of the High Sennachie was the precursor to the Lyon King of Arms. As such, seanchaidhe is a title and rank, not merely the Irish for "historian"; it may not be registered as a household name. (Seonaid of Nairn, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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Baatour is a Mongolian title analogous to "knight;" in the variant spelling Bahadur, it has been reserved as a Society title, for use by Mongol-persona Knights, on the LoAR cover letter of 13 Sept 89. As such, it may not be registered in a name. (Timur Baatour Khitai, September, 1992, pg. 47)


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[Styphan ap Owain] This infringes on the name of Morgan ap Styphan ap Owain, registered earlier on this LoAR. Rule V.5 forbids any name that claims a close relationship to a specific individual; this name claims such a relationship (as Morgan's father). The fact that the submitter undoubtedly is Morgan's father does not permit him to make the claim without permission --- any more than Paul of Bellatrix's son could register his arms, even differenced, without permission. We need a letter of permission from Morgan before we can register this name. (Steven of Mountain's Gate, September, 1992, pg. 53)


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[Sara Annchen Baumeister] Until such time as the Board of Directors releases the title Master for use by the populace, it must be considered a title of peerage in the Society; we will not register any name that claims to be a "Master [anything]". In the case of the Master Bowmen of the East (LoAR of July 90), it was ruled: "We cannot, in good conscience, register a title reserved by Corpora to peers to any non-peerage group, no matter in what form they propose to use it." The same argument applies to individuals. (Sara Annchen Baumeister, October, 1992, pg. 24)


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[Rhiannon de Licorne] "It is a long-standing policy that the name Rhiannon may not be coupled with horses or unicorns, in view of Rhiannon's function as a horse goddess." [AmCoE, 27 Sept 86] (Rhiannon de Licorne of Carreg Cennen, October, 1992, pg. 27)


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Eriu is both the name of a country (Ireland) and a goddess. We cannot register this without more definite evidence that this name was used by humans in period. (Eriu Morgana Nic Dhubhghlaise Crawford, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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[Ty Oeniga'u Buddug, stated to mean "Boudicca's little lambs"] The name claims relationship to a specific historical figure, Boadicea, which is forbidden per Rule V.5. This is no more registerable than Torquemada's Personal Guard or Richard Lionheart's Drinking Buddies. (Tanarian Brenaur ferch Owain fab Bran, October, 1992, pg. 33)


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[Brendan Hay, with Argent, two rapiers in saltire sable between three escutcheons gules, a bordure sable] The arms of Hay, Earls of Erroll, are Argent, three escutcheons gules; the armories of all the cadet branches of Hay include the three escutcheons, suitably differenced. (In some cases, the cadet difference is the addition of a primary charge --- which we'd consider Sufficient Difference between strangers in blood.) The use of the surname Hay with a device obviously based on Hay's caused some concern among the commenters; but even stipulating that the submitter's additions were Scots cadet differences, there are at least two CDs between this submission and any Hay variant we could discover. Any relationship so denoted is therefore distant, at best --- exactly why we insist on two cadency differences in the Rules. (Brendan Hay, December, 1992, pg. 2)


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Embattling the delf reduces its appearance as a medium for heraldic display -- just as a roundel indented (visually equivalent to a sun) no longer appears to be a medium for heraldic display. (Sabel Saer ferch Maredudd ap Rhosier, December, 1992, pg. 10)


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The use of the white rose of York with the byname of York has been disallowed since the LoAR of 11 Nov 77; it is currently found as one of our prohibited name/charge combinations. (Christopher of York, December, 1992, pg. 17)


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[Scholemaystre] Master is a reserved title in the SCA, and may not be registered as part of a Society name. The policy was most recently reaffirmed Oct 92, in the submission of Sara Annchen Baumeister. (Raffe Scholemaystre, December, 1992, pg. 20)


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[Norrey Acadamie of Armorie] The name ...had been previously returned in 1984 and 1989: the name for presumption and conflict with the Norroy King of Arms ...The submitter has provided a letter from J.P. Brooke-Little, current Norroy & Ulster King of Arms, granting permission to use the title. ...Stipulating, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Brooke-Little has the authority to grant permission, his letter still doesn't remove the problem of presumption --- which lies solely in the axioms of our historical re-creation, and is unaffected by permission. To borrow Lady Harpy's analogy, even if the Queen of England wrote a letter permitting someone to use Elizabeth of England, we wouldn't permit it, because the name is inconsistent with our rules against claiming unearned honors. (And to extend the analogy, even with such a letter, there'd still be a conflict --- not with the current Elizabeth of England, but with the one in period. Mr. Brooke-Little's permission does not automatically prevent infringement against the previous holders of the title Norroy.) ...The LOI alluded to the submitter's heraldic rank and work in heraldic education. These are laudable, but not relevant to the problems of this [submission]. The appearance of a claim of official status in the SCA College of Arms would remain, whether the submitter were a herald or not; this is, after all, a personal [name and] badge for a household, with no official sanction. The infringement on the title of Norroy remains. (Norrey Acadamie of Armorie (Taliesynne Nycheymwrh yr Anyghyfannedd), December, 1992, pg. 21)


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[Norrey Acadamie of Armorie with Two straight trumpets in saltire, surmounted by another palewise, the whole ensigned of a fleur-de-lys Nourrie between two lions combattant] The name and badge had been previously returned in 1984 and 1989: the name for presumption and conflict with the Norroy King of Arms, the badge for complexity and infringement on the badge of the SCA College of Arms, and the combination of the two for appearing (by the use of elements from the English and SCA Colleges, the title and arms of Norroy, and the title of a classic heraldic text) to claim an official status unsuitable for a private household. ... The appeal did not address the problem of the use of elements from the armory of Norroy and the English College of Arms. In conjunction with the name and the trumpets, those elements highlight the problem of presumption; but they are not, in and of themselves, objectionable. Under a different household name, and in a badge without the crossed trumpets, they would likely be acceptable.

Finally, the LOI alluded to the submitter's heraldic rank and work in heraldic education. These are laudable, but not relevant to the problems of this badge. The appearance of a claim of official status in the SCA College of Arms would remain, whether the submitter were a herald or not; this is, after all, a personal badge for a household, with no official sanction. The infringement on the title of Norroy remains. Complex badges remain complex, despite the submitter's rank.

Three separate Laurel Sovereigns of Arms, over the span of a decade, have deemed this name and badge unacceptable. The submitter is hereby formally enjoined from their further use. If he resubmits with a less exalted household name, and a redesigned badge, he should have no stylistic problems. [For a discussion on the other problems with the name and badge, see CHARGE -- Restricted and Reserved, STYLE -- Simplicity, and the name discussion in PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION] (Norrey Acadamie of Armorie (Taliesynne Nycheymwrh yr Anyghyfannedd), December, 1992, pg. 21)


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If An amphora argent charged with a fleur-de-lys gules doesn't infringe on the arms of the city of Florence, then the current submission [On an amphora azure, a crux stellata argent] cannot infringe on the flag of the Eureka Stockade rebellion [Azure, a crux stellata argent]. [For the full discussion, see under CROSS] (Southkeep Brewers and Vintners Guild (Shire of Southkeep), December, 1992, pg. 23)


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[Eric the Dane] It has been established (v. Wladislaw Poleski) that bynames of the form the [nationality] are not presumptuous, even when combined with the given name of the nation's ruler. Eric of Denmark would infringe on the rulers of Denmark named Eric; Eric the Dane does not. (Eric the Dane, January, 1993, pg. 11)


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The Society considers the use of a clan name (Guinne, Gunn) with the seat of the clan (Kilernan) to be presumptuous; the only examples we've found of such usage are by clan chiefs and their immediate families. (Sine Guinne of Kilernan, January, 1993, pg. 24)


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[Owen FitzRobert DeClare] This submission claims relationship with Robert de Clare (d.1134), 1st Earl of Clare, founder of the baronial house of FitzWalter and steward to King Henry I. The figure is found in general biographical references (e.g. Webster's New Biographical Dictionary, p.212), and therefore is worthy of protection. This must be returned, per Rule V.5. (Owen FitzRobert DeClare, January, 1993, pg. 31)


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Lord Obelisk has noted a Laurel precedent (v. Duncan Forbes of Crathes, LoAR of Nov 90) that disallowed any use of a Scots surname with a Scots toponymic, as it "implies landedness in possession of a feudal barony." I suspect this was not intended to be a permanent change in our policy, which hitherto had disallowed the use of a Scots clan surname with the seat of the clan. Certainly, in the months following the above ruling, we registered Duncan MacFergus of Kintyre (Dec 90, p.7), John MacRobert of Grandloch (Feb 91, p.6), Fergus MacKillop of Skye (April 91, p.5), Gareth MacGunther of Gordon (April 91, p.8), etc. I believe that, in practice if not explicitly, the Nov 90 precedent has been overturned ...We will continue to prohibit the use of a Scots clan name with the seat or territory of that clan (e.g. Cameron of Lochiel), or a surname with the phrase of that Ilk (or its functional equivalent, e.g Macintosh of Macintosh). That usage, with or without the given name, is the title of the actual chief of the clan or his immediate kin; its use in the SCA represents a direct infringement on actual nobility, and also appears to be a claim to rank, either of which is grounds for return. But by and large, the use of a Scots surname with a Scots placename is acceptable for SCA use [for full discussion, see under NAMES -- Scottish]. (Alexander MacIntosh of Islay, March, 1993, pp. 7-8)

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[Falkemeister] Meister (master) is a reserved title in the SCA, and may not be registered --- either alone, or in combination. (David Falkemeister, March, 1993, pg. 19)


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Fionnula, in Irish legend, was one of the children of Lir who was transformed into a swan. However, as the name was much used by humans in late period, the combination of Fionnula with a swan is not an excessive reference to the legend; see the LoAR of Aug 92, p.17. (Deirdre ni Fhionnula, May, 1993, pg. 4)


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The name was submitted as Elisheva bas Yehudah Arye ha Cohen. Yehudah and Arye are Hebrew given names; they are also nouns meaning "land of Judah" and "lion". There was concern among the commenters that Yehudah Arye might be a title ("the Lion of Judah"), and the name a claim of relationship. "Lion of Judah" was used as a title by the Emperor of Ethiopia, in the 20th Century; it was also applied to Christ (Revelations 5:5).

As it turns out, Yehudah Arye does not mean "Lion of Judah". According to Lady Triton, the word order in Hebrew determines the meaning of a phrase. "Lion of Judah" would thus be Aryeh (shel) Yehudah. The submitted name is therefore not a claim of relationship to a titled individual [Arye dropped to avoid claim of relationship with Yehudah Aryeh ha Cohen (1571-1648)] (Elisheva bas Yehudah ha Cohen, May, 1993, pg. 7)


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[De Albuquerque] This is the name of the House of Albuquerque, descended from Sancho de Albuquerque, bastard son of Alphonso XI of Castile. The house may have taken its name from the town of Alburquerque (with two Rs), but the spellings diverged almost immediately. (1911 E.Brit., vol.I, p.516; Louda & Maclagan, table 48) Thus de Albuquerque is not analogous to the English of York; its sole period use was as the surname of a noble house. (Albuquerque, NM, was founded in the early 18th Century; it was named after a Duke of Albuquerque, who was Viceroy of Mexico at the time.) It's not often that a single letter can make the difference between presumption and non-presumption, but that appears to be the case here [name registered as de Alburquerque] (Juana de Alburquerque, May, 1993, pp. 10-11)


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"It has previously been determined that, as far as the College of Arms is concerned, the names of the clans with an hereditary claim to the shogunate of Japan are equivalent to the surnames of royal families in Europe, and so may not be registered. I agree with this decision, and am upholding it. Tokugawa may not be used." [BoE, 18 May 86] I agree with this decision, and am upholding it. Tokugawa may not be used. (Tokugawa Basha, May, 1993, pg. 16)


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[Dyana Greenwood, Argent, on a tree proper issuant from a base purpure, a decrescent argent] The submission has two problems, each sufficient for return. The first is conflict ...The second is excessive reference to Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon and forest. We've ruled (LoAR of 23 Aug 92) that a deity name used by period humans may add a single additional reference to that deity. The use of Greenwood, the tree and the crescent each constitutes an allusion to the goddess Diana; we find the combination excessive. We've registered the name, but any device resubmission should avoid any references to the goddess Diana. (Dyana Greenwood, May, 1993, pg. 17)


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[Osnath Rachel bat Eleazar ha-Levi] This infringes on the registered name of Eleazar ha-Levi: it claims a specific relationship, disallowed per Rule V.5. The fact that Eleazar ha-Levi is the submitter's father does not permit her to make the claim without his permission --- any more than she could register his arms with a label, without permission. We need a letter of permission before we can register the name. (Osnath Rachel bat Eleazar ha-Levi, May, 1993, pg. 18)


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The charges considered media for heraldic display --- the delf, lozenge, cartouche, etc. --- when used in a fieldless badge may not be charged. This ruling has been in force since 1986, and is itself reason enough for return. (Order of the Stella Rubra (Kingdom of Meridies), July, 1993, pg. 14)


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[Lucius Thayne] A thane (or thegn) was a free retainer in pre-Conquest England, and in Scotland up to the 15th Century; the term denotes a member of territorial nobility corresponding to the Norman baron or knight. The title was one step below the eorl, and might be either earned or inherited. In the SCA, the term is used as the Old English equivalent of "baron", and is therefore reserved. Old English usage puts the title after the name: Ælfred cyning, Leofric eorl, Lyfing arcebisceop. The submitted name is thus exactly in the form that would have been used by a period thane. That fact, along with the Society use of the title, and its hereditary nature in period, outweighs the documented use of Thane, Thaine as a surname later in period. It must therefore be returned as presumptuous. (OED, under the entries for earl, king and thane; '93 E.Brit., vol.11, p.672; Reaney DBS II, pp.112, 345). (Lucius Thayne, July, 1993, pg. 15)


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[Aoife ni Aodhagain with Chevronelly azure and argent, a serpent glissant palewise gules holding in its mouth an apple slipped and leaved vert] It has been ruled acceptable (Thora of Thescorre, LoAR of Aug 92) to have a single armorial allusion to a deity name that's also a documented period given name. It's reasonable to extend the policy, in this case, to the Biblical name Eve (often used as an anglicization of Aoífe). The allusion here is mild, and acceptable. (Aoífe ní Aodhagáin, August, 1993, pg. 6)


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[Clemence d'Avignon] The anti-popes of Avignon do not seem to have exercised the same secular authority there that their Roman counterparts did in the Vatican; and the legitimate Popes who made Avignon their seat did so as the guests of the Counts of Provence. (1911 E.Brit., vol.iii, p.64, and vol.xx, pp.702-704) The name thus does not conflict with those Popes in Avignon (real and anti-) named Clement. (Cala of Savatthi, August, 1993, pg. 11)


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[Myrrddin mab y Ddrraig Goch] The name has a minor spelling problem: neither Myrddin nor ddraig should use the double-R. Far more troublesome was the allusion to the sorcerer Merlin, of Arthurian legend. The submitted name translates as "Merlin, son of the Red Dragon". Depending on the version of the legend one prefers, Merlin was either the son of Satan (whose symbol, according to Revelations 12:9, was a dragon), or the son of Aurelius, High King of Britain (whose symbol, as betokened by the title Pendragon, was a dragon). The fact that the Red Dragon is the badge of Wales, often supposed to be the source of the Merlin legend, only strengthens the allusion. The submitted name is simply too strongly suggestive of Merlin the enchanter, and must be returned for that reason. (Myrrddin mab y Ddrraig Goch, August, 1993, pg. 16)


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...the combination of a clan name with the seat or territory of the clan is the prerogative of the chief of the clan, and is thus disallowed in the Society. (Magdalene Katherine MacDonald of Sleat, August, 1993, pg. 17)


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[A roundel charged with five rays issuant from base throughout] While it is true that roundels may be charged with rayed objects in the SCA, those rayed objects are not normally issuant from the inner edge of a roundel. To have charges issuant from the edge of a roundel is to give the roundel the appearance of an inescutcheon of pretense. This appearance is heightened by the use of five tertiaries on the roundel. This is therefore returned for appearance of marshalling. (Alberic Kentigern, October, 1993, pg. 17)


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PROPER


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Tabby cats have no defined proper coloration. The Simon & Schuster Guide to Cats cites several different tinctures of tabby cat: silver tabby, cream tabby, blue tabby, brown tabby, and red tabby, among others. Without a fixed coloration, it cannot be blazoned "proper." (Bronwyn ferch Gwyn ap Rhys, July, 1992, pg. 9)


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The urchin proper is...brown, with a white face and belly (Mairghread of Ryvel, August, 1992, pg. 16)


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A pomegranate proper (as seen in the arms of the Kingdom of Grenada) is vert, seeded gules. (Magdalena Aeleis MacLellan, August, 1992, pg. 24)


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An heraldic dolphin proper is vert with gules details. (Aodhán Doilfín, September, 1992, pg. 18)


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The catamount proper is effectively Or (Roland de Mounteney, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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[Argent, arms proper] The arms have insufficient contrast on the argent field. Human flesh "proper" was sometimes emblazoned as argent in period tomes; and in any case, carnation (pink) cannot be seen against white. (Simona Zon d'Asolo, September, 1992, pg. 51)


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Technically, a melusine proper is considered neutral, and acceptable on argent; in practice, its contrast with an argent field is borderline [device returned for other contrast problems and for conflict]. (Simona Zon d'Asolo, September, 1992, pg. 51)


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[A phoenix gules, enflamed proper] The phoenix was blazoned on the LOI as proper, with the 12th Century Cambridge Bestiary cited as the authority (via Dennys' Heraldic Imagination). While the Bestiary describes the phoenix as "reddish purple," I would hesitate to define that as its heraldically proper tincture. As it turns out, there's at least one period heraldic example of a phoenix proper: the crest of the Worshipful Company of Painters, granted 1486, is blazoned a Fenyx in his propre nature and coloure. That phoenix is colored mostly gold, with red highlights and details. (Bromley & Child, Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London, p.184 and plate 39)

As the phoenix in this submission is not tinctured like the phoenix proper in the Painters' crest, I have reblazoned it gules. (Astrid of Flanders, October, 1992, pg. 1)


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The Cornish chough proper is black with red beak and feet; like a sword proper, it's a shorthand description of heraldic tinctures, not a complex Linnaean depiction. (George of Mousehole, October, 1992, pg. 1)


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A popinjay proper is green with red details; it's a shorthand term for heraldic tinctures, not a Linnaean proper. Moreover, unlike many such terms, popinjays proper are period. (Aeruin ní hEaráin ó Chonemara, October, 1992, pg. 10)


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The heraldic rainbow proper has four stripes, vert, argent, Or and gules, in that order (on a light-colored field, which [this submission] implies). The submitted rainbow [colors not given] isn't correctly tinctured for a heraldic rainbow; neither is it properly tinctured for a natural rainbow. And blazoning each of its stripes individually would only emphasize the non-heraldic nature of the submission [badge returned]. (Ruben Klaus Winterhalter, October, 1992, pg. 24)


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[Boar's heads colored brown] Unfortunately, [this tincture is] unblazonable: they aren't proper, for boars in nature are dark-grey to black in color. Nor does there seem to be such a thing as a brown boar that could be rendered in this coloring. With no way to blazon the tincture of the heads, this must be returned. (Nils Rixon, October, 1992, pg. 27)


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Peacocks proper have green bodies. (Fernando Juan Carlos Remesal, October, 1992, pg. 29)


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Rule VIII.4.c is amended to read:

VIII.4.c. Natural Depiction --- Excessively naturalistic use of otherwise acceptable charges may not be registered.
Excessively natural designs include those that depict animate objects in unheraldic postures, use several charges in their natural forms when heraldic equivalents exist, or overuse proper. Proper is allowed for natural flora and fauna when there is a widely understood default coloration for the charge so specified. It is not allowed if many people would have to look up the correct coloration, or if the Linnaean genus and species (or some other elaborate description) would be required to get it right. An elephant, a brown bear, or a tree could each be proper; a female American kestrel, a garden rose, or an Arctic fox in winter phase, could not.
(15 January, 1992 Cover Letter (November, 1992 LoAR), pg. 3)


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The adult male moose is darker in coloration than most cervids; its coat is almost black, and its antlers dark brown. (Harper & Row's Complete Field Guide to North American Wildlife, plate 63) The latter thus have sufficient contrast with this [ermine] field. (Erik Norton of Helsfjord, November, 1992, pg. 4)


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Oars proper are understood to be made of brown wood. (Alberic of Seawall, December, 1992, pg. 13)


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The owls were blazoned on the LOI as brown owls ...proper, but no such type of owl exists. The submitter insisted on having owls as drawn on her submission forms (brown, without spots or streaks, and without ear tufts), while we insisted on a species of owl known to period Europeans. The tawny owl (Strix aluco) meets all these requirements, according to Cerny's Field Guide to Birds, pp.140-141. (Danielis Pyrsokomos, January, 1993, pg. 17)


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[On a flame Or a salamander gules] Possible conflict was ...cited with the [A salamander proper]. Technically speaking, the medieval heraldic salamander would have been a reptile with spurts of flame, or at most lying on a bed of flame; in any event, the reptile would have been the primary charge. Here, the flame is the primary charge, and the salamander a tertiary. We might still have called a visual conflict, all other things being equal, had we been able to ascertain the tincture of a salamander "proper". We still aren't sure what that might be, but it doesn't seem to have been gules: Franklyn & Tanner, for instance, state that the salamander is "Generally argent or Or, and occasionally vert." In any event, we can give the submitter the benefit of the doubt on this conflict [badge returned for a separate conflict]. (Balian de Brionne, July, 1993, pg. 15)


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[A bumblebee proper] The bee in this submission is tinctured sable and Or, with argent wings. Bees are sometimes blazoned proper in mundane armory (Papworth, p.957), so there must be a defined tincture --- but none of my sources say what that might be. The coloration of this submission, however, is the SCA's most common attempt at "proper"; I shall henceforth adopt it as the Society's definition of a bee proper. (Aideen the Audacious, September, 1993, pg. 1)


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A peacock feather proper is mostly green, with an iridescent roundel near the end. This is therefore [a CD from] A feather azure. (Alena Vladimirovna, September, 1993, pg. 6)


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There [is] little difference between a peacock proper and a peacock azure [i.e., not a CD]. (Caitlyn Emrys, September, 1993, pg. 20)


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There is no defined "proper" coloration for a griffin. (Gavin Gamelson, October, 1993, pg. 16)


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PROTECTED ITEMS


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[Sean O'Connor] This conflicts with John O'Connor, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York, who has gained national attention with his anti-abortion opinions. He is listed in general referernces (Encyclopedia Americana, 1992 ed., vol.20, p.628), so he's important enough to protect. (See also the LoAR of Nov 88, where another submission was returned for the same conflict.) (Sean O'Connor, August, 1992, pg. 23)


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[Porsche Audi] This infringes on the Porsche-Audi division of Volkswagen of America, a registered corporation. Laurel took the most direct method of discovering this: he visited a local Porsche-Audi dealership. The conjunction of the names is distinctive and famous enough to warrant protection. [see also "Style -- Modern," pg. 50] (Porsche Audi, August, 1992, pg. 28)


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[House von Neunkirchen] This conflicts with the city of Neunkirchen, in the Saar region between France and Germany. By our standards, the city is important enough to protect: it's a center for the European iron industry, and appears in at least two general references (The New Century Cyclopedia of Names, vol.III, p.2919; 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica, vol.XIX, p.426). The fact that it is a "generically formed name" does not detract from its importance: Iceland is a generically formed name, too. Nor does the fact that several other towns share the same name reduce the importance of this one. Neunkirchen meets the criteria for protection under the Administrative Guidelines; this must therefore be returned. (Astrid Radulfsdottir, August, 1992, pg. 30)


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The badges of British ships are registered with the English College of Arms, so this is "real" armory, deserving protection under our current standards. (Marcus il Volpe and Regenwulf Osbern of Nympsfield, September, 1992, pg. 41)


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[Juan Sanchez Ramirez] The name infringes on that of Juan Sanchez Villalobos Ramirez, the immortal played by Sean Connery in the film Highlander and its sequel. (The name is unlikely to soon fade into obscurity, for two reasons. First, the Highlander films have spawned a TV series, keeping the name in the public eye for some time to come. Second, the character is played by Sean Connery, which evidently makes the character ipso facto memorable; there are people [like some of my female friends] who would drive a hundred miles to hear Sean Connery read the telephone directory.) (Juan Sanchez Ramirez, September, 1992, pg. 45)


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[Iron Horde of Cathanar] As in the case of the Company of the Checquered Shield of Western Seas (LoAR of 19 Jan 91), the use of the SCA branch name implies this is an official group of the Barony of Cathanar. As the submitter doesn't represent Cathanar, he may not style his household in a way that suggests official sanction. (If he has official sanction from Cathanar, the name should be registered to Cathanar.)

Normally, we'd delete the problematic part of the name, and register this as simply the Iron Horde, but that would then introduce conflicts. Specifically, it would conflict with the Iron Guard, a Rumanian fascist organization founded in 1924. Paramilitary and strongly anti-Semite, it played a major role in Rumanian history prior to and during World War II (including the assassination of one Premier and the installation of another). Since it's cited in several general references (The New Century Cyclopedia of Names, vol.II, p.2135; 1991 Encyclopedia Britannica, vol.7, p.388), the Iron Guard is important enough to protect. (And in any case, I doubt the submitter would like a household name so close to a group whose atrocities offended even the Nazi Gestapo.) (Mengü of Cathanar, September, 1992, pg. 46)


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[Maison des Animaux] The name is intrusively modern, strongly evoking the film Animal House (of which the name is an exact translation). Translation into another tongue can bring a name clear, per Rule V.4.b --- but only if the pronunciation is significantly altered. The difference between Animal and Animaux is too small to be considered significant; and the household designator (House, Maison) is transparent, and counts for no difference. As for the "fame" of the conflict, if a sizable fraction of the populace (of which the College of Arms may be considered a representative sample) recognizes Animal House as a movie title, it's probably necessary to protect it from conflict --- not so much for its own sake, as to keep the modern movie reference from intruding on our medieval re-creation. (Jacqueline de Lyons, September, 1992, pg. 49)


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[Canton of Chuzan] There was some discussion as to whether this conflicts with Chuzan, the old name of central Okinawa (where the canton is located). The 1986 edition of the Rules for Submission permitted branch names to "use an old in-period name for the territory actually encompassed in the mundane world by that branch", so long as the old name wasn't in modern use (NR18.c). Thus, for instance, a Society branch along the Atlantic Canadian coast could call itself Vinland under the old Rules.

The current Rules do not contain that provision for obsolete placenames to be used by Society branches. I asked Mistress Alisoun, former Laurel Queen of Arms, and she told me the omission was deliberate. The 1986 Rules protected all mundane placenames, no matter how unimportant or obscure; a special dispensation for SCA branches was sometimes needed. The current Rules protect only famous or important placenames. Thus, if the obsolete name for a territory currently occupied by a Society branch is important or famous, it's protected against conflict by anyone (including the SCA branch); if the obsolete name is unimportant, there's no conflict in the first place, and any branch could use the name [name returned for a different conflict]. (Canton of Chuzan, September, 1992, pg. 53)


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The movie Castle Keep, produced in the 60s, does not appear to have been important enough to protect. (Shire of Castle Keep, December, 1992, pg. 7)


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Some of the conflict calls this month (e.g. Order of the Black Widows, Order of the Opus) were against fictional characters in our popular culture --- specifically, comic strip characters. I dislike having to call conflict against such ephemeral characters; on the other hand, if someone submitted the name Clark Kent, I'd almost certainly return it for conflict. On what basis, then, should we judge such conflicts?

There are two categories in the List of Protected Items (Administrative Guidelines, pp.2-3) that would cover such conflict calls: Category D, Famous Characters in Literature, and Category H, Trademarked Items. Most comic book characters' names are copyrighted these days, as a matter of course, and many are trademarked as well: Marvel and DC are said to be particularly trademark-happy. Our problem lies in the fact that most superhero names are of exactly the same nature as many SCA Order and household names: an epithet or descriptive, taken as a personal noun. Storm, Valor, Swordsman, Ice, Guardian, Phoenix are typical superhero names -- and some of them, as you see, are direct conflicts with registered SCA names. (Heck, Marvel even managed to copyright Meggan, a common given name!)

If I understand rightly, the purpose of trademarks is to keep competitors in a field from manipulating or benefitting from one another's reputations. Trademarks don't infringe when the intended use of the products is so different as to make the chance of confusion negligible. Thus the Excel (the car from Hyundai) doesn't infringe on Excel (the software from Microsoft). The Apple Music Company had no objection to Apple Computers using their name - - until the latter started manufacturing music-making Macs.

If that's the case, then we only need to worry about infringing on copyrights or trademarks when the intended use of the SCA-registered item is too close to the use of the trademarked item. In practice, I suppose this means fighting groups can't call themselves the West Kingdom Avengers or the Justice League of Atlantia -- but I don't see that the Shire of the Storm really infringes on the superheroine Storm.

That leaves protection as Famous Literary Characters, and this is more subjective. I don't want to get into a debate as to whether comics are Literature-with-a-capital-L; it's the fame of the characters, not the quality of their scripting, that concerns us. Infringement requires the character's name to be well-known; unknown names, by definition, won't be recognized as comic book characters. (The issue is related, in a way, to that of intrusive modernity: if people recognize a name as a comic strip character, they automatically know it's not medieval.) Most people haven't heard of most comic book characters; and even well-known superhero names (Captain America, Wonder Woman, Batman, Spiderman) are usually returnable for non-period style as well.

There are thus few comic characters that need to be protected: the aforementioned Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne possibly Mary Worth, Bart Simpson, Charlie Brown, perhaps a handful of others. Those conflicts are, unfortunately, valid -- but they will, in all cases, depend on whether the character's name has seeped into the public consciousness. We can't depend on finding these items in general references, our usual standard for importance. I'll try to be as objective as I can, but it'll still boil down in most cases to polling Yeomen on the Road to see who's heard of the name. (5 December, 1992 Cover Letter (October, 1992 LoAR), pg. 2)


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[House Battleaxe] Possible conflict was cited against the HMS Battleaxe. I intend to offer warships the same protection as military units: if they're important enough to be cited in general references (such as encyclopedias), then they will be protected. The Battleaxe does not appear in the references I searched; we needn't protect it. (Michaela de Romeny, October, 1992, pg. 15)


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While Howel Dda, ruler of Wales (d.950), is important enough to protect from conflict, evidently his son Owain is not: I couldn't find him mentioned in any of several general references, not even in the entries for his father. (Owain ap Howell, October, 1992, pg. 15)


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[Isabella du Dauphiné]The Dauphiné is a region in SE France, which between 1378 and 1830 was nominally ruled by the Dauphin, the heir to the throne of France. Isabella of Bavaria was the wife of that Dauphin who later became Charles VI (Webster's Biographical Dictionary, p.763). This name is thus a direct conflict, in the same way Diana of Wales would conflict with the wife of the current Prince of Wales. (Isabella du Dauphiné, October, 1992, pg. 25)


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[Compaignie Mercurie] The name is a technical infringement on the planet Mercury; according to the OED, it was spelled as Mercurie in period and was known to be a place. It's certainly famous enough to protect. We might have argued jesuitically that, per the Administrative Handbook (p.3), the College protects only "geographical locations" --- with emphasis on geo-, "earth". But that line of reasoning would seem to open the door for such submissions as House of Antares, and we have a long history of returning extra-terrestrial names ...while the name might be argued to conflict with the Roman god Mercury --- who, like the planet, meets the criteria for protection in the Handbook --- allusions to supernatural guardians were common enough to allow us to call it clear. That is, Compaignie Mercurie no more conflicts with the god Mercury than, say, the Company of St. Jude conflicts with St. Jude. (Brynjolfr Myrkjartansson, October, 1992, pg. 26)


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[Order of Black Widows] With regard to the possible conflict with the Marvel comic book character the Black Widow, I believe such character names should only be protected if the name is likely to be known outside the ranks of comic book aficionados. Superman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, for instance, are well-known enough to be protected; the Black Widow is not. (She's a background character in the Marvel universe; she doesn't even rate her own book.) (Kingdom of Trimaris, October, 1992, pg. 33)


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Henceforth, I shall apply the previous standard of non-identity: a significant change in spelling and pronunciation will clear a submitted name from the mundane name. [For a full discussion, see under NAMES -- Legal] (Kenrick atte Kyte, November, 1992, pg. 8)


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[Rose Thorne] Under our standards for protecting comic-book characters (v. the LoAR cover letter of 5 Dec 92), this does not conflict with Rose Thorn, the secret identity of one of DC's superheroines. The character is minor even by DC's standards, never having had her own book. (Rose Thorne, November, 1992, pg. 9)