Armory Precedents of the SCA College of Arms

The Tenure of Master François la Flamme


Last Revised: 5 February 2010
Period Covered: 08/2001 -- 03/2004

These are the armory precedents from the first tenure of Master François la Flamme as Laurel Principal King of Arms. During this period armory rulings were made primarily by Dame Zenobia Naphtali, Wreath Queen of Arms. Please verify all precedents you wish to use with the cited LoAR. There is an index. The index for the text version of these precedents is more detailed than for the on-line version. Other than that, the two version are identical.

If a charge is only referenced once in these precedents (and doesn't fall into a category such as BEAST -- Miscellaneous), it will be found under CHARGE -- Miscellaneous. A complete listing of these charges in found in the index. These charges are not currently cross-referenced in the index.

The category VISUAL COMPARISON deals with rulings relative to a specific piece of armory (e.g., a branch is maintained). These entries are listed alphabetically by the owner of the armory. A list of the owners is found in the index. The category "Mundane Armory" contains a list of real-world armory that has been ruled not important enough to protect. These entries are listed alphabetically by the owner of the armory.

These precedents are referenced by armory owner's name, the date of the Cover Letter (CL) or LoAR in month/year format (not the publication date), the action taken (A for acceptance, R for return, P for pend), and the kingdom where the action is listed under. Unless otherwise noted at the beginning of a section, the precedents are arranged in chronological order.

The following heralds are referred to by title: al-Jamal (Da'ud ibn Auda), Argent Snail (Jaelle of Armida), Brachet (Frederick of Holland), Clarion (Elsbeth Anne Roth), Crescent (Dietmar von Straubing), Eastern Crown (Tanczos Istvan), Kraken (Evan da Collaureo), Laurel Clerk (Daniel de Lincolia), Lions Blood (Teceangl Bach), Nebuly (Walraven van Nijmegen), Palimpsest (Rouland Carre), Pelican (Mari Elspeth nic Bryan), Rampart (Pendar the Bard), and Red Hawk (Gotfridus von Schwaben)

My thanks to al-Sayyid Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra for proofreading these precedents.

Jeanne Marie Lacroix
Noir Licorne Herald

Table of Contents (Armory)

ADMINISTRATIVE
ADMINISTRATIVE -- Comments and Commenting
ADMINISTRATIVE -- A Cautionary Word Regarding "Conflict Tables"
ADMINISTRATIVE -- Devices for Consorts and Royal Heirs
ADMINISTRATIVE -- Generic Identifiers
ADMINISTRATIVE -- Permission to Conflict
ADMINISTRATIVE -- Registration Limit
AMPHIBIAN
ANNULET
ARCHITECTURE
ARRANGEMENT
ARRANGEMENT -- Conjoined
ARRANGEMENT -- Forced Move
ARROW and ARROWHEAD
ARTHROPOD -- Bee
ARTHROPOD -- Miscellaneous
ARTHROPOD -- Spider
AUGMENTATIONS
AXE
BALANCE
BASE
BEAST -- Badger
BEAST -- Bat
BEAST -- Bear
BEAST -- Beaver
BEAST -- Boar
BEAST -- Cat, Lion and Tiger
BEAST -- Deer
BEAST -- Dog and Wolf
BEAST -- Elephant
BEAST -- General
BEAST -- Goat
BEAST -- Miscellaneous
BEAST -- Mouse
BEAST -- Rabbit
BEAST -- Weasel
BEND and BEND SINISTER
BIRD -- Cock and Hen
BIRD -- Corbie see BIRD -- Raven
BIRD -- Cornish Chough
BIRD -- Dove
BIRD -- Duck
BIRD -- Eagle
BIRD -- Falcon and Hawk
BIRD -- Generic
BIRD -- Goose
BIRD -- Loon
BIRD -- Martlet
BIRD -- Miscellaneous
BIRD -- Owl
BIRD -- Peacock
BIRD -- Quail
BIRD -- Raven
BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds
BIRD -- Sparrow
BIRD -- Swan
BIRD -- Vulture
BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE see also APPENDIX A -- Some birds and the postures in which they are found in period English heraldry
BLAZON
BOOK
BORDURE
CANDELABRA
CANTING
CARD PIQUE
CASTLE and TOWER
CHARGE -- Maintained and Sustained
CHARGE -- Miscellaneous
CHARGE -- Overall
CHARGE -- Peripheral
CHARGE -- Restricted or Reserved
CHARGE GROUP
CHESS PIECE
CHEVRON and CHEVRON INVERTED
CHIEF
COLLAR
COMET
COMPASS STAR and SUN
COMPLEXITY
CONTRAST
COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK
CORONET and CROWN
COTISES
COUNTERCHANGING
COUPED and ERASED
COUPED and THROUGHOUT
CRESCENT
CROSS
CROSSBOW and BOW
CUP and CHALICE
DEFAULTS
DELF
DICE
DIFFERENCE -- Substantial
DIFFERENCE -- Groups
DOCUMENTATION
DOCUMENTED EXCEPTION
DOLPHIN see FISH and DOLPHIN
EMBLAZON
EMBLAZON -- Coloring Problems
ENFILE
ERASED and COUPED see COUPED and ERASED
ERMINE see FUR
ERMINE SPOT
ESCARBUNCLE
ESTOILE
FEATHER
FESS and BAR
FIELD DIVISION -- Barry
FIELD DIVISION -- Bendy and Bendy Sinister
FIELD DIVISION -- Chapé
FIELD DIVISION -- Checky and Party of Six
FIELD DIVISION -- Chevronelly
FIELD DIVISION -- Gyronny
FIELD DIVISION -- Miscellaneous
FIELD DIVISION -- Paly
FIELD DIVISION -- Per Bend and Per Bend Sinister
FIELD DIVISION -- Per Chevron and Per Chevron Inverted
FIELD DIVISION -- Per Fess
FIELD DIVISION -- Per Pall and Per Pall Inverted
FIELD DIVISION -- Quarterly
FIELD DIVISION -- Vêtu
FIELD PRIMARY ARMORY
FIELD TREATMENT -- Ermined see FUR
FIELD TREATMENT -- Honeycombed
FIELD TREATMENT -- Mailly and Other Field Treatments
FIELD TREATMENT -- Masoned
FIELD TREATMENT -- Miscellaneous
FIELD TREATMENT -- Semy see SEMY
FIELDLESS
FIMBRIATED and VOIDED CHARGES
FISH and DOLPHIN
FLAG and BANNER
FLAMES and FIRE
FLAUNCH see TIERCE and FLAUNCH
FLEUR-DE-LYS
FLOWER -- Lily
FLOWER -- Miscellaneous
FLOWER -- Rose
FLOWER -- Thistle
FLOWER -- Trillium
FLOWER -- Tulip
FOIL
FRET and FRETTY
FRUIT
FUR
GOUTTE
GRANDFATHER CLAUSE
GRENADE and FIREBALL
GURGES
HAND and GAUNTLET
HAT
HEAD -- Beast see also COUPED and ERASED
HEAD -- Bird see also COUPED and ERASED
HEAD -- Human
HEAD -- Monster
HEART
HELM and HELMET
HUMAN
IDENTIFIABILITY
JAPANESE MON and CHARGES
KNOTS
LABEL
LEAF
LEG and JAMBE
LIGHTNING BOLT
LINES of DIVISION -- Jagged
LINES of DIVISION -- Long
LINES of DIVISION -- Miscellaneous
LINES of DIVISION -- Square
LINES of DIVISION -- Wavy
LOCATION see POSITION
LOZENGE
MAUNCH
MOLLUSK -- Snail
MONSTER -- Chimera
MONSTER -- Dragon and Wyvern
MONSTER -- Griffin
MONSTER -- Humanoid
MONSTER -- Merfolk
MONSTER -- Miscellaneous
MONSTER -- Panther
MONSTER -- Pegasus
MONSTER -- Phoenix
MONSTER -- Pithon
MONSTER -- Sea
MONSTER -- Winged
MOUNT and MOUNTAIN
MULLET
MUNDANE ARMORY
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
NESSELBLATT
OBTRUSIVE MODERNITY
OFFENSE
ORIENTATION see POSTURE categories
ORLE see CHARGE -- Peripheral
PALE
PALL and PALL INVERTED
Period Rolls of Arms and Armorials (discussion)
PIERCED
PILE and PILE INVERTED
PLANT
POSITION
POSTURE/ORIENTATION -- Animate Charges
POSTURE/ORIENTATION -- General
POSTURE/ORIENTATION -- Inanimate Charges
PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION
PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION -- Crests and Supporters
PROPER see also PROPER -- Brown Precedent
PROPER -- Brown Precedent
PROTECTED and PROTECTABLE ITEMS
RAINBOW
RECONSTRUCTIBILITY
REPTILE -- Lizard
REPTILE -- Snake
RfS X.4.j.ii
ROGACINA
ROUNDEL
SALTIRE
SCHNECKE
SEMY
SHAKEFORK see PALL and PALL INVERTED
SHEAF
SHELL
SHIP
SPINDLE
STAFF
STYLE
SUN see COMPASS STAR and SUN
SUSTAINED see MAINTAINED and SUSTAINED
SWORD
SYMBOL
TIERCE and FLAUNCH
TINCTURE
TOOL -- Astronomical
TOOL -- Textile
TRADEMARK see COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK
TREE
TREE BRANCH
TRIDENT
TRIQUETRA
TRISKELE and TRISKELION
TROUSERS of NOBILITY
VISUAL COMPARISON
WEIRDNESS
WINGED OBJECTS
WINGS and VOLS
WREATH

ADMINISTRATIVE
see also PROTECTED and PROTECTABLE ITEMS

An interesting conflict question arose this month, reminding us of the following precedent (still pertinent) from the cover letter of the March 1993 LoAR:
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.
[Magdalena Leonardi, 08/2001, A-Drachenwald]
[Reblazon of device] The Administrative Handbook mandates that an error in blazon which requires correction via a Letter of Intent must also include an emblazon in the Letter of Intent. The Letter of Intent did not provide such an emblazon in the Letter of Intent, although a copy of the old form with the emblazon was provided in the package to Wreath. This is therefore being returned for lack of necessary paperwork. [Gilbert Rhys MacLachlan, 09/2001, R-Caid]
Unfortunately, the College can only register the emblazons it receives, and we only received the emblazon for the augmented device. Since we have no emblazon received for the unaugmented device, it cannot be registered at this time. That would be akin to making a "holding device", which is not acceptable by College of Arms policy. [Anna z Pernštejna, 09/2001, R-Middle]
Please advise the submitter to be careful on future submissions to avoid outlines so thick that they appear to be fimbriation. My staff advises me that, in many cases, the problem with thick outlines that appear to be fimbriation is due to use of the computer program "Blazons". As a general rule, heraldic art from that program is flawed, and we encourage the College to educate their submitters not to use this program to generate the artwork used on their forms. [Magy McTerlach, 10/2001, R-Meridies]
Gillian's arms conflict with Iamys Huet's, found later in this LoAR. Gillian is an SCA member, and therefore, her submission takes precedence and may be registered without a letter of permission from Iamys. She is unlikely to be surprised by these events, as she has provided a letter of permission to conflict to Iamys. [Gillian Kylpatrick, 11/2001, A-Caid]
[reinstatement of released device as badge] The LoI provided no evidence that the release of the bat-winged cat device, on registration of her 1981 device change, was in error, nor did the LoI present evidence of hardship. There was no directive in the 1981 LoI, on the device change form, or in other paperwork in Laurel files, asking that Laurel preserve the previously registered device as a badge. Standard procedure under the then-applicable 1979 rules for submission (like today) was to release an old device if the device were changed, unless the submitter requested that it be kept as a badge. In this submitter's previous device change attempt in 1980 (returned at Laurel), the LoI indicated that the previous device (the bat-winged cat device) should be maintained as a badge. However, it has never been College of Arms policy to assume that such directives from one Letter of Intent carry through to another Letter of Intent. Laurel notes that the submitter was heraldically active in the SCA after the badge was released, as the files show heraldic actions from her through 1983. Therefore there is no clear evidence of a hardship existing by which she might not have been informed that the previous device was released. Laurel Sovereign of Arms would remind everyone that decisions are made based on the information provided on the forms, in the LoI, and in the comments provided by the College. Therefore, we must hold by non scripta, non est: if it isn't in writing, it doesn't exist. [Su of the Silver Horn, 11/2001, R-Caid]
No petition of support was provided for this augmentation. Since the augmentation modifies the branch arms, a petition of support is required. [Roaring Wastes, Barony of the, 11/2001, R-Middle]
The device must also be returned for administrative reasons. The petition does not include a blazon or emblazon of the arms being supported. As with real-world petitions, the signatures should be on the same piece of paper as a clear description of the item being supported by the petition. That description, in an SCA armorial petition, would ideally be a statement that We, the members of (Branch) support this device for our branch device, accompanied with a colored emblazon and a blazon. Such a petition makes it clear that all the signatories, including the blazon-illiterate signatories, understand the design being so submitted. A line drawing of the emblazon combined with the blazon (and some text describing the colors for the blazon-illiterate) is just as good as a colored emblazon. A blazon on the petition without an emblazon will suffice, as long as the blazon is an accurate representation of the emblazon. If that is not the case, then the petition will not be acceptable. [Fiodnach Eoghan, Shire of, 11/2001, R-Trimaris]
[Device appeal] There were other procedural problems with the submission. According to the Administrative Handbook section IV.C.1: Appropriate forms must be included for all submissions, including appeals, resubmissions, name and blazon changes, etc. No forms were sent. There was no mini-emblazon on the letter of intent. The Administrative Handbook section V.B.2.e states: An accurate representation of each piece of submitted armory shall be included on the letter of intent. Such emblazons must be clearly labeled and large enough that all elements of the design may be clearly distinguished. [Madallaine Isabeau de Cat, 11/2001, R-Trimaris]
[a pall inverted vs. a shakefork inverted] ... by current precedent, another CD between a pall inverted and a shakefork inverted.

Note that the precedent giving a CD between a pall inverted and a shakefork inverted is under discussion this month (see the cover letter). However, there is no need to pend this submission until the completion of a general policy discussion: it may be registered now under current SCA policy. Should the policy change as a result of the ongoing research and discussion, it will apply to those submissions received after the policy change. [David of Caithness, 12/2001, A-Caid] [Ed.: CD granted between a pall inverted and a shakefork inverted as of 08/2002 (see below)]
The device submission used wax-based crayons for the colors on the form. This resulted in a very brownish Or, and was almost a reason for return. Please do not use wax-based crayons on forms: the colors do not always stay true, the metallics fade particularly quickly, and wax crayons have been known to melt and stick to other items in the forms file or binder. The administrative handbook suggests Crayola Classic markers in the General Procedures section (AH IV.C.1): "The preferred medium for colored armory sets is to use watercolor markers such as Crayola Classic Markers. Any form of neon or pastel markers or pencils are inappropriate for the colored armory sets". [Oddr ölfúss the Tanner, 01/2002, A-Atenveldt]
The submission form has been altered from the standard West Kingdom form and omits the check boxes which allow the submitter to specify the disposition of her previous armory. Therefore her previous device ... is released, which is the default action. Please note that the check boxes on the submissions forms, which should be standard throughout all kingdoms, are not supposed to be altered. Valuable information may be lost by altering the forms. In some cases, alterations to the forms may be extreme enough to cause return of the submission, although that is not necessary in this case. [Mari Greensleaves, 01/2002, A-West]
The "Or" tincture is colored in a distinct orange color, which is not a valid variant of Or. [Asbjørn Pedersen Marsvin, 01/2002, R-Caid]
[a Norse serpent] The Norse serpent was declared an unregisterable charge in the LoAR of May 1998, effective in October of that year. This submitter had a submission in kingdom using this charge before that deadine occurred, and no resubmission was received at Laurel level until after the deadline occurred. However, convincing evidence has been presented by the Ansteorran College that there were significant administrative problems with the submitter's local and (to a lesser extent) regional and kingdom heralds during the period of time in which he could have put in timely submission of this device. While there is no paperwork proof that the armory was resubmitted in a timely fashion, it has also been demonstrated that much paperwork was lost by the pertinent heralds during the time in which such a resubmission might have occurred. Kingdom heralds have stated that the submitter did indeed attempt to resubmit in a timely fashion. It therefore seems reasonable to give this submitter the benefit of the doubt and allow him the use of this charge under the hardship clause, as noted in the Glossary of Terms:
It sometimes happens that a submission is delayed so long by circumstances outside the submitter's control that changes in the Rules for Submissions or their interpretation make it unregisterable. Depending on the exact circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, the submission may be judged according to the older Rules for Submissions and interpretations; this policy is popularly known as the Hardship Clause.
[Johann Gunnbjornsson, 02/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[Gules, three axes argent] This is clear of conflict with Wolfram von Eschenbach, Gules, two axes addorsed argent hafted proper (important non-SCA arms). There is one CD for changing the number of axes. The question was raised whether there is a second CD for changing the orientation of one of Wolfram's axes. If one looks at Wolfram's arms and counts the orientation change before the number change then one half of the group is changed and there is a CD for it. If one counts the number change first then only one of three charges has changed orientation and so no CD is granted. (A similar analysis can be made moving in the other direction, from Sefferey's submission to Wolfram's arms.)

The Rules for Submission give no indication that one class of change is to be considered before another. Precedent superficially appears to favor the less generous reading. As Palimpsest noted, "Consider the return of the submission of Leonia Dubarry in the January, 1993 LoAR. This compared three charges 2&1 vs in chief two charges. Laurel wrote in part, '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' While it is true that two charges can't be 2&1, it is also true that three charges can be in chief. This leaves the implication that the less generous interpretation prevails." Consulting the 1993 text, however, shows that Laurel also adduced examples of the change from three charges 2 & 1 to two charges in chief being used as a cadency step in period. These examples of cadency forced Laurel to apply the less generous interpretation. In Sefferey's case, there is no reason to believe that the change from two axes addorsed to three axes all with blades to dexter is but one cadency step. Therefore we can give the submitter the benefit of the doubt and grant the second CD. [Sefferey of Wessex, 02/2002, A-Meridies]
[Badge for Thrown Weapons Deputy] This badge is for a deputy for the marshallate in charge of thrown weapons. Precedent is mixed about whether deputies to major offices may have Kingdom badges assigned to them, or whether they must use a corporate level badge. The Sovereigns of Arms and Laurel Clerk discussed the issue, and Laurel determined the following: A combat marshal must be quickly identifiable on the field during inter-kingdom wars. Thus, it is important that the badges for marshals should be the same throughout the Society. Such badges should therefore be registered at the corporate level, rather than the kingdom level. This is currently the case for the Equestrian Marshallate, whose badge was registered at the Society level as Sable, two tilting lances in saltire and in chief a chamfron Or. [An Tir, Kingdom of, 02/2002, R-An Tir]
Both Dafydd and Maridonna are SCA members, so the item on the earliest dated Letter of Intent takes precedence, and the Outlands letter predated the Meridies letter. [Maridonna Benvenuti, 02/2002, R-Meridies][Ed.: Returned for conflict with Dafydd]
From Laurel: Similar in the geometric sense: mini-emblazons, that is

In the last few months, there have been cases where the mini-emblazon included with the Letter of Intent did not accurately represent the emblazon on the submission form. If the emblazon does not match the form, the CoA cannot produce useful commentary, which in turn does not allow a decision on that item. The CoA has enough to review without commenting on the "wrong" item. A mismatch between the LoI emblazon and what is on the submission form can be reason for administrative return. If you produce LoIs, please double-check that the mini-emblazons on your letters are a good representation of the emblazons on the submission forms.

Photoreduction is recommended over redrawing. Scanning can be used with care. Many complaints have been received about mini-emblazons which were produced by scanning at inappropriate settings, rendering elements of the armory invisible or otherwise unidentifiable. [04/2002, CL]
The submitter did not check any boxes on the form indicating the disposition of his previous device, Ermine, a fox rampant contourny gules maintaining in dexter forepaw a rapier sable, a bordure sable semy-de-lys Or. It is therefore released by default, per the Administrative Handbook, section IV.C.7, "Instructions for Disposition of Changed Items". [Balthasar Yvon Charon, 04/2002, A-An Tir]
[a tower sable ... environed in base with a laurel wreath vert] The device must be returned for lack of a name to which to register it. The armory had an additional problem which would not allow it to be accepted. Laurel wreaths should not be drawn with another charge between the tips of the wreath, except possibly when the charge between the tips is very thin. "[A laurel wreath and in chief a roundel] Second, the laurel wreath is not closed (or even nearly so), and if it were, there would be no room for a roundel. A properly drawn laurel wreath should not have sufficient room between its tips to place another charge"(LoAR 2/00). [Hawk's Rest, Shire of, 04/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Transfer of name and device to Daniel del Cavallo] This is a posthumous transfer. The Laurel office was provided with (1) a copy of Caterina's real-world will, (2) a letter from Caterina's legal heir transferring Caterina's name and device to Daniel del Cavallo, and (3) a letter from Daniel accepting transfer of Caterina's name and device.

We suggest that all people with registered armory consider writing an explicit heraldic will. Directions on how to create and file a heraldic will are in the newest Administrative Handbook section IV.F with a template for the will itself in Appendix D. This newest version of the Administrative Handbook is available on-line at http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/admin.html as well as from the usual print sources. [Caterina del Cavallo, 05/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
According to the September 2001 LoAR, "We do not have a similar period pattern of a wide range of field treatments based on various tessellations. Hence, after the LoAR of April 2002, honeycombed will no longer be registerable in the SCA." Therefore, this motif is no longer registerable.

Rampart expressed concern that this ruling was not available at the time the Letter of Intent was issued, possibly due in part to a misconception that the ruling was on the November 2001 LoAR, rather than the September 2001 LoAR. The cover letter for the LoAR of September 2001 is dated December 12, 2001, and the LoAR was mailed within a day or two of December 10 (the date that Master Symond, who is kind enough to do our mailings, received the LoAR). The decision was therefore available for a full month before the January 17, 2002, Letter of Intent upon which this submission was forwarded to Laurel.

Pelican and Wreath expect that submissions heralds will be aware of all rulings up to and including those made in LoARs which were mailed during the month before the date of a Letter of Intent. Standard College of Arms policy schedules the grace period for disallowed practices (when such grace periods are implemented as part of the Laurel decision) so that decisions may be made at kingdom based on the LoAR issued the month previous to the submission at hand. The grace period is not scheduled to cover items which were in submission in a kingdom Internal Letter of Intent, in the hands of a local consulting herald, or earlier in the consultation and submission process. Some pertinent precedents showing this timeline, or a slightly tighter timeline (depending on the postmark date for the LoARs in question) are:
No evidence was presented that a roundel enchancré is a period charge. Therefore, barring period evidence of its usage, after the July 1997 Laurel meeting we will no longer register it. (LoAR March 1997 p. 2) [note: deadline set so that it will cover all LoIs issued on or before March 1997, when the decision was published]

Commentary was nearly as strong in favor of banning garden rosebuds from armory. Consequently, we will accept whatever garden rosebuds may be in LoIs issued before December 1994, but no further registrations of this charge will be made. (CL for November 1994) [note: again, the deadline is set so that it will cover all LoIs issued on or before the Cover Letter date of November 1994.]
Please note that not all disallowed practices are given a grace period before they are disallowed. The institution of a grace period for a disallowed practice is at the discretion of the Sovereigns of Arms. [Gauvain Eisenbein, 05/2002, R-Outlands]
The College should note that a grace period when a new policy is implemented is not required by Laurel policy, but is implemented at the discretion of Laurel and the pertinent Sovereigns of Arms. The wording of the December 2001 Cover Letter on this issue was interpreted by some to mean that a grace period was required. This is not so. A grace period did seem to be appropriate in the case of this submission. [Gwenllian de Castell Coch, 06/2002, A-Artemisia]
[(Fieldless) A tankard argent] Conflict with Giles MacManus, registered in the Atlantian section of this LoAR, Per bend sinister sable and gules, a tankard argent. There is only one CD, for fieldlessness.

The cover letter for the March 1993 LoAR (dated 8 May 1993) stated:
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.
This policy has not been rescinded. It has been upheld a number of times since:
Since both submissions were from the same month, we followed the strictures from the Board which meant that we had to determine the membership status of the two submitters, since if one was a member and one was not, the member would get priority (LoAR September 1996).

According to the registry, both submitters were members in August 2001, and thus priority is determined by the date on the LoI (LoAR August 2001).
Wreath therefore telephoned the registry. The registry indicated that Giles MacManus's membership was current at the time of the Wreath meeting, and that Caterina had not been a member since March 2000. Since the armory of a member takes precedence over armory of non-members, Giles's armory takes precedence. [Caterina Amiranda della Quercia, 07/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Or goutty de sang] The gouttes are too numerous and too small to be identifiable. There was a significant discrepancy between the emblazon on the forms and the mini-emblazon on the Letter of Intent. There are approximately 130 gouttes on the form, and approximately 40 gouttes on the mini-emblazon. Forty charges is a large number to have on the field compared to the standard period depiction of a group of strewn charges (which often has as few as ten charges on the field). As long as the charges in a group of strewn charges maintain their identifiability, they are acceptable regardless of the exact number of charges in the emblazon. [Steffan von Hessen, 07/2002, R-Atenveldt]
The pile here is drawn with the pile issuing from the upper corners of the shield. This is different from the mini-emblazon. Since the full-sized emblazon is the final arbiter of the drawing, this must be returned. To quote from one of the more recent of the many rulings on the topic, "The pile is not drawn properly; a pile should not issue from the corners of the shield, but from farther in on the chief. As the pile also does not extend to base, it cannot be reblazoned as a chaussé field" (LoAR July 2000). [Michael of Ravenskeep, 07/2002, R-Outlands]
[acceptance of transfer] The Letter of Intent stated, "The e-mail requesting transfer, and Their Majesties' e-mail accepting transfer, are attached to the submission form". General Laurel policy has been explicit in indicating that official correspondence should be signed and that, while a scanned copy of a signed document is acceptable, e-mail is not. While the section of the Administrative Handbook dealing with transfers does not explicitly reiterate the requirement for a signature, Laurel has stated that a signature is needed in this case as well. The kingdom and Mistress Iduna have provided the College with signed transfer paperwork, so the transfer may be effected.

The LoI noted that this badge was intended to be used by the officer known as the Keeper of the Kingdom Directory. Per Laurel, "The Directory Keeper is listed on the Artemisia web page as a deputy of the Chronicler." Badges may not be registered for officers (including deputy officers) if a kingdom or corporate level badge for that position exists. In November 1980, a badge was registered for the Chronicler of the Society for Creative Anachronism: Per pale sable and argent, two quills conjoined in pile counterchanged, a chief gules. We have dropped the intended designator in order to register this badge to the Kingdom of Artemisia. [Artemisia, Kingdom of, 10/2002, A-Artemisia]
The shire's petition does not show support for this device. The petition does not contain a blazon, or any indication of tincture. The small line drawing emblazon does not show any charges on the chief. In addition, the laurel wreath is depicted on the petition as two curved lines making the bottom part of a semicircle with an 'x' at the bottom. This could only be viewed as a stylized laurel wreath with great charity. Because the petition needs to be reissued, when it is reissued, the depiction of the laurel wreath on the petition should match the wreath on the device. [Tir Briste, Shire of, 11/2002, R-Meridies]
This submission also has administrative problems. It was submitted as a new device for the alternate persona, on a device form. A submitter may only have one device, and Cynuise already has a registered device, Argent, a griffin passant to sinister vert within a bordure rayonny sable. A submitter may designate secondary armory for the use of an alternate persona, but the secondary armory should be submitted on a badge form and should be designated as a badge instead of a device. Please advise the submitter, on resubmission, to submit appropriately on a badge or device form. If submitting on a device form, the form should indicate that the submission is a device change and should also indicate whether the previous device should be retained as a badge or released. [Cynuise ó Cianáin of Bardsea, 11/2002, R-Trimaris]
[a cross fleury vs. a cross of four ermine spots] There is a CD ... for changing the type of cross. RfS X.4.e states "Types of charges considered to be separate in period, for example a lion and an heraldic tyger, will be considered different." Both crosses fleury and crosses of ermine spots were considered to be separate in period and were drawn so that they could be visually distinguished from each other.

Some commenters noted the following precedent: "We could see no more than a minor point of difference between the cross of conjoined ermine spots and the cross fleury" (LoAR 21 May 89, p. 23). It is important to recall that the criteria of the current Rules for Submissions are not the same as the criteria of the rules which were in effect in May 1989. The current version of the rules relies on historical and visual criteria for difference, while previous versions of the rules relied mostly on visual criteria. Thus, a precedent that a particular change was worth either a major or a minor point of difference under the old rules does not clearly translate into the presence or absence of a CD. [Geffroi de Mosterol, 12/2002, A-Ealdormere]
The Letter of Intent stated that this badge was intended for the joint use of the Barony of Concordia of the Snows and the Shire of Bergental. The Administrative Handbook only allows joint registration by two individuals - branches may not participate in a joint registration. To quote from section II.D.3, "Badges may be registered by an individual, by two individuals jointly, or by a Society branch." There is no administrative ambiguity about which branch should be registering this badge, as the paperwork received by the Laurel office only refers to the Barony of Concordia of the Snows, with no reference to the Shire of Bergental. [Concordia of the Snows, Barony of, 01/2003, A-East]
[a cross patonce vs. a cross bottony] A second CD must come from the type difference between a cross bottony and a cross patonce.

SCA precedent has so far consistently held that there is a CD between crosses bottony/crosslet and crosses fleury/flory/patonce. Kraken provided some citations from Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials, taken from the beginning of the section on single crosses. In these examples, we find armory using both crosses bottony/crosslet, and crosses fleury/flory/patonce, belonging to people with the same surname. He therefore rightly raised the question of whether we should continue to consider these types of cross to have been distinct in period (and thus worth a CD for the change in type), or whether we should consider them to have been artistic variants of each other in period (with no CD for the change in type).

In researching this question, we have used Kraken's examples, and added further research from Papworth, as well as Brault's The Rolls of Arms of Edward I ("Aspilogia III"), Cecil Humphery-Smith's Anglo-Norman Armory II, and the Dictionary of British Armorials (henceforth abbreviated DBA). We realize that these sources provide an unfortunately Anglocentric view of heraldry, but the sources at our disposal which allow this sort of research are largely English - and the research is being used to elaborate on some initial information that is also English.

The first, and most important question to ask, is whether changing the type of cross could ever be a change indicating different branches of the family (cadency). A change which could indicate cadency is a change which could be worth a CD. It appears that at least in some cases, the change in the type of cross indicates cadency. One good example is the family of Ward, as seen in the various sources cited above, where different branches of the family are specifically cited as using distinct cross types. As a general rule, type changes are one of the more common types of cadency change in period - much more common than cadency changes in posture and arrangement. So it is unsurprising that changing the type of a cross is, in some cases, a cadency change.

Since changing a cross type may sometimes indicate cadency, we must therefore determine whether the changes in cross type which we have found are indicative of cadency, or if they are indicative of artistic variation. Some ways of demonstrating that two types of charge are artistic variants of each other are:
- Demonstrating a general pattern of interchangeability between the two types of charge: most armory using one sort of charge is also found using the other sort of charge, or there is a temporal trend so that earlier versions of the charge are drawn in one way and later forms are drawn in the other way.

- Demonstrating that the choice of how to draw the charge was most likely due to the artist, because the artist of one roll would draw the charge consistently in one fashion and the artist of another roll would draw the charge consistently in another fashion.

- Demonstrating that there are numerous cases in which a single individual bore variations of the same sort of cross.
In all the cases above, the analysis should consider the source material and remove any erroneous material.

We were unable to demonstrate a general pattern of interchangeability between these two types of cross. It appeared that most of the time, a family used exclusively either crosses bottony/crosslet (henceforth abbreviated "bottony") or crosses patonce/fleury/flory (henceforth abbreviated "patonce"). This was particularly evident in the examination of the better-researched sources; as a general rule, Papworth's research is considered to be less authoritative than Brault's, Humphrey-Smith's, or that of the compilers of the DBA. Note that the DBA does not extend through the "cross" category yet, but DBA includes a fair number of examples of armory using either "bottony" or "patonce" crosses as secondary or tertiary charges in the company of bends, cantons, and chevrons.

We were unable to demonstrate that the choice of how to draw the cross was due to stylistic variations between artists. As Kraken noted, Harleian MS 1407 shows the family of Goldisbrgh/Goldesbry in both "patonce" and "bottony variants". The families of Brerlegh and Aton both are shown as using "patonce" and "bottony" variants in Glover's Ordinary.

We were unable to find any trend where a single individual was noted as using both "bottony" and "patonce" types of cross. We freely admit that we were not able to isolate many cases where we could attribute armory to a specific individual, so our researches in this area were not particularly compelling.

Lastly, it seemed apparent that Papworth's citations from Glover's Ordinary were responsible for a disproportionate number of the cases where one family appeared to use "bottony" and "patonce" crosses. These examples include the families of Aton, Brerlegh, Ward, and Taddington/Tuddington. If Papworth's interpretation of Glover's Ordinary is viewed as suspect, we are left with almost no reason to consider crosses "bottony" and "patonce" to be artistic variants of each other.

Thus, until new evidence is presented, we affirm the following precedent: "...there is still a CD between a cross flory and a cross bottony" (LoAR August 1999). [Miryam æt West Seaxe, 02/2003, A-Caid]
Some members of the College noted that another piece of armory with similar design was accepted without comment, and asked if the September 2000 precedent had been overturned due to that acceptance. Please note that registrations without comment do not establish precedent. [Magdelena Drucker, 02/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
From Laurel: Laurel Does Not Know It All
We have all seen instances when a submission was returned that was documented from a previously accepted submission - the old standard phrase is "Past registration does not ensure future registration." We are hopefully continuing to learn and this moving target can sometimes cause a name or device to be returned even just a month after a similar submission was accepted. A few weeks ago there was a discussion concerning the reply to a "But Laurel said ..." argument. The best summary of the situation comes from Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn:
One should always read any decision by Laurel as being prefixed by "Based on the available knowledge, research, and analysis available to us at this time, it is our understanding that ..."

Many heralds (on all levels of the hierarchy) often forget this and word statements of current knowledge as if they were Absolute Truth, but there's still an onus on the listener as well to insert the disclaimer.
We require your help to know "the truth". The current knowledge is extended by the research of the College of Arms, the College of Heralds, and the submitters. Any documentation provided on a submission, whether it is from the submitter, the Kingdom College of Heralds, or the College of Arms commenters, goes a long way to helping us all learn. If you provide "the truth" in your commentary and submissions work, that leads to better recreation and we all benefit from the latest best attempt at determining "the truth". [04/2003, CL]
The badge is transferred from the Principality of Northshield. As an administrative note, both parts of the transfer (the sending from Northshield and the reception by Moraig) should be separate items on the Letter of Intent. [Moraig Ann Drummond, 04/2003, A-Middle]
We apologize to the submitter for not mentioning this conflict at the time of the previous return, but the College of Arms did not bring it to our attention at that time. The Laurel office has been known to give the benefit of the doubt to a submission when a possible problem was not mentioned in the previous return, but was present in the previous submission and was clearly visible to Laurel when viewing the submission. Such a "clearly visible" problem could include possible problems with the artwork of the submission or the general heraldic style of the submission. Unmentioned conflicts are not clearly visible to Laurel and thus do not fall into this category. [Charles the Grey of Mooneschadowe, 06/2003, R-Ansteorra]
Unfortunately, because there was a significant discrepancy between the artwork in the full-sized emblazon and the mini-emblazon provided to the College of Arms in the Letter of Intent, we were unable to get the College's input on this armorial style problem. ... Usually we would rely heavily on the College's input to determine whether the artwork in the submission was too ambiguous to be registered or whether it could legitimately be registered with instructions to the submitter on how to draw the emblazon more clearly.

A significant discrepancy between the full-sized and mini-emblazon can be reason for return in itself, and is certainly a reason for return when the mini-emblazon's depiction masks a significant style issue with the armory on the full-sized emblazon. The Administrative Handbook requirements for preparation of letters of intent state that "An accurate representation of each piece of submitted armory shall be included on the letter of intent." The Cover Letter for the April 2002 LoAR stated:
In the last few months, there have been cases where the mini-emblazon included with the Letter of Intent did not accurately represent the emblazon on the submission form. If the emblazon does not match the form, the CoA cannot produce useful commentary, which in turn does not allow a decision on that item. The CoA has enough to review without commenting on the "wrong" item. A mismatch between the LoI emblazon and what is on the submission form can be reason for administrative return. If you produce LoIs, please double-check that the mini-emblazons on your letters are a good representation of the emblazons on the submission forms.

Photoreduction is recommended over redrawing. Scanning can be used with care. Many complaints have been received about mini-emblazons which were produced by scanning at inappropriate settings, rendering elements of the armory invisible or otherwise unidentifiable.
[Yosef ben Ami, 06/2003, R-West]
The submitter's name, Caterina da Napoli, was returned in August 2002. That LoAR was mailed well before this submission was sent to Laurel. Holding names are only formed for armory submissions that appear on an LoI before the LoAR containing the name return could be received and processed by the submission herald, not submissions that appear on an LoI long after the name has already been returned. Thus, even if this submission did not have armorial style problems, it would need to be returned for lack of a name under which to register it. [Katerina da Napoli, 07/2003, R-Lochac]
There are several letters used in the submissions process that require a signature. If a signature is required, then the letter must include a copy of the handwritten signature. A text e-mail message does not meet the requirement for a handwritten signature. [08/2003, CL]
... we note that the submission form designated the badge for the use of the College of Scribes, but this was not stated in the Letter of Intent. A future resubmission should be clear about whether Kingdom intends to designate the badge for a particular use. [Æthelmearc, Kingdom of, 08/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
... we still have not received an acceptable petition of support. We have received a petition which consists of a piece of paper which describes the device being submitted (very accurately and completely) but the signatures are on a separate piece of paper which has been cut off halfway down the sheet and then taped to the description paper. As noted in the LoAR of November 2001, "As with real-world petitions, the signatures should be on the same piece of paper as a clear description of the item being supported by the petition." You wouldn't want your bank to cash a check which had a snipped separate piece of paper with the signature taped onto the check - the same principle applies here.

Lastly, Administrative Handbook section IV.C.5 states "In the case of branches with no ruling noble, this support may be demonstrated by a petition of a majority of the populace and officers or by a petition of the seneschal and at least three-quarters of the other local officers." The signatures provided here do not indicate which (if any) officers have signed the petition. As a result it is difficult to determine if a majority of the populace and officers - or the seneschal and at least three-quarters of the other local officers - have signed the signature list. The format of the petition is also unclear about whether the signatures shows both SCA and real names of the submitters - or just SCA names. It is thus hard to determine how many people have signed the petition. [Loch Meadhonach, Shire of, 08/2003, R-Caltonir]
From Laurel: Time is a Precious Resource

Time is something that we all value and never seem to have in excess. As busy as we all are, it is a shame to waste time on activities that accomplish little or no good. It is a crime to do something only part way that then requires others to spend time to complete the work. There is a disturbing trend within the College of Arms to take shortcuts that save a little time up front but cause others more work.

Letters of Intent

When you take a shortcut on summarizing the documentation in a Letter of Intent or simply do not include documentation of a locative byname for a name submission, you are forcing the next person in the submission process to complete the work you started. The few minutes you saved by not including the necessary information will cost one or more people those minutes and perhaps more to recreate the information. (If you don't have the information and wish the help of the College then please specifically ask otherwise it looks like an omission.) If the omission is corrected by the kingdom college, the number of people doing the rework is limited, but if the rework must be done during commentary by the College of Arms, the amount of time is multiplied by potentially more than 50 people.

If you are unsure what is required either for documentation for a submission or in summarization in a letter of intent, I direct your attention to the Administrative Handbook (section V.B.2.b), the December 2002 LoAR Cover Letter secion "From Pelican: Inadequate Summarization of Submissions", and the November 2001 LoAR Cover Letter section "From Laurel Clerk: Things Missing from LoIs".

Commentary

Another place where shortcuts are tempting is in commentary to the College of Arms. We assume certain expertise and basic knowledge in our fellow commenters and in the Sovereigns of Arms. This relied-upon expertise can lull us into believing that a quick comment such as "we no longer register snort-gaskets" is sufficient. When making a statement or argument in which you give an "I think" or "I remember" or even "this is not done", please provide a reference to support your statement. A reference with no documentation or support requires us to spend time before or during the decision meeting looking for what you base your statement upon. If you do not have the time to provide support for a statement, it is better to omit that statement from your commentary.

In Summary

The volume of submissions has grown too large for the College of Arms to be able to regularly completely (re-)document an element of a submission. If the supporting documentation is not provided or adequately summarized on the Letter of Intent, the submission will be returned so that the deficiency may be corrected.

The high volume also means that the Sovereign of Arms do not have the time to search for the references that were vaguely given in commentary. Statements in commentary that allude to documentation but do not cite the source will be considered rumor and may be ignored. [09/2003, CL]
It is important to realize that a submission may need to be returned because of a problem with the mini-emblazon, even if the full-sized emblazon does not share that problem. If it appears that the College fully researched the submission despite the problems with the mini-emblazon, we may accept the submission. However, in many cases, the College does not fully research the submission for all style and conflict problems because they felt that the artistic problem on the mini-emblazon was a sufficient reason for return. When this happens, the mismatch between the mini-emblazon and the full-sized emblazon is a reason for return. [Caitilín ni Killane, 09/2003, R-Trimaris]
This month we received a request to honor a heraldic will, and we were able to honor it. However, the submission was not accompanied by any evidence that the person who had filed the heraldic will had, in fact, passed on. This was an uncomfortable situation. Our staff reminded us that it is by no means unknown for people to lie about a genuine real-world legal document with malicious intent, so it would be best if the Laurel office were provided with evidence of the death of the heraldic testator. On the other hand, we had no desire to cause any further grief to the bereaved by requesting this of the submitter. Laurel was able to determine that the heraldic will was valid. However, we advise kingdoms to accompany heraldic wills with some evidence indicating that the deceased has, indeed, passed on, to avoid the possibility that a living submitter might be a victim of a cruel prank. [12/2003, CL]
Note that jointly owned armory counts against the registration limit of the primary owner of the badge. As noted in the Cover Letter for the July 1992 LoAR, "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." The person with the right to release or grant permission to conflict must necessarily have this item counted against his registration limit. [James Andrew MacAllister, 12/2003, R-West]
In the spirit of the day after the nominal print date of this cover letter, we should issue a warning about The Quarter, http://www.thequarter.org/. It is an SCA newsletter completely devoted to humor and satire. Those incautious enough to read it while drinking may hurt their nasal passages and their keyboards, and anyone else may be driven to drink. This newsletter takes especial pleasure in poking fun at heralds and revealing our secrets. Laurel and Laurel staff have even been deceived by their irony.

Therefore, we are putting http://www.thequarter.org/ into Administrative Handbook Appendix X, "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" ("Index of Prohibited Books"). All heralds are formally enjoined from reading it without prior written permission from Laurel. Laurel expects this injunction to be observed as rigorously as the last time Laurel "formally enjoined" something in Trimaris (LoAR of December 1992). [01/2004, CL]

ADMINISTRATIVE -- Comments and Commenting

There have been a substantial number of possible visual conflicts called since August 2001. My staff and I have duly looked at each emblazon, and it has been an interesting romp through the binders, the CDs, and the occasional hurried scan and email of a JPG from Filing Central in Austin (thanks, Pelican!) During our first two months, I made certain that each visual check was duly discussed in the LoAR. After looking at the length of the LoARs, the visual checks will only be reported if they appear to be important to discuss. I'll still look at all of them, have no fear. [10/2001, CL]
[Ambiguity in wording] The Cover Letter for the February 2002 LoAR stated:
In this month's submission for Aethelwine Aethelredson (Calontir), a commenter raised the question of whether we should protect the non-SCA arms of the Earl of Atholl.

Ordinarily, such a request during the commentary cycle would cause a pend of the associated SCA armory and would be discussed there rather than in the Cover Letter. In this case, the armory in question was returned for a different reason, so there was no need for a pend. Laurel procedure in the past has been to rule on all requests for protection, whether they are raised in commentary pertinent to a submission in progress or whether they are raised in Letters of Intent to Protect. Therefore, this "orphaned" issue is presented for your consideration here in the Cover Letter.
The Cover Letter then quoted the section of the letter of comment which requested protection of these arms.

This item is being pended for the College's further consideration for two reasons. One reason is the ambiguity in the wording of the Cover Letter for the February 2002 LoAR. The second reason is the amount of new and pertinent information on this item which was received by the Laurel office, but which had not been presented to the College.

On the issue of ambiguity: As a general rule, when new items are presented to the College, the intent of the writer is clear to the readers. "Letter of Intent" is an accurate term. The Cover Letter for the February 2002 LoAR did not state that it was the intent of either Laurel or Wreath to protect the arms of the Earl of Atholl. It just asked for "consideration" of a commenter's request for protection of these arms.

The ambiguity in the request for consideration became apparent when we found that we must rule on this submission based on very sparse commentary. The general policy of the College of Arms has long been that "silence implies assent." The intent of the writer of a Letter of Intent is assumed to be supported (or at least, not opposed) by all members of the College who do not comment on the submission. Since the intent of Laurel and Wreath concerning this submission was not made clear in the Cover Letter, it was not clear how we should interpret the silence concerning this request for consideration. We asked some members of the College how they would interpret this silence, and received very disparate answers, implying that the ambiguity was a legitimate problem. Some members of the College felt that, since the Cover Letter did not state Laurel's (or Wreath's) intent to protect the submission, silence implied a lack of support for protection. Others felt that since the cover letter quoted the commenter's request for protection, silence implied support for the commenter's request for protection.

While the College is not, and has never been, a "voting organization", the criteria by which we choose to protect, or not to protect, real-world arms involve opinions as well as fact. Fame, familiarity, and importance are not easy to quantify. If twenty members of the College all provide the same argument explaining why two pieces of armory conflict, the argument is no more or less compelling than if only one commenter has done so. However, if twenty members of the College all state that a particular piece of real-world armory is, or is not, "important", "famous" or "familiar", that shared opinion is more compelling than hearing the same opinion espoused by only one commenter. We therefore strongly encourage all members of the College to comment on issues of protection of real-world armory. While scholarship and informed discussion are always preferred, there is use in even a short comment like "The evidence presented [does]/[does not] justify protecting this armory in the SCA."

It is therefore necessary to state unambiguously how silence will be interpreted in reference to this pended item. Because this item originated as a request for protection of the Earl of Atholl's arms as important non-SCA arms, silence will be interpreted as support for (or lack of opposition to) the protection of the arms. Please note that this statement does not reflect the personal opinions of either Wreath or Laurel. [Atholl, Earl of, 08/2002,P-Laurel]
When quoting from the Armorial and Ordinary, please cite the date of the armory as well as the name and blazon. The Wreath files are organized in three different places, based on date: the 1985 and before CD archives, the 1986-1993 CD archives, and the binders. We can save valuable time in the meeting if the registration date is on the citation. My staff and I thank you for your consideration.

Also, when citing cover letters, please cite the LoAR with which the cover letter is associated, as well as the date of the cover letter. It helps find the cover letter in the archives somewhat faster. [10/2001, CL]
Some members of the College noted that another piece of armory with similar design was accepted without comment, and asked if the September 2000 precedent had been overturned due to that acceptance. Please note that registrations without comment do not establish precedent. [Magdelena Drucker, 02/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
From Laurel: Time is a Precious Resource

Time is something that we all value and never seem to have in excess. As busy as we all are, it is a shame to waste time on activities that accomplish little or no good. It is a crime to do something only part way that then requires others to spend time to complete the work. There is a disturbing trend within the College of Arms to take shortcuts that save a little time up front but cause others more work.

Letters of Intent

When you take a shortcut on summarizing the documentation in a Letter of Intent or simply do not include documentation of a locative byname for a name submission, you are forcing the next person in the submission process to complete the work you started. The few minutes you saved by not including the necessary information will cost one or more people those minutes and perhaps more to recreate the information. (If you don't have the information and wish the help of the College then please specifically ask otherwise it looks like an omission.) If the omission is corrected by the kingdom college, the number of people doing the rework is limited, but if the rework must be done during commentary by the College of Arms, the amount of time is multiplied by potentially more than 50 people.

If you are unsure what is required either for documentation for a submission or in summarization in a letter of intent, I direct your attention to the Administrative Handbook (section V.B.2.b), the December 2002 LoAR Cover Letter secion "From Pelican: Inadequate Summarization of Submissions", and the November 2001 LoAR Cover Letter section "From Laurel Clerk: Things Missing from LoIs".

Commentary

Another place where shortcuts are tempting is in commentary to the College of Arms. We assume certain expertise and basic knowledge in our fellow commenters and in the Sovereigns of Arms. This relied-upon expertise can lull us into believing that a quick comment such as "we no longer register snort-gaskets" is sufficient. When making a statement or argument in which you give an "I think" or "I remember" or even "this is not done", please provide a reference to support your statement. A reference with no documentation or support requires us to spend time before or during the decision meeting looking for what you base your statement upon. If you do not have the time to provide support for a statement, it is better to omit that statement from your commentary.

In Summary

The volume of submissions has grown too large for the College of Arms to be able to regularly completely (re-)document an element of a submission. If the supporting documentation is not provided or adequately summarized on the Letter of Intent, the submission will be returned so that the deficiency may be corrected.

The high volume also means that the Sovereign of Arms do not have the time to search for the references that were vaguely given in commentary. Statements in commentary that allude to documentation but do not cite the source will be considered rumor and may be ignored. [09/2003, CL]
Conflict with Earl of Morris, Lozengy sable and gules, a hart rampant argent. ... More than [one] commenter cited the conflict above as being "important real-world armory" for "the Earl of Morris." However, the Armorial and Ordinary, and the Earl of Morris submission form, are clear that this registration, originally from 1973 albeit reblazoned later, is not real-world armory. It is just for some SCA guy named [Sir] Earl. Please be precise in your citations. . [Áedán uí Néill, 02/2004, R-Atlantia]

ADMINISTRATIVE -- A Cautionary Word Regarding "Conflict Tables"

From Wreath: A Cautionary Word Regarding "Conflict Tables"
It has come to our attention that there is a growing trend in the College to create "conflict tables". These tables summarize precedent on some class of armorial elements, such as crosses, flowers, or lines of division. The tables use a simple format that allows one to (for example) compare two types of crosses and look up whether they have no difference, a single CD ("significant" difference), or X.2 difference ("substantial" difference.) The tables also allow the user to identify the LoARs in which the rulings referenced by the table were made.

We understand the desire to provide a quick and simple summary of conflict issues, and we thank the compilers of these tables for their hard work. However, we caution the College that these tables may inadvertently contribute to an inaccurate view of the heraldic issues. We have reached this conclusion by investigating the source of some assertions made in College of Arms commentary, which turned out to be based on overgeneralizations from conflict tables, rather than being based on the combination of the Rules for Submission, examples of period armory, and precedents (past rulings in LoARs). We are happy to see that the conflict tables of which we are aware do reference an LoAR for each assertion made in the table. We suggest that people make use of the conflict tables, but that they do not make up their minds about conflict issues until they have read the full LoAR ruling referenced by the table, and until they have read the LoAR rulings referenced in closely related areas of the table.

In many cases, if there is not a clear general ruling pertaining to some class of armorial elements, it is because the issues pertaining to that class of elements are not easily summarized. RfS X, "Conflicting Armory", explains how armorial conflict in the SCA is based on an attempt to emulate period armorial practices:
A piece of armory may not be too similar to other pieces of armory, as is required by General Principle 3a of these rules. Period armory frequently distinguished between immediate relatives, like a father and his son, by making a single change to the arms in a process called "cadency". The changes made in such circumstances can be considered the smallest change that period heralds would recognize. This section defines ways in which submitted armory must be changed to be sufficiently different from protected armory.
It is just as easy - or as difficult - to create a table summarizing the grammar of a language, as it is to create a table summarizing period armorial practices for difference. In both natural language and in armory, there are many generally applicable rules, but also a large number of specific exceptions.

We would like to address one specific misconception which, according to some commenters, derived from an overgeneralization of a conflict table. One conflict table concerning crosses had a category of "cross throughout" (with sub-categories for the particular types of cross throughout, such as equal-armed Celtic quarter-pierced.) As a result of the cursory scan of this category, which generally gave a CD between the "throughout" cross and the cross with which it was compared, more than one College of Arms member incorrectly generalized that all crosses throughout were a CD from all crosses which were not throughout. The precedents listed in the LoAR table explicitly denied that generalization, but one had to look at the cited precedents to see that information. One example of a precedent referenced by the conflict table that denied this generalization:
[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 Mel Doraid, October, 1992, pg. 16)
A relatively recent LoAR also addressed this issue. Clarifying comments have been inserted into the quote in square brackets:
While we give a CD for a standard cross throughout [the ordinary] versus a cross couped, for most crosses (such as crosses fleury) we do not give such difference for couped [not-throughout] versus throughout. (LoAR February 2002).
[03/2004, CL]

ADMINISTRATIVE -- Devices for Consorts and Royal Heirs

[Device change for Consort] This submission has insufficient support from the populace of the Kingdom to be accepted. It is necessary for a kingdom to show support, not merely indifference, for changing armory that is as important as the consort's arms. The total polling, according to the LoI, had 93 respondents with 74 of the respondents in favor of the change. According to the S.C.A. Registry, on April 1, 2003, the Kingdom of Atlantia had 1254 sustaining members, 166 associate members, and 663 family members, for a total of 2083 members. This means that the total polling of 93 people reflected less than 5 percent of the Atlantian membership, with the positive responses being even less than that. We do understand that in any polling, many members will choose not to respond to the polling. Even taking that fact into account, the support shown here is insufficient to support the change in the armory. [Atlantia, Kingdom of, 04/2003, R-Atlantia]
From Laurel: Devices for Consorts and Royal Heirs

This month we were called upon to reflect on the SCA's policy of registering devices for a consort (either for a kingdom or a princpality), or for royal heirs apparent (also for a kingdom or principality). We have no evidence of a real-world consort having arms that differed from her husband's (except for marshalling). We likewise have no evidence of an heir apparent having arms that were not a differenced version of the arms of their parent, except for marshalling, and for fiefs that the heir apparent might have had (such as the Dauphiné, ruled by the dauphin, the heir to the French throne).

The practice of registering devices for the consort and heirs is falling out of favor in the SCA in general. Some of the newer kingdoms have not registered devices for their consorts and their heirs. We applaud the trend to a more period practice with regards to arms, or lack of separate armory for the consort and heirs.

Because the SCA device is parallel to real-world practices for arms, the SCA shall no longer register devices for consorts or for heirs to a kingdom or principality after July 2004.

Under this decision, consorts in kingdoms or principalities without consort's arms may use the undifferenced kingdom arms, and kingdoms may elect to allow both heirs to the throne to display the kingdom arms differenced by a label or other standard mark of cadency. This matches some period armorial display for royal arms.

Kingdoms and principalites that currently have arms registered for the consort or heirs may submit changes to the registered armory via the application of the grandfather clause. We shall require a poll of the populace showing support for changes to the armory. Note that this poll has not previously been explicitly required for the armory of the heirs apparent, but it seems appropriate to require such a poll, which is already required for consorts.

Kingdoms and principalities that currently have arms registered for the consort or heirs are encouraged to consider following period practice and to discontinue the use of the armory. [12/2003, CL]

ADMINISTRATIVE -- Generic Identifiers

From Pelican: What is a Generic Identifier?

A submission this month raised the issue of generic identifiers again. Given the confusion that exists regarding what is and is not a generic identifier, as well as how generic identifiers are used, we are providing a clarification of this issue.

Generic identifiers are descriptions that may be associated with registered items (mainly badges) to identify the use of that item. Unlike registered names (award names, order names, guild names, household names, et cetera), generic identifiers are not registered as an independent item and are not protected from conflict. This does not mean that the group may not use this identifier, but simply that we will not limit the usage of that identifier to a single group.

Names that fall into the generic identifier category are names that would reasonably be used by more than one branch for common functions of the branch. All kingdoms can have a university. All baronies can have a baronial guard. All groups can have an equestrian guild.

Adding the name of the branch to the description does not affect generic identifiers (because branch identifiers are transparent for conflict). As an example, Outlands Equestrian Guild falls into the generic category because the only thing that would differentiate it from Equestrian Guild of Calontir are the branch identifiers Outlands and of Calontir.

Some generic identifiers referring to kingdom uses are:
King's battle flag, Ensign, Flag, War banner, populace badge
Some generic identifiers referring to awards or specific positions are:
Champion, Defender, Kingdom Warlord, King's Champion, Queen's Bard, Queen's Champion, Children's Defender, Champion of Arts and Sciences
Some generic identifiers referring to guards and guilds are:
Baronial Guard, Guard, Queen's Guard

Archers, Archery Guild, Armourers' Guild, Bards' Guild, Brewers' Guild, Chirurgeon's Guild, Clothiers' Guild, Cooks' Guild, Equestrian Guild, Herbalist Guild, Needleworker's Guild, Scribes' and Illuminators' Guild, Waterbearers' Guild

Æthelmearc Equestrian Guild, Equestrian Guild of Calontir, Outlands Equestrian Guild

Carolingian Brewers' Guild, Drachenwald Brewer's Guild, East Kingdom Brewer's Guild
Some generic identifiers referring to academies and universities are:
Atlantian Pages Academy, University of Drachenwald, University of the East Kingdom
Some generic identifiers referring to offices are:
Office of the Chatelaine, Ministry of Children, Office of the Minister of Children, Kingdom Chirurgeon, Chronicler, Chronicler's Office, Hospitaller, Office of the Lists
Descriptions such as these are generic and may be used to identify the purpose of a registered item, but are not registerable on their own. They are included in the Ordinary and Armorial as references, rather than as registered items. In this manner, they convey the use of the item with which they are associated, but they are not protected against conflict. [12/2002, CL]
The LoAR designated the badge for use by a particular named academy and stated "Atlantia is not attempting to register the Academy Name at this time, merely wishing to associate the badge with that group." Only registered items (such as order names and household names) and generic identifiers may be associated with badges. As the (particularly named) academy is neither a registered item nor a generic identifier, it must be removed from the submission. One recent ruling affirming this long-standing administrative procedure is in the February 2002 LoAR: "The submission was designated as being for the Tinkerer's Guild. However, this is not a generic designation. A tinker is a period artisan, and thus a Tinker's Guild would be a generic designation (like a Blacksmith's Guild) which could be applied to a badge. However, tinkerer does not seem to be a period occupation. Since the branch does not have the name Tinkerer's Guild registered to them, the designation has been removed."

The Cover Letter to the December 2002 LoAR has a long discussion of what sort of identifiers are generic. The summary definition states, "Names that fall into the generic identifier category are names that would reasonably be used by more than one branch for common functions of the branch. All kingdoms can have a university. All baronies can have a baronial guard. All groups can have an equestrian guild." [Atlantia, Kingdom of, 07/2003, A-Atlantia]

ADMINISTRATIVE -- Permission to Conflict

Gillian's arms conflict with Iamys Huet's, found later in this LoAR. Gillian is an SCA member, and therefore, her submission takes precedence and may be registered without a letter of permission from Iamys. She is unlikely to be surprised by these events, as she has provided a letter of permission to conflict to Iamys. [Gillian Kylpatrick, 11/2001, A-Caid]
Unfortunately, the letter of permission provided is not valid. According to the Administrative Handbook, section IV.C.3, a written statement of permission must be included, signed by the owner of the conflicting item with both Society Name and name used outside the Society. The letter provided was not signed. Note that a signature is not a computer generated line of typescript giving the name of the submitter, it is a handwritten signature or a copy thereof. Perhaps in the future we might wish to consider email headers, or electronic signatures, as valid signatures. However, it is worth noting that neither of these were present in this letter of permission either. [Madallaine Isabeau de Cat, 11/2001, R-Trimaris]
[regarding Eleanor Leonard's permission to conflict] Over the years, there have been many requests for permission to conflict made of and given by Eleanor. In 1991, Eleanor Leonard presented the College of Arms with a blanket letter of permission to conflict reserving only the specific ways she intended to use the badge, so that she would not continue to be bothered by requests for permission to conflict.

In the September 1991 LoAR Cover Letter, the relevant portion of the letter was published with a call for discussion. In the January 1992 Cover Letter, Da'ud ibn Auda, then Laurel, did not accept it, giving reasons for not "customizing protection" that included not wanting to complicate the Administrative Handbook, the Armorial, and the lives of SCA heralds. It is true that there would be problems with registering any arbitrary conditions a submitter might impose. However, one simple blanket permission was registered in 1997. The recent edition of the Administrative Handbook now provides for two simple types of blanket letters of permission in III.C.4, "Blanket Permission to Conflict", and Appendix D has a template "Blanket Permission to Conflict". Furthermore, even a more complicated blanket permission may be worth accepting. We will consider such exceptional letters on a case-by-case basis, balancing the costs of implementations of letters versus the benefits to submitters. ...

Therefore, there is permission to conflict for any armory with a primary charge that is not solidly one of the seven major tinctures (argent, Or, azure, gules, purpure, sable, and vert). As well, there is permission to conflict for any fielded armory (not fieldless) where the field is not solidly one of those seven major tinctures. [01/2002, CL][Ed.: See the Cover Letter for the complete discussion]
[Azure chapé ployé, a tulip slipped and leaved Or] Conflict with Katheline van Weye, Quarterly vert and purpure, a tulip slipped and leaved Or. The submitter has a letter of permission to conflict from Katheline that explicitly pertained to her previous submission, Azure, a tulip slipped and leaved Or. However, no letter of permission to conflict has been received for this submission. As can be seen in Appendix D of the Administrative Handbook, the standard form letter for a letter of permission to conflict (which was followed in Katheline's letter) only specifically gives permission to conflict between two stated blazons: that of the registered item and that of the submission in progress. The old letter of permission to conflict, as stated, does not pertain to this new submission. It is an unfortunate inconvenience, to be sure, but it does allow precision in granting permission. Note that more general letters of permission to conflict are acceptable if stated clearly and unequivocably. [Sondra van Schiedam, 09/2002, R-Calontir]
The device is still in conflict with the armory cited in the previous return, that of Degary Golafre of Pembroke ... The submitter has provided Laurel with emails from Degary's wife, issued from Degary's email account, indicating willingness to provide permission to conflict. However, the administrative handbook requires that "If permission to conflict has been granted, a written statement of permission must be included, signed by the owner of the conflicting item with both Society Name and name used outside the Society." The emails did not include a signature, and therefore are not valid letters of permission to conflict. A scan of a full letter of permission to conflict (including signature along with the text of the letter) would be acceptable, but unsigned text email is not.

The submitter, in her long and unfortunately arduous submissions history, has amassed letters of permission to conflict ... Some of these letters of permission to conflict are by no means recent: the one which bears a date is dated November 27, 1995, and some of the others may be older. The College should note that the administrative handbook does not mandate an "expiration date" for letters of permission to conflict, nor does a letter of permission to conflict cease to be valid if a submission is returned at Laurel. Yet permission to conflict may be rescinded by the owner of the conflicting armory at any time before the submission is registered. Any person wishing to rescind permission to conflict for a submission which has not yet been registered must write to Laurel and the submitting kingdom with an explicit letter to rescind any previously written letter of permission to conflict. [Elina of Beckenham, 09/2002, R-West]
It has been requested that the long-standing SCA tradition of assuming that a submitter automatically grants himself permission to conflict should finally be enshrined, in writing, in these hallowed LoARs. Therefore, let it be explicitly known that a submitter is assumed to give himself permission to conflict with all names and armory registered to him individually or jointly. [Timothy of Glastinbury, 11/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[on a bordure ... the words "In Diece von Albrecht von Halstern"] The text on the bordure was intended to mean "in service to Albrecht von Halstern." ... In addition, the College had concerns about the fact that this armory contains text using another SCA member's registered name (Albrecht von Halstern) without permission from that SCA member. Note that RfS I.3 states (emphasis added) "No name or armory will be registered which claims for the submitter powers, status, or relationships that do not exist." We decline to rule on this issue at this time, as we would like to see more commentary from the College on this topic. However, we strongly suggest that any submitter whose armory contains text that is a registered SCA name should obtain a letter of permission from the referenced person or branch. [Beowulf fitz Malcolm, 02/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
The badge conflicts with a badge of Isabel the Mad ... The submitter included a copy of e-mail from Isabel the Mad, which gave permission to conflict, but the e-mail was not signed with an actual signature. The Administrative Handbook section IV.C.3 requires a signature to a letter of permission to conflict:
Permission to Conflict - If permission to conflict has been granted, a written statement of permission must be included, signed by the owner of the conflicting item with both Society Name and name used outside the Society. (See Appendix D for a standard form for granting permission to conflict.)
In this month of "spoofed" e-mails courtesy of the computer virus de jour (where the apparent sender of the e-mail was not in fact the real sender of the e-mail) it seems appropriate to reaffirm current precedent on this topic, as stated in the LoAR of November 2001:
Unfortunately, the letter of permission provided is not valid. According to the Administrative Handbook, section IV.C.3, a written statement of permission must be included, signed by the owner of the conflicting item with both Society Name and name used outside the Society. The letter provided was not signed. Note that a signature is not a computer generated line of typescript giving the name of the submitter, it is a handwritten signature or a copy thereof. Perhaps in the future we might wish to consider e-mail headers, or electronic signatures, as valid signatures. However, it is worth noting that neither of these were present in this letter of permission either.
[Gabriel Ximenez de Malaga, 08/2003, R-Calontir]

ADIMINSTRATIVE -- Registration Limit

From Laurel: Enough, or More Than Enough?

The CoA Administrative Handbook, in defining limits on the number of items that may be registered, specifically states that, "Kingdoms, principalities, baronies, provinces, and equivalent branches are subject to no limit on the number of items they may register". (AH I.A) In the March 1986 LoAR, Baldwin Laurel returned the five badges, identical save the color of the field, submitted by the Barony of Westermark, saying:
No formal restriction is placed on the number of badges a branch may be submit because it is assumed that branches may have good and constructive reasons for more than one badge. This is an abuse of the privilege. Please advise them to pick one.
Since June 2002, we have been asked to consider nineteen badges from Trimaris (not counting duplicate submissions that were withdrawn by the kingdom). Of these nineteen badges, ten were addressed in June and nine are being considered for registration this month. The Letter of Intent did not explain the intended purpose of any of these badges.

The large number of badges submitted in a short time has raised concerns of abuse of the privilege of unlimited registrations allowed for kingdoms. All the submissions have been for fieldless badges using azure charges, most of nautical origin. On conferring with the submitting kingdom, it appears that they have been registering badges against future need.

The large number of undesignated badges submitted in such a short time, especially when a number of the badges are intended for future use, appears to be an attempt to "corner the market" on azure nautical badges. We consider this to be an "abuse of the privilege" of the unlimited number of registered items allowed by the Administrative Handbook. We believe that badges should only be registered for current or identified need. Therefore, the nine badge submissions from Trimaris are being returned to allow Trimaris to reconsider the need for the registration of these badges at this time.

Laurel wishes to make it clear that, if the kingdom or any branch "subject to no limit on the number of items they may register" has a legitimate need for these badges, it should certainly be able to register them without forcing the kingdom to provide a designation - or worse, an unnecessary associated name registration - to "explain" the need for the badges. Reference to a generic identifier in an armory submission may assist Laurel when considering significant numbers of submissions at a single time. [11/2002, CL]

AMPHIBIAN

[a frog tergiant inverted] This device uses a frog in the tergiant inverted posture. The SCA has general precedents against registering inverted animate charges unless they are part of a radially symmetrical group such as in annulo. These precedents are on the grounds that such inverted animals are generally not readily identifiable, and they are not found in period heraldry. However, the SCA also has a registration tradition of allowing animals which are usually found in a tergiant posture to be registered in the tergiant inverted posture. We were asked by the submitting kingdom to rule on the acceptability of the tergiant inverted posture when considering this submission.

There is very little period evidence for tergiant inverted animals in heraldry. No evidence was presented by the College. We were only able to find two instances of period or near-period tergiant inverted animals after the Wreath meeting, both of which used scorpions. There is a tergiant inverted scorpion as the crest of Sir William Sharington/Sherrington c. 1547 in Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry, p. 104. This crest is a very unusual depiction of the Sherrington scorpion crest/badge: in the town of Lacock (where the Sherrington family was granted the old abbey as a home by Henry VIII), there are period displays of their armory in the Abbey/Sherrington home and in the town church, and the scorpion seems always to be in the default tergiant posture. Guillim's Display of Heraldrie second edition p.215 gives the arms of Cole, Argent, a cheueron, Gules, betweene three scorpions reversed, sable. The emblazon shows the scorpions in what the SCA would call the tergiant inverted posture. The second edition, published in 1632, is not in our period, but is in our grey area. The combination of a perhaps-erroneous emblazon of a crest with a slightly post-period emblazon of armory is not clear evidence of period practices for scorpions, and is certainly not compelling evidence for a general period use of the posture tergiant inverted.

A significant number of commenters felt that inverting a tergiant charge which is commonly found as tergiant (such as a tergiant scorpion or a frog) does not hamper the identifiability of the charge so much as to render it unidentifiable, and they felt that it should be acceptable. The frog in this submission certainly retains its identifiability very clearly in the inverted posture. As a result, inverting a tergiant charge is acceptable as long as it does not otherwise violate any basic heraldic principles, including the requirement for identifiability. Because of the lack of period evidence for tergiant inverted charges, the posture will be considered a clear step from period practice (also known informally as a "weirdness") for any charge that cannot be found in this posture in period. We explicitly decline to rule at this time on whether scorpions tergiant inverted should be considered a "weirdness". [George Anne,
05/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[a frog courant] This frog is not drawn identifiably. Most notably, it lacks the expected webbed feet (appearing, rather, to have feline paws), and instead of having a frog's long hind legs and rear feet, its hind legs and hind feet are only slightly larger than the forelegs and forefeet. In general, the College uniformly found this emblazon to be difficult to identify for a number of artistic reasons.

We note that frogs in period heraldry are invariably found in the tergiant posture. The SCA has registered frogs in other postures as long as they maintained their identifiability. [Dauid Mac an Ghoill, 09/2003, R-Meridies]

ANNULET

[(Fieldless) Three thistles conjoined in pall inverted bases to center proper within and conjoined to an annulet Or] The annulet is drawn at the edge of the circle of the form, so that at first glance it appears to be a bordure. This sort of depiction should be avoided, as it causes confusion. [Isabel du Lac d'Azur, 08/2001, A-Atenveldt]
[three annulets interlaced one and two Or] A question was raised about possible problems with use of the Ballantine's Ale insignia. While we did not find the corporate web site, we did find beer collectors' web sites showing many beer labels of varying ages, and the Ballantine's Ale logo uses the annulets two and one, not one and two. Because this is a simple geometric logo, without any particular nuances of artwork that make these rings an unmistakable allusion to the Ballantine's logo, the inversion of the three rings design does not infringe on the Ballantine's Ale insignia. [Roaring Wastes, Barony of the, 11/2001, R-Middle]
[Gules, a fireball within an annulet Or] This does not conflict with ... Gules, a horse rampant to sinister within an annulet Or. The annulet functions here as a surrounding secondary charge, like a bordure. This is therefore clear by RfS X.2, as the type of the primary charges has substantially changed, and this is simple armory for purposes of that rule ("no more than two types of charge directly on the field and has no overall charges.".). [Jehanne le feu du Christ, 06/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[six annulets interlaced in annulo] The submitter is a knight and thus entitled to use a closed loop of chain. These annulets interlaced in annulo resemble a chain closely enough that they could only be registered to someone able to register the reserved charge of a closed loop of chain. [Ibrahim al-Dimashqi, 03/2003, A-Artemisia]
[Quarterly azure and argent, an annulet sable] Conflict with Conrad Breakring, Argent, an annulet fracted on the dexter side sable. There is one CD for changing the field but nothing for fracting the annulet. The LoAR of February 1999, p. 10, gave no difference between a serpent involved (a serpent biting its tail so that its body is in a circle) and Conrad's annulet fracted: "[Or, a serpent involved sable] This conflicts with Conrad Breakring of Ascalon, Argent, an annulet fracted on the dexter side sable., with one CD for the difference in the fields." This default annulet should resemble Conrad's fracted annulet even more strongly than the fracted annulet resembles a snake involved. [Guðrøðr of Colanhomm, 11/2003, R-Drachenwald]

ARCHITECTURE

There is no difference between a tower and a lighthouse given the varying depictions of towers and similar architecture in period, so there is only one CD for adding the laurel wreaths. ... A lighthouse, like a beacon, is correctly enflamed at the top only, according to the Pictorial Dictionary. [Dun an Chalaidh, Shire of, 08/2001, R-An Tir]
[a tower argent masoned sable] Architectural charges made of stonework such as towers, castles and walls may be drawn masoned as a matter of artist's license. Therefore, there is no additional tincture difference for adding or removing masoning for these types of charge. [Gemma Meen, 01/2002, R-An Tir]
The turnpike, or turnstyle, in this submission would be the defining registration of this charge in SCA heraldry. Defining instances of charges require slightly higher standards of documentation than registrations of previously registered charges. This policy has been upheld consistently for over ten years but one of the clearest statements of the policy is in the LoAR of August 1995:
A registration of this submission would apparently be the first, and therefore defining, instance of such a charge. Especially in the case of charges not registered previously, the College requires documentation that the charge (a) has been used in period armory or (b) is compatible with similar charges in period armory, and (c) has a standardized depiction which would make reproducability [sic] from the blazon possible. We need such documentation here.
This submission was accompanied by a single piece of documentation from Parker's A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry. This book does not clearly date the charge as having been used in period armory. The only date provided in Parker is associated with the crest of Skipworth, but appears to be the date of the founding of the baronetcy rather than the date of the crest. We consulted Fairbairn's Crests, but that volume did not help resolve the date of that particular crest. No evidence was presented by the submitting kingdom, and none was found by the College or Laurel staff, for use of a turnpike in period heraldry.

If a turnpike is a period artifact, it would probably be "compatible with similar charges in period armory" such as portcullises and doors. However, no evidence was presented describing a period turnpike. Nor was documentation presented showing that a turnpike "has a standardized depiction which would make reproducability [sic] from the blazon possible." The submission must therefore be returned until such time as the turnpike may be documented appropriately for a defining instance of the charge. [Ian Cradoc, 05/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[an arch top] The SCA has not registered an arch top before, although it has registered an arch. The arch top in this submission is the semicircular portion of an arch only, without any columns on the sides.

In some cases, we routinely create a new charge out of a portion of a standard heraldic charge without requiring specific documentation for that portion of a charge being used as an independent charge in period. It was a standard period heraldic practice to create demi-beasts and beast's heads from a beast. In keeping with this real-world practice, if a particular beast or monster is a documented heraldic charge, we routinely allow the registration of a demi-beast/monster or a beast's/monster's head as long as the charge's identifiability is preserved. For example, a demi-enfield preserves its identifiability as a portion of an enfield, as it includes the enfield's fox's head, eagle's forelegs and greyhound's torso. However, an enfield's head does not preserve its identifiability, as it would be identical to a fox's head. We thus would not register an enfield's head, although we could register a fox's head.

In the case of the arch top, it does not appear to be a standard period heraldic practice to create an arch top from an arch, any more than it is a standard period practice to create a tower top from a tower. The College felt that the identifiability of the arch top was not preserved when it is removed from the rest of the arch, and that this charge violated RfS VII.7.a, which states in pertinent part, "Any charge, ... must be identifiable, in and of itself, without labels or excessive explanation. Elements not used in period armory may be defined and accepted for Society use if they are readily distinguishable from elements that are already in use." The College felt that the arch top was not "identifiable, in and of itself." Moreover, if the arch top is an "[element] not used in period armory", it is not "readily distinguishable from elements that are already in use", as it could be confused with a bridge.

If documentation were provided for an arch top in period heraldry, then the charge could be registered. The concerns about the identifiability of this "[element] not used in period armory" would be removed if documentation were presented showing that an arch top, in this depiction, was a period charge. However, no such documentation has been provided with this submission, or by the College.

Precedent has consistently held that the first submission of a charge to the College should be accompanied by documentation: "This is being returned for lack of documentation. We can find no indication that a 'muffin cap' has ever been registered before in the SCA. As a consequence, this would be the defining instance of the charge. Previous Laurel Sovereigns of Arms have held new charges to the same standard of documentation and have return them for lacking it, c.f. a winch (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, LoAR 9/92, p. 42), a Mongol helm (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, LoAR 12/92, p. 15), a zalktis (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, LoAR 1/93, p. 28) and a Viking tent arch (Da'ud ibn Auda, LoAR 5/94, p. 17)" (LoAR August 1997, p. 16). [Odysseus Titinius Maximus, 12/2003, R-Calontir]
[a house] This is the first SCA registration of a house. It is shaped like a horizontal billet with a hip roof and a slightly sagging ridge beam. The door is arch-topped and is in the center of the fesswise billet, and there are two small arch-topped windows over the door, one to either side.

The depiction of the house is taken from Von Volborth's Heraldry, Customs, Rules and Styles, p. 54. Von Volborth does modern redrawings but has a good idea of period sensibilities. The illustration says that the arms are of the town of Dorfen, in Bavaria, and are derived from 14th C seals.

Houses are found, if infrequently, in period armory. In addition to the 14th C coat mentioned by Von Volborth, the Dictionary of British Arms gives a few examples of armory depicting a "house" or "hall." Unfortunately, no evidence was either presented or found showing a period depiction of a house as used in heraldry.

The LoAR of May 1998 indicates that the usual SCA procedures for the first registration of a charge are relaxed for architectural charges. While ordinarily a new charge documented solely from a modern redrawing (such as Von Volborth's) would not be registerable, this house meets the criteria set forth in the May 1998 LoAR for first registrations of architectural charges. This charge is clearly recognizable as some sort of a house, and houses were period charges. This is thus analogous to the May 1998 registration of a domed mosque of one minaret which stated:
A question of reproducibility was raised in commentary in regards to this submission. Of particular relevance to this case are period heraldic depictions of buildings. There are, particularly in Continental heraldry, many coats incorporating everything from individual buildings up to entire cities. Even a casual examination of multiple sources will show that there was little regularity in depiction. The blazon for such charges is characteristically vague: "a church" or "a city". Clearly any variation in depiction is a matter of artistry, not heraldry.

In this case, anyone viewing the emblazon will recognize the charge as a mosque. A competent heraldic artist may not produce this particular mosque, but will presumably produce a drawing which, again, the viewers will recognize. This situation is no different from period heraldic depictions of churches.

This is a change to our normal policy of having the first registration of a charge not documented as having been used in period heraldry be the defining example of the charge. In this specific case, since the period usage of buildings varied so widely, we are comfortable with not having a defining example.
[Brian of Leichester and Katryna Robyn, 03/2004, A-Æthelmearc]
[Argent, an arched wooden double door inset into a stone archway proper] The Pictorial Dictionary states that "The door... may be inset into an arch or wall." This submission insets the door into a stone archway proper. Unfortunately the grey of stone proper (as defined in the SCA Glossary of terms) classes as a metal, and has insufficient contrast with the underlying argent field.

Note that the stone surrounding the door is, as drawn in this submission, an intermediate grey which has insufficient contrast with either argent or sable. This adds additional problems to the depiction, in that the stone proper is not drawn as a correct depiction of stone proper (which would class as a metal) but is not dark enough to be considered an artistic variant of sable. [Sudentorre, Canton of, 03/2004, R-Atlantia]

ARRANGEMENT
see also ARRANGEMENT -- Forced Move and ARRANGEMENT -- Conjoined

[Azure, in chief three cups inverted in chevron Or and in base three plates in chevron] The arrangement of the charges does not match any period pattern. However, this is only one weirdness and is thus registerable. [Ælfgar Greggor of Vulpine Reach, 08/2001, A-Merides]
[Or, five birds volant two one and two sable] This device conflicts with ... Or, six ravens close sable. ... There is no CD for arrangement, since six charges cannot be two one and two, and five charges cannot be arranged three two and one. [Robert of Gresewode, 09/2001, R-Caid]
[Argent goutty de sang, a laurel wreath vert] The device is clear of conflict with the Barony of Coeur d'Ennui, Argent, a laurel wreath vert within eight boars' heads couped in annulo gules. There is one CD for the type of secondary charges and another for arrangement. This is clearly a group of strewn charges rather than charges in annulo, as can be seen from the gouttes in the middle of the laurel wreath. [Campofiamme, Stronghold of, 10/2001, A-Drachenwald]
[three fleurs-de-lys vs. three ash leaves stems to center] When a group of charges has a visually obvious palewise posture, and a visually obvious top and bottom, there can be a CD between three palewise charges and three charges which are radially disposed. [Ysabel la Serena de Lille, 11/2001, A-Artemisia]
[in chief three lozenges] The original blazon read, in latter part, ... and in chief three lozenges in fess Or. Three items in chief will also be in fess by default. We do find armory in the SCA with three items in chief, arranged one and two, but this arrangement should always be blazoned. [John de Lochabre, 12/2001, A-Atlantia]
[Purpure, a tower within five compass stars in annulo Or] Conflict with a badge of Roland O'Donnell, Purpure, a tower within an orle of lions rampant Or. There is a CD for the change in type of secondary charges. There is normally a CD for changing the arrangement of a group of unnumbered (and thus "many") charges from in orle to in annulo, even on a round badge form. However, Roland's emblazon shows that there are only seven lions in his group of unnumbered charges. Because there are relatively few charges in both these secondary charge groups, the difference in arrangement is much less obvious than when there are eight or more charges in each group. Most of the charges in the two groups are in the same place on the field, and would likely to be in the same place on the field on any shape of escutcheon. Therefore, there is no difference for the change in arrangement, and nothing for the change in number from five to seven charges by RfS X.4.f. [Agripina Argyra, 01/2002, R-Ansteorra]
[Vert, in pale a stag courant inverted and a stag courant to sinister argent] These stags were originally blazoned as courant in annulo widdershins, legs outward, argent. However, these are not clearly in annulo as they are not embowed enough to make a circle. Such a posture may not be possible for stags with their legs outwards, since in order to truly make a circle, the stags would need to be drawn with extremely arched backs. Such a depiction is likely non-period style. In any case, animals in annulo are expected to have their legs inwards and their identifiability and period style are hampered by this posture.

We have precedent against animals which are almost, but not really, in annulo:
[A coney courant and another courant contourny inverted conjoined at the paws argent] The rabbits were originally blazoned as conjoined in annulo. However, the beasts were not drawn in annulo, where the two animals are embowed, but were drawn as courant and courant inverted. By precedent we do not register inverted animals unless they are part of an arrangement in annulo. (LoAR October 2000)
This is clear of conflict with ... Vert, two stags combattant argent. There is one CD for the difference in arrangement between in fess (as with two animals combattant) and in pale. There is also a CD for changing the posture, for the change between rampant/rampant to sinister and courant inverted/courant to sinister. [Katrín Þorfinssdóttir, 02/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Gules, in dexter chief, sinister chief, and base a bear rampant Or, and in chief, dexter base and sinister base a tree argent] No documentation was presented, and none was found, for this arrangement of two types of charge on a plain field. The arrangement is very difficult to blazon, hence the laborious blazon above. Some less explicit blazons were suggested, but none of them would unambiguously recreate this emblazon. The combination of the lack of documentation and difficulty of blazon indicates that this design is too far from period style to be accepted.

While we were unable to find this arrangement of two types of charge on a plain field, it may be found on a field divided party of six pieces. See, for example, a grant of arms c.1558, Party of six azure and Or, three fountains and three lion's heads erased gules (Gwynn-Jones, The Art of Heraldry, p. 103). This blazon for the 1558 coat is patterned on the blazon for Theodoric of Salt Keep, Party of six pieces per fess nebuly gules and ermine, three anvils argent and three falcons close sable. In these cases, the divided field causes the charges to fall into the desired arrangement by default, simplifying the blazon. [Sofia Chiudskaia Smolianina, 05/2002, R-Middle]
[Per pale vert and sable, six gouttes three two and one argent] It is not clear whether the default for six objects on a per pale field should be three two and one (as on a plain field) or two two and two (so the charges are placed on opposite sides of the line of division.) We have thus blazoned the arrangement of the gouttes explicitly. [Malcolm Makalestyr, 07/2002, A-Outlands]
Note that the SCA default for six objects on a plain field is three two and one. This matches the default for six objects on a plain field in most of the times and places in which heraldry is found before 1600. [Edward of Hartwell, 09/2002, A-Caid]
[in base three millrinds two and one] The millrinds' arrangement was not originally explicitly blazoned on the LoI, but it was blazoned on the form. On a shield shape three charges in base will be two and one by default, but this is not necessarily the case on other shapes, such as a rectangular banner. Since the submitter explicitly blazoned the charges in base as two and one, we have reinstated this term. If the submitter would prefer to have this left as a matter of artist's licence, she may request a reblazon. [Áine Sindradóttir, 10/2002, A-Atlantia]
[Azure, an orle of oak leaves argent] This does not conflict with Catterina da Calabria, Azure, six leaves argent. There is one CD for changing the type of leaf. There is a second CD for changing the arrangement from three two and one to in orle. While six charges three two and one could conceivably be misdrawn to leave a clear open space in the center, that is not the case with Catterina's emblazon, so there is no visual conflict problem between the two pieces of armory. [Jake de Twelfoaks,10/2002, A-East]
We have blazoned the ermine spots in base as a bar of ermine spots, parallel to armory using arrangements of unnumbered charges such as an orle of martlets. "Unnumbered" charges, such as the charges in an orle of martlets, are too many to explicitly enumerate: generally eight or more charges.

Orles of unnumbered charges are found in period armory, but no documentation has been provided for barrulets abased of unnumbered charges (or other ordinaries abased of unnumbered charges). This arrangement is a step from period practice. The fact that the unnumbered charges in question are ermine spots is a second step from period practice. While ermine spots are reasonable charges when taken in small numbers, unnumbered ermine spots are indicative of an ermined fur rather than a group of charges. This combination is too many steps from period practice to be acceptable. This design could alternately be blazoned with a counter-ermine bar on a sable field, but that would contravene the rules of contrast, further indicating that this design is not period style. [Iuliana inghean Domhnaill, 10/2002, R-East]
[three fleurs-de-lys in pall bases to center] These charges were originally blazoned in annulo, but three charges, two and one, bases to center, are generally blazoned in pall bases to center. A number of commenters questioned whether these charges could allowably be blazoned in pall because the angle of the fleurs-de-lys was not the standard angle for such an arrangement. The problem with the angle of the fleurs-de-lys in the letter of intent is due to the way that the mini-emblazon was cut-and-pasted, or scanned, into the letter of intent. On the full sized form, the three fleurs-de-lys are oriented as one would expect for three charges in pall bases to center. [Atenveldt, Kingdom of, 12/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[Per bend sinister azure and sable, three crosses potent two and one argent] The three crosses are blazoned explicitly as two and one because, on a per bend sinister field, three charges default to having two in the dexter chief portion of the field and one in the sinister base portion. [Marmaduc de Thystelesworthe, 01/2003, A-Atlantia]
[Argent, two double-bitted battleaxes and a phoenix azure] We have reblazoned the device to show that it consists of a group of equally-sized primary charges arranged two and one. There were some questions in the commentary about the way in which the charges were arranged. Because all three charges are longer vertically than horizontally, it is a reasonable artistic choice to draw them so that the bottom part of the chiefmost charges is alongside the top part of the basemost charge. [Simon von Beckum, 01/2003, A-East]
[three dolphins embowed-counterembowed in annulo] The College had some concerns about whether the dolphins could reasonably be blazoned in annulo. The one in dexter chief is haurient to sinister, that in sinister chief is urinant and the one in base is fesswise. We encourage the submitter, on resubmission, to draw these charges so that they are more clearly in annulo, or to posture them so that they may be blazoned clearly. [James of Essex, 01/2003, R-Trimaris] [Ed.: Returned for conflict.]
[Per bend argent and sable, a hound rampant and a hound rampant contourny counterchanged] This does not conflict with Matthew de Wolfe, Per bend sinister embattled argent and sable, in bend two wolves rampant combattant counterchanged. To understand why there is no conflict, it is helpful to remove all blazon shortcuts and blazon each of these pieces of armory explicitly. Note that there are two important common blazon shortcuts which are found in both Matheus' and Matthew's current blazons. The first blazon shortcut is that two charges on a divided field are placed on opposite sides of a line of division by default. The other blazon shortcut is the use of the word counterchanged rather than using the tinctures argent and sable.

Thus, when we remove blazon shortcuts, Matheus' arms may be blazoned Per bend argent and sable, in sinister chief a hound rampant sable and in dexter base a hound rampant to sinister argent. Matthew's arms may be blazoned Per bend sinister embattled argent and sable, in dexter chief a wolf rampant to sinister sable and in sinister base a wolf rampant argent.

Precedent has consistently held that "you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict" (stated succinctly in this quote from the LoAR of February 2000, which upheld years of previous precedent). Thus, we must compare these two pieces of armory using the "explicit" blazons. There is one CD for changing the field. There is no difference for changing the type of canine from wolf to hound.

The charges may not lie on a portion of the field with which they have no contrast. Matheus' charges could not be arranged like Matthew's (with the sable charge in dexter chief and the argent charge in sinister base) on a per bend argent and sable field, because each charge would have no contrast with half of the field on which it lies. The charges must change their arrangement. Because this change in arrangement is "caused by other changes to the design" (namely, the changes to the field) it is not worth difference per RfS X.4.g for arrangement changes. (This is often known as a "forced" arrangement change or "forced" position change.)

The second CD comes from the change of posture. Each canine is facing in the opposite direction from the corresponding canine in the other coat. This posture change is a CD by RfS X.4.h.

By this analysis we are expressly overturning the precedent set in January 1994 that stated in pertinent part:
[Per pale and per chevron argent and sable, in chief two <charges> counterchanged vs. Huffam, Per bend sable and argent, two <charges> counterchanged ] Because the charges are counterchanged, they could legitimately be placed anywhere on the field, even over the line(s) of division. As a consequence, the change in position of the <charges> cannot be considered to be "forced" by the field division (though in Huffam they are in the expected position, one on either side of the line of division), thus giving a CD for position on the field
By this precedent, the use of the word counterchanged would remove a conflict which would apply if the tinctures of the charges were explicitly sable and argent, which is contrary to long-standing SCA policy. [Matheus of Coppertree, 02/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[in pale three labels couped] The armory depicts all three labels in the top two-thirds of the escutcheon. These labels are therefore not in the in pale arrangement (which would distribute them equally across the shield). However, the labels cannot be blazoned in chief, because that would place the labels considerably higher on the field. The blazon term enhanced only applies when there is a standard position on the field for the charge (from which the charge has been moved towards chief). There is no standard position on the field for three labels, so enhanced is not meaningful in this context. Thus, this device is not blazonable as drawn. At this time, it appears that the armory would be acceptable if the three labels were correctly drawn in pale, as indicated in the blazon.

There was a question about whether it is acceptable to have multiple labels in a piece of armory. This is not a common period design but al-Jamal provided a number of period or near-period examples from various sources. [Valentino da Siena, 03/2003, R-An Tir]
[a chevron between three towers argent and a fleur-de-lys] The three towers would default, given this blazon, to lie in chief. However, they are arranged somewhere between in chief and one and two. This arrangement is not blazonable and thus is not acceptable by RfS VII.7.b. [Julienne de La Rochelle, 04/2003, R-East]
[five <charges> in saltire vs. four <charges> in pall] There is a CD for changing the arrangement of the charges. It is possible to arrange five charges in pall by arranging them two, one, one, and one. Therefore, the change in arrangement of the charges from in pall to in saltire "is not caused by other changes to the design" and thus is worth difference under RfS X.4.g. [Jordan Catharne, 05/2003, A-An Tir]
The triangle inverted voided ployé fleury at the points azure may have been considered a single charge in German armory. However, this single charge is not heraldically distinct from three fleurs-de-lys conjoined in pall azure. We do not give difference between three charges and three conjoined charges when both groups of charges are in in the same orientation and arrangement. This is noted in the following precedent, which specifically treats of charges in annulo: "There is no difference between charges in annulo and charges in annulo which are also conjoined, although the conjoining must be blazoned when present" (LoAR January 2002).

As a result, this only has one CD from a badge of Atenveldt (registered in December 2002), Or, three fleurs-de-lys in pall bases to center azure. There is one CD for fieldlessness but nothing for conjoining the fleurs-de-lys. [Sonnet Manon, 08/2003, R-An Tir]
We have received the occasional comment asking whether the charges in an orle of [charges] are conjoined by default. They are not. By default an orle of [charges] is an unnumbered group of charges (generally, eight or more charges) that are arranged in orle. Each individual charge is in its default posture unless otherwise blazoned. The arms of the Valence family (sometime earls of Pembroke) are, perhaps, the best-known example of this sort of design in real-world armory. Their arms are protected as important non-SCA arms as Barruly argent and azure, an orle of martlets gules.

In a charge group blazoned as An orle of [charges] in orle, the charges are arranged in orle and the postures of the charges tilt so that they follow each other. Thus, an orle of fish naiant would all be in the default naiant (fesswise) posture, but an orle of fish naiant in orle swim head to tail. [Olivia de Calais, 09/2003, A-Ansteorra]
[Per chevron vert and per pale Or and gules, a chevron dovetailed on the upper edge argent between three compass stars Or and a fleur-de-lys per pale gules and Or] There were some questions in the commentary about whether it was necessary to explicitly blazon the arrangement of the charges on the top half of the field. Note that charges on the top half of a field divided in a roughly horizontal fashion (per fess or per chevron) will have the charges in a horizontal row in chief by default. [Oriana Luisa della Francesca, 09/2003, A-Ansteorra]
[Argent chapé azure, three goblets two and one gules] It is not clear what the default arrangement for three charges on a chapé field should be. The usual default on a plain field (two and one) doesn't fit well on a chapé field, and thus seems an unlikely default for that field. We have thus blazoned the arrangement explicitly. [Waldemar Stanislaw of White Mountain, 09/2003, A-Trimaris]
[Or, in pale two talbots courant contourny gules] In period armory, one would usually expect two long horizontal charges on a plain field to be in pale. However, the SCA does not have a default arrangement for two charges on a plain field. Armory using two charges on a plain field is so uncommon in both SCA and real-world heraldry that it is best to blazon the arrangement of such charges explicitly rather than define default arrangements. We have therefore explicitly blazoned these talbots as in pale. [Aster Peyton, 10/2003, A-An Tir]
[Or, two foxes counter-salient in saltire purpure] His previous blazon, Or, two foxes countersalient purpure, did not clearly indicate that the foxes were in saltire. Although the most common illustrations of two animals counter-salient show animals which are counter-salient in saltire, research indicates that animals counter-salient must face in opposite directions, but are not in saltire by default. In addition, all the other SCA blazons using counter-salient for this arrangement blazon the animals explicitly in saltire. [Alfred of Warwick, 10/2003, A-Middle]
[Or, semy of mullets of five greater and five lesser points sable] This also conflicts with ... Or, five mullets in annulo sable... When one considers a group of as few as five charges, there is no difference between the arrangements in annulo and semy, because in annulo is about as close as one can come to strewing five charges evenly on an entire field. This is similar to the ruling in the LoAR of September 2000, which ruled, "[semy of fraises Or] Conflict with ... Azure, six roses, two, two and two, Or. There is not a CD ... for arrangement." [Timothy of Glastinbury, 10/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[in pale a scorpion Or and two swords inverted in saltire argent] Conflict with ... Azure in pale a horse's head erased Or and two swords inverted in saltire argent. There is one CD for changing the field. There is not a CD for changing the type of only the topmost charge in a group of three charges arranged in this fashion on a plain field. There is a special-case precedent allowing a CD for changing the type or tincture of bottommost charge of a group of three charges arranged two and one, but that precedent is specific to that arrangement, and does not apply here. [David of Clayton, 10/2003, R-Artemisia]
[Argent, two daggers in chevron sable each distilling gouttes] The gouttes in this emblazon are too large to be merely considered artistic license and omitted from the blazon, and they cannot be blazoned in a manner that reproduces the emblazon. This submission therefore violates RfS VII.7.b, which states, "Elements must be reconstructible in a recognizable form from a competent blazon."

The gouttes are not drawn in a fashion that one would expect given the blazon on the Letter of Intent, which states that the daggers are distilling the gouttes. One would expect such distilled gouttes to be small gouttes which drip from the point of the dagger and are placed close to the point of the dagger. These gouttes are too far from the tips of the daggers to be distilled from the daggers.

The arrangement of the gouttes could not otherwise clearly be blazoned. To attempt to describe this emblazon: there are two vertical columns of gouttes, each column of two gouttes each (making a total of four gouttes). In each column, the top goutte is about one-fourth of the field below the tip of the dagger, and the lower goutte another one-fourth of the field below that. The dexter column of gouttes is a bit higher on the field than the sinister column. The group of four gouttes is not arranged in an heraldic arrangement such as two and two or one two and one. The gouttes are thus in an unblazonable arrangement. [Bora Gan, 11/2003, R-An Tir]
[three dragons each involved in annulo inverted] Each of these dragons is inverted: on its back with its paws in the air. "The College has judged inverted creatures to be unacceptable style, barring documentation of this practice in period heraldry" (LoAR of September 1993, p. 21). The College has not yet found, or been presented with, documentation for animals in this involved in annulo inverted posture. The device must therefore be returned.

We note that the ruling in the October 2000 LoAR stating, "By precedent we do not register inverted animals unless they are part of an arrangement in annulo", does apply to the armorial design found in this submission. This submission consists of three dragons in an arrangement two and one, not an arrangement in annulo. The precedent refers to an arrangement in annulo without specifying the posture of the animals in that arrangement. For example, Three dragons courant in annulo would be in an arrangement where the three courant dragons would be running in a circle, feet towards the center of the shield. As a result, the bottommost dragon in the group must perforce be inverted. The precedent makes clear that such an arrangement in annulo is acceptable, even though one of the animals in such an arrangement is inverted. [Avice Greylyng, 11/2003, R-East]
[seven roundels two three and two argent, the centermost Or] There was much commentary regarding the style of the device. The group of roundels is in a clearly blazonable (albeit not standard) heraldic arrangement. While it is one step from period style (a "weirdness") to tincture only one of these roundels differently from the others in the group, it is not so far from period style to be a bar to registration. Note the following precedent from the LoAR of September 2000:
[an octofoil within eight octofoils in annulo] Size is not the only thing that determines a primary charge. We were unable to devise a way to describe arrangement of the charges in a way that did not imply that they were a primary charge surrounded by a secondary group. Such arrangements cannot use the same type of charge. The problem could be solved by arranging them in a diamond (1,2,3,2, and 1) or in a square (3,3, and 3).
In this September 2000 precedent, it was made clear that if the charges could be arranged so that they were clearly all in the same charge group, the design would be registerable. [Bull Pitte, Shire of, 03/2004, A-Calontir]

ARRANGEMENT -- Conjoined

[two Wake knots conjoined in pale] A Wake knot, as per the PicDic, is fesswise by default. Two Wake knots in pale would be arranged like these. However there is no guarantee that the loose ends would tie up as neatly as in this badge. It is as likely that the loose ends would stick out and the round parts would be conjoined.

The fact that the loose ends do connect up with each other in an unbroken interlace could imply that this is "knotwork". On the other hand, the knots maintain their identifiability as Wake knots, which are themselves a standard heraldic knot. The conjunction may not be the only way to conjoin the knots, but it is an acceptable way to do so.

A pertinent precedent on the topic is in the LoAR of November 1994, for the Middle Kingdom's Order of the Cavendish Knot, [Fieldless] Four Cavendish knots conjoined in cross vert:
There was much commentary on the issue of whether the charge runs afoul of our long-standing ban on knotwork; the consensus here seems to be similar to that of several years ago when we were considering three Wake knots conjoined in pall: "The question is whether the conjunction of the knots diminishes their identifiability to the point where they should not be allowed. In this case, the answer seems to be 'no'. Note, however, that this would not be the case were the knots not of themselves clearly defined period heraldic charges, were the knot itself complex or requiring modification in shape to produce the conjunction (as would be the case with a Lacy knot) or were the numbers so increased ... as to diminish the size seriously." (Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane, LoAR of 26 November 1989, p. 9)

It should be noted, however, that this badge is probably pushing right to the limits of the allowance; an increase of number would probably begin to reduce the identifiability of the separate knots.
This conjunction of knots is a weirdness, but as there is only one such weirdness, it is registerable. [Nottinghill Coill, Barony of, 08/2001, A-Atlantia]
[Purpure, a chevron between three grape leaves inverted within an orle Or] It is standard SCA practice for an ordinary within an orle or double tressure to stop at the inside of the surrounding charge, as per the reblazon of Rouland Carre's arms in January 1991:
Rouland Carre. Device. Argent, on a bend cotised azure within an orle gules, in chief a Latin cross argent.

The LoAR blazoned this as "cotised couped", which would not have the bend throughout within the orle.
In the real world, both the "throughout" and the "within and conjoined to" combinations of ordinaries and orles/double tressures may be found, without a clear default. David Lindsay of the Mount's 1542 roll of arms gives five examples of ordinaries combined with double tressures flory counterflory. There is support for both designs in this book: with the ordinary throughout, and with the ordinary within and conjoined to the double tressure flory counterflory. Both designs are specifically found with chevrons. [Inigo Missaglia, 08/2001, A-Caid] [Ed.: The emblazon has the chevron terminated at the orle]
[Argent, a cat sejant erect guardant azure between two rose branches in chevron inverted conjoined in base sable] This submission was listed in the Letter of Intent as a device and augmentation. However, this is a simple new device registration. The original blazon referred to a wreath of roses around this cat, but a wreath of roses is circular (or nearly so.) The emblazon here shows rose branches, and we have therefore so blazoned them.

The design of two rose branches in a "V" shape is close to many SCA depictions of a rose wreath. Thus the only persons who may use such a design without presumption are those who are entitled to bear a rose wreath. The submitter is a countess and Lady of the Rose and is thus entitled to such a wreath. [Judith Maryse, 10/2001, A-Trimaris]
[Azure, three crescents one and two horns to center Or] Conflict with ... Sable, three crescents one and two conjoined at the horns Or. There is one CD for changing the field. There is not a CD between a given group of charges conjoined and another group of charges in the same arrangement which are not conjoined. [Selim ibn Murad, 12/2001, R-Atenveldt]
[Five crescents conjoined in annulo horns outward argent] This is clear of conflict with ... Purpure, six crescents in annulo argent. There is one CD for fieldlessness. There is another CD for changing the posture of the group, since over half the charges have changed their posture from palewise to some other orientation. There is no difference between charges in annulo and charges in annulo which are also conjoined, although the conjoining must be blazoned when present. There is also no difference between five and six charges, by RfS X.4.f. [Caid, Kingdom of, 01/2002, A-Caid]
[Four fleurs-de-lys conjoined in cross bases to center Or] Conflict with Katlin von Kappel, Per saltire sable and gules, four fleurs-de-lys bases to center Or. There is one CD for fieldlessness. The four fleurs-de-lys in Katlin's device are placed by default into the four sections of the per saltire field, which arranges the fleurs-de-lys in cross. The two groups of fleurs-de-lys are arranged identically except for the conjoiniWe do not give difference for conjoining the charges, although it is necessary to specify the conjoining in the blazon. [Otelia d'Alsace, 08/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
Some commenters asked whether it was necessary to blazon the saltire as "within and conjoined to" the orle. "It is standard SCA practice for an ordinary within an orle or double tressure to stop at the inside of the surrounding charge" (LoAR August 2001). See that LoAR for further details of period practices for orles combined with ordinaries. [Roesia de Blakehall, 11/2002, A-Atlantia]
[Three birds close conjoined in annulo sable] These birds are conjoined in annulo. The only conjoining is where the beak of each bird touches the tail of the bird in front of it. This emblazon thus meets the objections stated in the previous return. The outline of the group is somewhat more triangular than round, because the birds have straight backs, but this is an acceptable group of birds conjoined in annulo. [Bran Trefonin, 01/2003, A-Atlantia]
We have received the occasional comment asking whether the charges in an orle of [charges] are conjoined by default. They are not. By default an orle of [charges] is an unnumbered group of charges (generally, eight or more charges) that are arranged in orle. Each individual charge is in its default posture unless otherwise blazoned. The arms of the Valence family (sometime earls of Pembroke) are, perhaps, the best-known example of this sort of design in real-world armory. Their arms are protected as important non-SCA arms as Barruly argent and azure, an orle of martlets gules.

In a charge group blazoned as An orle of [charges] in orle, the charges are arranged in orle and the postures of the charges tilt so that they follow each other. Thus, an orle of fish naiant would all be in the default naiant (fesswise) posture, but an orle of fish naiant in orle swim head to tail. [Olivia de Calais, 09/2003, A-Ansteorra]
[Quarterly gules and azure, in bend sinister a Danish axe sustained by a bear rampant contourny argent] This is clear of conflict with the Barony of Bjornsborg, ...(Fieldless) A bear statant erect reguardant contourny supporting a berdiche blade to sinister argent. There is one CD for fieldlessness. There is another CD for arrangement: the Bjornsborg bear and its sustained axe are in the default arrangment for a statant erect beast sustaining a polearm (in fess), while the charges in this submission are in bend sinister. [Leifr Vagnsson, 09/2003, A-Outlands]

ARRANGEMENT -- Forced Move

There is not a CD for the placement on the field, since the arrangement on the field is forced because the Or wolves in Katherine's arms may not lie on the erminois parts of the field. [Ingilborg Sigmundardóttir, 08/2001, R-Caid]
[... a falcon contourny argent] Conflict with ... Azure, a falcon close contourny argent. There is only one CD for changes to the field. It also conflicts with ... Per chevron argent and azure, in base a falcon counter-close argent. There is one CD for the field but nothing for the forced move of the bird to base. [Ailill Lockhart, 09/2001, R-Atenveldt]
[Gules, in dexter chief a fret couped argent] This does not conflict with ... Per fess gules fretty argent and sable. There is one CD for the change to the field. The comparison between the fretty in chief and the fret couped in dexter chief is like the comparison between a mullet in chief and a mullet in dexter chief. This is an unforced move and thus worth a CD. This also does not conflict with ... Per saltire gules and pean, a fret argent. There is one CD for the change to the field and another for the unforced move of the primary charge to dexter chief. [Ané{zv}ka z Ro{zv}mitála, 11/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[Quarterly vert and argent, two Latin crosses argent] Conflict with ... Per pale azure and sable, two Latin crosses fitchy argent. There is a CD for changes to the field, but nothing for fitching the crosses. There is no difference for the change of the arrangement of the crosses, since Faílenn's are forced to be in bend by the field tincture. [Faílenn inghean Mheanmain of Ulster, 11/2001, R-Atlantia]
[Per chevron azure and vert, a chevron and in base a cross clechy argent] This also conflicts with ... Per chevron azure and vert, a chevron and a chief embattled argent. There is one CD for changing the type of secondary charge to a cross from a chief. RfS X.4.g only allows difference to be gotten for changes to charge placement or arrangement if the change "is not caused by other changes to the design". The placement change here is caused by the change of type of secondary charge from a chief, which has a mandatory placement. Therefore, there is not a second CD for changing the arrangement. [Áine inghean uí Ghríobhtha, 01/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Quarterly per fess rayonny Or and gules, in bend two birds displayed sable] The device therefore conflicts with Edward de Maccuswell, Per saltire argent and sable, in pale two double-headed eagles displayed sable. There is one CD for changing the field. There is no difference for arrangement by RfS X.4.g. This rule states "Changing the relative positions of charges in any group placed directly on the field or overall is one clear difference, provided that change is not caused by other changes to the design." Here, the change of arrangement is due to another change to the design: the field tincture. The black birds in Edward's arms may not lie on the black portions of the field and therefore cannot be in bend like Brangwayn's birds. There is no type difference between these generic birds and the double-headed eagles. [Brangwayn Snowden, 01/2002, R-Middle]
[Gules, in bend three escallops argent] Conflict with ... Per fess azure and vair ancient, three escallops in chief argent. There is one CD for changing the field. However, there is not a second CD for the change in the arrangement of the escallops. The change in the arrangement is caused by the change in the field. One could not put three escallops argent in bend on a per fess azure and vair ancient field, because the the bottommost and centermost argent escallops would be placed wholly or in part on the vair portion of the field, with which they have inadequate contrast. According to RfS X.4.h [Ed: should be X.4.g], "Changing the relative positions of charges in any group placed directly on the field or overall is one clear difference, provided that change is not caused by other changes to the design." [Laurence of Damascus, 08/2002, R-An Tir]
[Per chevron gules and sable, in base a dragon passant Or] This does not conflict with ... Per fess indented azure and gules, a wyvern passant Or. There is one CD for changing the field and a second for the unforced move of the dragon to base. While it is true that the dragon, in order to fill the space, extends slightly into the upper half of the shield, the fact that the dragon is entirely below the per chevron line of division is an unmistakable visual cue that the charge is, indeed, in base. [Alex the Scribe, 09/2002, A-Atenveldt]

ARROW and ARROWHEAD

[Azure, eight pheons in annulo shafts to center argent] A question was raised in commentary about whether this was overly reminiscent of the "Chaos shield" insignia, which is a major item of insignia in Michael Moorcock's Melniboné books. The Moorcock insignia is described with the arrows conjoined in the center, as if they compose an eight-armed cross. The separation of the pheons here should be sufficient to avoid an overwhelming reference to that insignia. [Alessandra di Fióre, 08/2001, A-Meridies]
[Two arrows in saltire surmounted by a double-bitted axe Or] Conflict with the device of Michael of York, Gules, a sheaf of three arrows bound by a serpent coiled to sinister guardant, all Or. ... The arrangement of the charges has not changed: a sheaf of three arrows consists of two arrows in saltire surmounted by a third arrow. RfS X.4.e only gives a CD for changing the type of a group of charges when at least half the group has changed in type. Here only one-third of the group has changed in type. The serpent binding the sheaf in Michael's arms is effectively a maintained charge, and its addition or deletion is not worth difference. [Conall of Twin Moons, 08/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[fire arrows inverted proper flighted] An arrow proper, according to the Pictorial Dictionary, has a brown shaft and black head. A fire arrow, when proper, is enflamed near the head in proper flames. [Ád Fáid, 09/2002, A-Atlantia]
[a bend counter-ermine between a bow nocked with an arrow and a lion rampant] The group of charges around the bend is not considered to be a group of three unlike charges (which would be overly complex by RfS VIII.1.a):
[considering a strung bow and arrow along with another charge] The question was raised as to whether or not this is considered slot machine since it has three dissimilar charges in one group. While it is true that it has three charges, when a bow and arrow are in their standard, expected position they are considered one charge, just like a sword in a scabbard is considered one charge. It is only when they are separated, or put into non standard positions for their normal use, such as being crossed in saltire, that they become two separate charges. (LoAR April 1999 p. 6)
[Roderick de Graham, 01/2003, A-Calontir]
The elfbolt is an SCA-invented charge referring to a stone-chipped arrowhead. The Pictorial Dictionary states that "prehistoric specimens found by the ancients were attributed to the Little People."

The College generally found that this artwork, which uses a smoothly rounded charge to depict the elfbolt, was not identifiable as the roughly chipped and angular SCA elfbolt. This is reason for return under RfS VII.7.a.

The College also questioned whether an elfbolt should continue to be registerable in the SCA, as it is an SCA-invented charge. The charge clearly was an artifact that was known in period, namely, old chipped arrowheads that could be found by period people. As a period artifact, a stone-chipped arrowhead may be registered if it is drawn identifiably. [Eckhart von Eschenbach, 03/2003, R-Meridies]
There is substantial (RfS X.2) difference between arrows and crampons. The charges were treated quite distinctly in period, and there is notable visual difference between them. While it is true that both arrows and crampons are long and pointed at one end, so they have a certain similarity of shape, they are as different in appearance from each other as a bow and a crossbow (ruled substantially different in the LoAR of November 1996), a pretzel and a triquetra (ruled substantially different in the LoAR of April 2001), and a pear and a pinecone (ruled substantially different in the LoAR of May 2001). [Diethelm Waltorfer, 12/2003, A-Ansteorra]
[Gules, a sheaf of arrows within an annulet argent] Conflict with Aeddan Ivor, Gules, a sheaf of three arrows argent fletched vert marked sable, a chief embattled argent. There is one CD for changing the chief to the annulet under RfS X.4.e. However, there is no additional difference for changing the tincture of the arrows. The head and fletching of arrows are together considered half the tincture of the arrow (per the LoAR of January 1992, p. 6), but the fletching alone is not half the tincture of the arrow. Therefore, since less than half the tincture of the arrow has changed, there is no difference per RfS X.4.d. Note that Aeddan's fletching is indeed vert marked sable, the sable markings are not elsewhere on the arrow. [Ichijou Jirou Toshiyasu, 02/2004, R-Atlantia]

ARTHROPOD -- Bee

[two bees and a dragonfly counterchanged] When drawn clearly, there is a CD between a bee and a dragonfly. However, there is significant potential for visual confusion when the two are used in the same group. In the drawing here, the types of charges are not easily distinguished from each other. Hence, this must be returned for redrawing. [Syslye ferch Morgan, 09/2001, R-Ansteorra]
[Azure, in chevron two wasps statant respectant within a bordure argent] The previous device submission was returned for using rampant insects. Those insects had their bodies palewise with their limbs extended forward and outwards in a more or less rampant fashion. This emblazon clearly uses statant wasps. Even though their bodies are, as noted in the blazon, tilted in chevron, they do not appear to be rampant, and they are drawn differently from the wasps in the previous submission. This redrawing meets the objection of the previous return.

The SCA has registered many insects statant, as well as other arthropods statant (such as scorpions), even when the insect or arthropod has only been documented as tergiant in period heraldry. Without an extensive change in policy concerning the acceptability of insects or arthropods statant, this may be registered. [Robert Pine, 08/2002, A-Atlantia]
[a bee rising] Rising is not a defined posture for insects. These bees are seen in profile with their wings addorsed and their bodies hovering in intermediate postures between bendwise and palewise. Their posture cannot be blazoned, and therefore, this device must be returned.

Note that the SCA accepts bees in a statant posture (horizontal body, legs down, wings addorsed). The SCA also accepts bees which are statant in a clearly defined bendwise or bendwise sinister posture. However, it is not acceptable to rotate a statant bee 90 degrees to a "palewise" posture. The resulting posture, with a vertical body, and legs extended to dexter, is equivalent to the previously forbidden "rampant" posture for bees and similar insects. [Patrick Olsson, 10/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
[(Fieldless) A bee statant proper] In the SCA, a bee statant has its wings addorsed by default, as in the August 2002 registration of Robert Pine's device.

This badge does not conflict with Aideen the Audacious, (Fieldless) A bumblebee fesswise proper. There is one CD for fieldlessness. Aideen's bumblebee is in its default tergiant posture, and then rotated fesswise. There is a CD between a bee tergiant fesswise and a bee statant. Both postures show the bees with fesswise bodies, but a bee tergiant fesswise has wings visible on both sides of the bee's body, while a bee statant only has wings visible on the chiefmost side of the body. This difference is worth a CD, analogous to the difference between a bird rising wings displayed and a bird rising wings addorsed. [Catríona nic Theàrlaigh, 12/2002, A-An Tir]
[butterflies vs. bees volant en arrière] ... and a second CD for changing the type of the group ... from bees to butterflies. [Sorcha inghean Shearraigh, 07/2003, A-Atlantia]

ARTHROPOD -- Miscellaneous

There does not appear to be a well defined proper for ladybugs, and they can be found in various colorations when in nature. Therefore, this bug has been blazoned explicitly. [Morgan Skeene, 09/2001, A-Calontir]
[two bees and a dragonfly counterchanged] When drawn clearly, there is a CD between a bee and a dragonfly. However, there is significant potential for visual confusion when the two are used in the same group. In the drawing here, the types of charges are not easily distinguished from each other. Hence, this must be returned for redrawing. [Syslye ferch Morgan, 09/2001, R-Ansteorra]
[butterflies vs. bees volant en arrière] ... and a second CD for changing the type of the group ... from bees to butterflies. [Sorcha inghean Shearraigh, 07/2003, A-Atlantia]

ARTHROPOD -- Spider

... the spider is not recognizable as drawn. A spider has two roughly equally sized body segments, the cephalothorax (a slightly smaller segment to which the legs are attached) and the abdomen. The spider's legs are each, roughly, as long as the body. In this emblazon, the abdomen is disproportionately large: about four times the length that one would expect given the size of the legs and cephalothorax, and wider than one would expect as well. This changes the outline of the spider so much that it cannot be recognized. [Valdís Osborne, 09/2002, R-An Tir]

AUGMENTATIONS

[Vert, a bull's head caboshed Or, for augmentation, in chief a lance fesswise argent dependent therefrom a pennant bearing Argent, a pale gules, overall a dragon passant vert, in chief a laurel wreath proper] The armory on the pennant isn't the Midrealm arms, as stated on the LoI, because it does not include the crown. It does include a laurel wreath, which may not be used in personal armory, even in an augmentation (see Jan w Orzeldom, Ansteorra returns, April 1992 LoAR). The arms of a branch without either laurel wreath or crown may be used as an augmentation on personal arms (see Jonathan DeLaufyson Macebearer, Ansteorra returns, August 1988 LoAR). [Anna z Pernštejna, 09/2001, R-Middle]
[Vert, in pale a lion couchant guardant and a laurel wreath Or, as an augmentation, within the laurel wreath a triskele argent] This armorial design consists a group of three co-primary charges of different types, which violates RfS VIII.1.a. However, RfS VIII.7, "Augmentations of Honor", states "The augmentation may, however, on a case by case basis break the rules in relation to the original armory." Augmentations in period were commonly made by adding charges, which increases the complexity of the armory thus augmented. Therefore, it seems reasonable to grant an exemption for augmented armory that violates the complexity rules if the armory is augmented in a period fashion.

Some commenters asked whether adding a "random" charge on the field is a period form of augmentation. Anthony Wagner and Arthur Colin Cole co-authored "The Venetian Ambassador's Augmentation" in The Coat of Arms, volume III (old series) numbers 19 (July 1954) and 20 (October 1954). The article states that "during the reigns of Henry VII to George III it was customary for the Ambassador of the Republic of Venice in London, at all events if he remained in office for some length of time and rendered distinguished service, to be knighted and granted an augmentation of arms under the Great Seal ... Occasionally other Venetians also were honoured by receiving grants of augmentation." It then describes these augmentations. This article shows a number of types of augmentation: creating entirely new arms, adding quarterings, adding charged cantons, adding charged chiefs, and adding charges to the field. As period (or near-period) examples of the last practice, on February 12, 1550, Edward VI granted an augmentation to Daniel Barbar of Venice. The original arms were Argent, an annulet gules, and the augmentation placed a Tudor rose within the annulet, much in the same way as the augmentation in this device places a triskele within the laurel wreath. In 1608, James I knighted and granted an augmentation to George Giustinian, Ambassador of the Republic of Venice. The original arms were Gules, on a double-headed crowned eagle Or an escutcheon Gules charged with a fess Or, and the augmentation was in chief a lion passant guardant maintaining a Scottish thistle Or. [Oldenfeld, Shire of, 06/2002, A-Trimaris]
[Sable, a torteau fimbriated and conjoined in fess with an increscent and a decrescent Or, and as an augmentation on the torteau, a rose sable charged with a rose Or, thereon a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable] Because this submission uses a sable rose on a gules roundel, it violates the rules of contrast in RfS VIII.2.a. It has been explicitly ruled that augmentations may not violate the rules of contrast until such time that documentation is presented showing such violations of contrast to be standard in period augmentations:
The basic question raised by this submission is can an augmentation break the rule of tincture? ... only one example of period use of an augmentation breaking the rule of tincture was found. Barring documentation of large numbers of period augmentations that break the rule of tincture, we are unwilling to register this practice. (LoAR August 1997 p. 26)
In addition, the augmentation violates the stylistic "layer limit" (RfS VIII.1.c.ii). The most generous interpretation of this augmentation would place a type of mullet on a double rose, which double rose lays entirely on a roundel (not "directly on the field"), thus violating the rule. It is necessary to demonstrate that such a violation of the layer limit would be compatible with period styles of augmentation in order for this practice to be acceptable.

The submitter has been given permission for the augmentation to match a registered badge of the Kingdom of Ansteorra, (Fieldless) A rose sable charged with a rose Or, thereon a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable. The SCA has registered numerous augmentations in which a kingdom badge is used as an augmentation for an individual. In all such cases, in order for the augmentation to be registered, the kingdom must give permission for the badge to be used as the augmentation, and the badge must be stylistically acceptable as an augmentation in the context of the armory which it augments. [Tivar Moondragon, 09/2002, R-Ansteorra]
[... a chief vert and for augmentation, on a canton Or a tower and overall a sword sable] This emblazon does not appear to depict a correct way of combining a canton with a chief. The canton as drawn in this emblazon takes up a bit less than the dexter third of the chief in its horizontal extent and extends exactly to the bottom of the chief in its vertical extent. This seems neither the correct way to charge a chief with a canton, nor the correct way to place a canton so that it surmounts the entire device.

Parker, in A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, states that a canton, when combined with a chief, will overlie the chief. This implies that the canton will extend onto the field. In this armory, since the canton and the field are of the same tincture, this might result in problems with our rules for contrast (RfS VIII.2). Franklyn and Tanner, An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry, p. 59, indicate that a canton can be charged on a chief but they also state that "A canton on a chief ought to be slightly smaller than the chief's width in order not to appear like a chief party per 'side'."

We suggest that, if the submitter resubmits, she include documentation that the form of augmentation that she plans to use is found in period armory. Note that if she attempts to resubmit with the canton lying entirely on the chief, or to otherwise submit with a charged charge on the chief, she should specifically address how such a violation of the "layer limit" (RfS VIII.1.c.ii) would be compatible with period styles of augmentation. [Rachel Wallace, 09/2002, R-Atlantia]
[adding coronets to a device] This submission exceeds the rule of thumb for complexity in RfS VIII.1.a, as the number of tinctures and the number of types of charge total nine. This rule of thumb may be exceeded in cases where the armory adheres strongly to period armorial design, but that is not the case in this device.

It is important to note that the allowances for overcomplexity when considering augmentations do not apply to simple device changes. Device changes incorporating symbols of rank are not augmentations. Augmentations are a special honor from the crown. [Sara Charmaine of Falkensee, 01/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
From Wreath: Augmentations
This was a busy month for augmentations. An augmentation is one of the highest honors bestowed by the SCA: it behooves us to make policies for augmentations as clear as possible, so that the excellent people receiving the honor have as little difficulty with registering augmentations as possible. Therefore, while the ensuing discussion mostly addresses issues raised by the augmentations this month, it also addresses some other general issues and policies that arise frequently when considering augmentations.

We particularly direct kingdom heralds to the sections on "Kingdom Badges that are Designated as an Augmentation" and "Augmentations and Appropriate Content", as they set forth some previously unstated policies and interpretations.

Who Specifies the Form of an Augmentation

We remind the College that the form of an augmentation is determined according to the normal registration process: the submitter proposes the form of the augmentation and it is either accepted (or not) based on the Rules for Submission. The form of the augmentation cannot be mandated by the crown bestowing it. RfS VIII.7 states "While the right to an augmentation is bestowed by the crown, its form is subject to the normal registration process." The Board of Directors has upheld this policy:
[Concerning an augmentation whose form was specified by the granting Crown] At the time of the August [1987 Laurel] meeting this submission was pended, despite the strong conviction of most of the College that it infringed on the proper usage of [a reserved charge]. Since it involved a "constitutional issue", i.e., in the event of conflict between the will of the Crown and the decision of the College, which takes priority. As the Board of Directors at its January meeting has now decided that the College may not be compelled to register that which is in violation of its existing rules, this submission is now formally returned. (LoAR February 1988)
Augmentations and General Paperwork

If a person's device changes at the same time that an augmentation is added, the armorial changes need to be performed in two separate submissions actions, each with its own set of submission forms: one for the change of the device (without the augmentation) and one depicting the changed device and adding the augmentation: "... as we protect both the augmented arms and the unaugmented arms, a device change and an augmentation must be submitted as two separate actions" (LoAR October 2000).

Augmentations and General Conflict Issues

RfS VIII.7 states, "If [the augmentation] has the appearance of being independent armory, for example a charged escutcheon or canton, then it is independently subject to the normal rules of armorial conflict." This means that the augmentation must be checked for conflict as if it were a separate piece of armory.

Note that the converse is not true: it is not necessary to check new devices or badges for conflict against previously existing augmentations that have the appearance of being independent armory. This is because the augmentations do not have an existence separate from the arms that they augment, and therefore are not independently protectable entities. Per the LoAR of October 1985: "Arms may be borne with or without an augmentation, but the augmentation should not be used separately from the arms."

Some commenters have theorized that if a person registers an augmentation that appears to be independent armory, the independent armory is somehow grandfathered to the kingdom that originally bestowed the augmentation, and thus (the theory continues) the independent armory could be registered by any new recipient of an augmentation from that kingdom. But this cannot be the case, because the augmentation does not have an independent existence, and because the kingdom has no ownership of, or even control of, the form taken by an individual's augmentation.

Note also that, per RfS VIII.7, it is not necessary to check augmentations for conflict when they do not have the appearance of an independent display of armory. If someone's augmentation takes the form ... and for augmentation, in chief a rose argent, the rose in chief does not have the appearance of an independent display of armory, and one does not have to check it for conflict as if it were (Fieldless) A rose argent.

We also remind the College that augmented arms are to be checked for conflict both with and without the augmentation: "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" (LoAR September 1992, pg. 26).

Augmentations and Letters of Permission

The SCA has previously registered augmentations that appeared to be independent armory and were in conflict with - or identical to - a badge owned by a kingdom or some other entity. In these cases, it has been necessary for the person with the augmentation to have a letter of permission from the owner of the badge in order to register that augmentation. As noted in the LoAR of September 1995 regarding an augmentation (which was in conflict with armory belonging to a kingdom):
For the ... conflict, we need to receive a letter of permission to conflict signed by the Crown or the kingdom Seneschal. It has always been the policy of the College not to assume that permission is given even if explicitly stated in a LoI (which was not the case here), but to require a copy of a written letter of permission to conflict.
Such permission was explicitly stated to be present in the first of a (relatively) long line of augmentations from the crown of Caid where the recipient elected to use the Caidan War Banner on a charged canton or escutcheon, per the LoAR of October 1995: "A letter of permission from the Crown of Caid for the use of the War Banner of Caid as an augmentation has been received by the Laurel office." These letters of permission to conflict have not always been mentioned in the LoAR, but are present with the paperwork.

Kingdom Badges That Are Designated as an Augmentation

In the case where a kingdom has a badge designated as an augmentation, it seems appropriate to rule that a person or entity with an augmentation from that kingdom may be assumed to have permission for his/her/its augmentation to conflict with the specifically-designated augmentation badge. Kingdoms that already have badges that are serving as an augmentation should strongly consider adding the "augmentation" designation to those badges, to cut down on subsequent paperwork with letters of permission to conflict.

A kingdom badge that is designated as an augmentation may not imply any particular rank or status for the bearer. It is appropriate for a kingdom to consider adding an "augmentation" designation to a populace badge, ensign, war banner, or a previously undesignated badge without reserved charges. It is not appropriate to add an "augmentation" designation to an order, award, or office badge, or to an undesignated badge with a reserved charge.

The augmentation of the Kingdom of Meridies, (Fieldless) Three mullets one and two argent, was registered in the LoAR of March 1996 with the following comments: "This is an augmentation of arms which the Crown of Meridies may grant to individuals it deems worthy. It's [sic] purpose is not the same as a fieldless badge; as an augmentation, it should always be displayed on a field by the recipients." These LoAR comments referred to the fact that the armory contained charges that were not conjoined. Then, as now, such armory was illegal style on a fieldless badge per RfS VIII.5. But, because an augmentation will always be displayed on a field, a designated augmentation may break these fieldless style rules. The other constraints in RfS VIII.5 could also be broken for an augmentation, so a kingdom could register an augmentation of (Fieldless) a bordure embattled ... or (Fieldless) a bend charged with ..., even though these would not be registerable designs for any other type of fieldless armory.

It also seems appropriate to allow a kingdom's designated augmentations to incorporate armorial motifs that are grandfathered to that kingdom, thereby allowing users of a designated augmentation to receive the same grandfathering that the kingdom would have. As an example, hypothesize that the Kingdom of Atlantia chose to designate its badge, (Fieldless) A unicornate natural seahorse erect azure, finned argent, as an augmentation. The SCA's current policies do not allow new registrations of unicornate natural seahorses without the use of the grandfather clause. A hypothetical Atlantian recipient of an augmentation could place the designated augmentation on any suitable place on his device. If he already had an uncharged canton Or on his device, he could create the augmentation for augmentation, on the canton a unicornate natural seahorse erect azure, finned argent. However, a hypothetical Atlantian recipient of an augmentation could not use the designated badge to create the augmentation for augmentation, on a canton Or a unicornate natural seahorse erect azure finned argent. This augmentation would not be identical to the designated augmentation, and thus, the kingdom's grandfathering would not extend to this augmentation.

Augmentations and Appropriate Content

The September 1995 LoAR ruled in general that no piece of armory could be exactly duplicated as an augmentation: "We have not previously allowed armory, even as an augmentation, to be an identical version of the armory of a group or office, whether or not a letter of permission to conflict existed." However, this portion of ruling has been overruled by the October 1995 acceptance of the Caidan War Banner as an augmentation, and by successive similar registrations. At this point, in some cases augmentations may be identical to armory belonging to a group (or an individual). However, the point that an augmentation must not appear to be a claim to "status or powers the submitter does not possess" (RfS XI) is one that must be considered whenever an augmentation is registered.

Precedent notes that, in at least some cases, the use of a badge of office as part of an augmentation may give an incorrect implication that the holder of the augmentation is the holder of the office. Since that statement will not always be true, the augmentation is not allowed in that circumstance. The LoAR of September 1995 dealt with an augmentation where the owner of the augmentation quartered her original coat with a quartering that was a tinctured version of a kingdom herald's seal. That ruling read, in the immediately pertinent part:
The exact conflict with the seal of the office of the ... Principal Herald is more troublesome for a couple of reasons... [one reason that] it is troublesome is that it was a period practice for the holders of an office to marshal the arms of the office with their personal arms. This does not appear to apply to former holders of the office, but only to incumbents. As a consequence, this augmentation appears to be a claim to be the current ... Principal Herald, which does then fall afoul of our rules against the claim to 'status or powers the submitter does not possess' (RfS XI).
We also believe that any augmentation that incorporates the badge of an office in a fashion that resembles an independent display of arms is likely to give a very strong implication that the submitter holds that office, even outside of the context of marshalling. We note that there is no pattern of use of badges of office used in the SCA as augmentations. Only one such augmentation has been registered (a sinister canton of the arms of the Exchequer of the West registered in 1979). Therefore, we rule that it is not permissible for an augmentation to exactly duplicate a badge of office, even with a letter of permission.

Precedent holds that individuals may not register an augmentation that uses an inappropriate reserved charge, as it would be such a claim to "status or powers the submitter does not possess". Per the LoAR of April 1992: "Laurel wreaths have always been reserved in the Society to branches of the Society, and may not be registered to an individual. (see, e.g., Baldwin of Erebor, LoAR of 10 March 1985, p.4) It is Laurel's belief, and that of many of the commenting heralds, that this restriction applies to augmentations as well as to devices, the same way that coronets and loops of chain, even as augmentations, have been restricted to those who may rightfully bear them."

It also seems appropriate to consider whether an augmentation may ever duplicate the badge of an order or award. Such an augmentation gives a strong implication that the owner of the augmentation is a member of that order, or a holder of that award. We at this time rule that such an augmentation cannot be registered if the owner of the augmentation is not a member of that order or does not hold that award, even if he has a letter of permission from the branch that owns the badge. We leave open the question of whether it is ever appropriate to register an augmentation that is identical to an award or order badge. [10/2003, CL]
[for augmentation on a canton purpure a cross of Calatrava and a bordure Or] The augmentation conflicts with ... Purpure, a cross moline disjointed, a bordure Or. The augmentation in this submission appears to be a display of the armory Purpure, a cross of Calatrava and a bordure Or, which has one CD ... for changing the type of cross, but does not have the substantial difference required to qualify for RfS X.2. [Edward Cire of Greymoor, 10/2003, R-An Tir]
We are aware of the previous registration of an augmentation to Valens of Flatrock in 1993, Vert, a bend azure fimbriated Or between a tower argent and a castle Or, and for augmentation, on a canton purpure a cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or. He, like Andreas, is the recipient of an augmentation from the Crown of Calontir. However, Valens' augmentation (which predates Bianca's 1996 registration) does not protect the armory Purpure, a cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or against conflict, nor does it in any way grandfather the use of this armory for recipients of augmentations from the Kingdom of Calontir. As stated in a pertinent excerpt from the Cover Letter to the October 2003 LoAR:
It is not necessary to check new devices or badges for conflict against previously existing augmentations that have the appearance of being independent armory. This is because the augmentations do not have an existence separate from the arms that they augment, and therefore are not independently protectable entities. Per the LoAR of October 1985: "Arms may be borne with or without an augmentation, but the augmentation should not be used separately from the arms."

Some commenters have theorized that if a person registers an augmentation that appears to be independent armory, the independent armory is somehow grandfathered to the kingdom that originally bestowed the augmentation, and thus (the theory continues) the independent armory could be registered by any new recipient of an augmentation from that kingdom. But this cannot be the case, because the augmentation does not have an independent existence, and because the kingdom has no ownership of, or even control of, the form taken by an individual's augmentation.
We note that Bianca registered her device through the kingdom of Calontir. Since it appears that many recipients of augmentations from Calontir wish to use the augmentation found in this submission, we strongly suggest that the kingdom of Calontir attempt to register Purpure, a cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or as a badge designated as an augmentation. If it is able to do so (which will require, at minimum, permission to conflict from Bianca), then as stated in the October 2003 Cover Letter, further recipients of augmentations from Calontir will be able to use this designated augmentation badge as an augmentation on an appropriate form of display (including a canton or inescutcheon), without requiring letters of permission from the Crown of Calontir against their badge, and without requiring a letter of permission to conflict from Bianca. [Andreas Seljukroctonis, 12/2003, R-Calontir]
[Per bend sinister gules and purpure, on a bend sinister dovetailed argent between two double-bitted axes Or a bull's head caboshed palewise sable and for augmentation, on a canton purpure a cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or] It is acceptable for an augmentation to surmount a portion of the underlying armory even if, as in this emblazon, it renders one of the charges unidentifiable by surmounting it almost entirely. The effective invisibility of the charge under the canton is apparent from the blazon and should be taken into account when doing conflict checking. [Andreas Seljukroctonis, 12/2003, R-Calontir] [Ed.: Augmentation returned for conflict]
[Per bend sinister sable and gules, on a bend sinister wavy argent a ducal coronet bendwise sable, in chief three passion nails inverted bendwise in bend sinister gules enflamed Or and in base, for augmentation, an inescutcheon azure charged with a demi-sun issuant from base Or within a bordure argent] The device change was made on a form that also depicted the (pre-existing) augmentation. Precedent states "As we protect both the augmented arms and the unaugmented arms, a device change and an augmentation must be submitted as two separate actions" (LoAR October 2000). The same logic implies that, because we protect both the augmented arms and the unaugmented arms, in order to register this we will need two actions, each action with associated forms: one representing the unaugmented device change, and one representing the augmented device change.

It is important to note that if armory is changed with a previously existing augmentation, it is possible for that augmentation to become incompatible with the underlying armory due to the armory change. When this happens, the augmentation is not "automatically grandfathered", because (as noted in the Cover Letter to the October 2003 LoAR) "Augmentations do not have an existence separate from the arms that they augment, and therefore are not independently protectable entities."

As an example, consider the case of a submitter with the hypothetical armory Or, a pall inverted vert, for augmentation, in canton an estoile azure, who then submits a device change for the underlying device to Vert, a pall inverted Or, and for the augmented device to Vert, a pall inverted Or, for augmentation, in canton an estoile azure. The augmentation would violate RfS VIII.7, which states that "The augmentation must itself follow the armory rules", in conjunction with the ruling in the LoAR of August 1997, p. 26, which stated "Barring documentation of large numbers of period augmentations that break the rule of tincture, we are unwilling to register this practice."

Because the old augmentation is not compatible with the new device change, Laurel would be forced to (without extra direction from the submitter) register the new device change (unaugmented) and return the augmented device change. The "old augmented device" could not be retained as a badge and thus must be released. At the end of this series of actions, the submitter would no longer have a blue estoile augmentation on his list of registered items. In order to avoid this situation, the submitter could, as part of the original submission, add an administrative note to the submission indicating that, if the changed augmented arms were not registerable, the unaugmented device change is to be withdrawn, and the previous device (augmented or not) is to be retained. [Kathryn of Iveragh, 02/2004, R-Outlands]

AXE

[axe vs. double-bitted axe] ... nothing for changing the type of axes. [Eleri of Caerleon, 11/2001, R-Meridies]
Note that under current precedent, there is no difference for changing the tincture of the hafts of the axes: "[A woodaxe reversed argent] Conflict with... a battle axe Or, headed argent, the edge to sinister... In each case there is... nothing for the change in tincture of the handle only." (LoAR June 1992 p.18). [Sefferey of Wessex, 02/2002, A-Meridies]

BALANCE

[Sable, a hanging balance atop a sword argent] The hanging balance is not depicted correctly. The balance should have pans hanging by chains at each end of the arm of the balance. Instead, the emblazon shows all the space between the chains and over the pans as argent (in addition to the argent chains and pans). As a result, this submission more closely resembles two bags hanging from a yoke than a hanging balance. The artwork needs to be redrawn to clearly depict either a hanging balance, or two bags hanging from a yoke.

Please note that there is a conflict problem with this submission as well. A hanging balance atop a sword resembles a standing balance so closely that it is not given difference from a standing balance. The LoAR of January 1998 noted that a hanging balance resting atop a vertical "stand-shaped" charge can be given no difference from a standing balance: "[Gules, a double-bitted axe inverted and balanced on its haft a set of scales Or.] This conflicts with ... (Fieldless) A standing balance Or., with one CD for the field." The same problem applies to this design. Thus, if the hanging balance were redrawn correctly, this would conflict with ... Sable platy, a standing balance argent. There would be one CD for removing the plates, but no difference between the hanging balance atop the sword and the standing balance. [Cathal the Black, 09/2003, R-Trimaris]
[in pale a hanging balance and a sword inverted Or] In this emblazon, the hanging balance and the sword inverted are so close to each other that they are almost conjoined. This emblazon resembled a standing balance so closely that this submission is in visual conflict under RfS X.5 with ... (Fieldless) A standing balance Or.

Note that precedent has previously held that a hanging balance resting atop a vertical "stand-shaped" charge can be given no difference from a standing balance without invoking RfS X.5, in cases where the hanging balance was conjoined to the "stand-shaped" charge. The LoAR of January 1998 noted that: "[Gules, a double-bitted axe inverted and balanced on its haft a set of scales Or.] This conflicts with ... (Fieldless) A standing balance Or., with one CD for the field." This precedent was reaffirmed in the LoAR of September 2003 where a hanging balance atop a sword was given no difference from a standing balance. [Tigernan Fox, 01/2004, R-East]

BASE
see also MOUNT and MOUNTAIN

[a base engrailed] The engrailing is too small and shallow to be acceptable. There are ten cups in the engrailing, which would be a fairly large number on a fess. Here the width across the base is much smaller than the width of a fess. [Derdriu de Duglas, 10/2001, R-Trimaris]
[Argent, three crosses of Cerdaña sable between a chief and a base azure] This armory is visually equivalent to Azure, a fess argent charged with three crosses of Cerdaña two and one sable. It therefore conflicts with a number of pieces of armory protected by the SCA, including the flag of Honduras (important non-SCA flag), Azure, on a fess argent five mullets in saltire azure, and ... Azure, upon a fess argent, a mole's paw print sable. In each case there is only one CD for the cumulative changes to the group of charges on the fess. [Bianca Sereni, 09/2002, R-Ansteorra]
[three points] Previous precedent has held:
Although all three 'points' are mentioned in heraldic tracts, in practice only the base one appears to have been used; and even in the tracts, the dexter and sinister points are described as abatements of honor, to be used separately, and not in conjunction." (Da'ud ibn Auda, LoAR 4/92, p. 19) No documentation was presented to contradict this precedent. As a consequence, the precedent disallowing the use of dexter and/or sinister points remains in place (LoAR December 1993).
We also have not been provided with documentation to support this design as period style and thus continue to uphold the previous precedents. [Shirin al-Adawiya, 12/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Per chevron ployé argent and vert, three compass stars counterchanged] The submission was originally blazoned using a point pointed rather than a per chevron field division. However, because the three compass stars are of the same type and size, and because heraldic designs of the form Per chevron three [charges] counterchanged are much more common than designs using a point pointed in any fashion, the overwhelming visual impression is of armory using a per chevron line, with the line drawn somewhat lower on the shield than usual. We have thus reblazoned it accordingly. [Duncan Darroch, 01/2003, R-An Tir]
This emblazon does not clearly use a point pointed, nor does it clearly use a per chevron division. This is reason for return by RfS VII.7.a.

The top of the point pointed is slightly above the fess line in the large sized emblazon. The mini-emblazon showed a standard point pointed, which was notably shorter than the one in the full-sized emblazon. Therefore, the difference between the mini-emblazon and the full-sized emblazon did not allow the College to comment properly on this submission. [Wilhelm von Düsseldorf, 02/2003, R-West]
[Per chevron argent and azure, in chief a rose slipped and leaved fesswise and in base six gouttes three two and one, counterchanged] The device does not clearly use a per chevron line of division, nor does it use a point pointed. Because of this ambiguity this must be returned under RfS VII.7.a.

Note that a per chevron line of division should appear to divide the field into two equal pieces. This emblazon does not give that appearance. One reason is that the per chevron line is drawn somewhat low on the field - it appears to have been drawn by using the form's guidelines for a per saltire division and drawing the bottom section of that field. In addition, the fact that the rose in chief is drawn as a small charge, with lots of field around it, implies that it is not a charge filling its half of an equally divided field. [Duvessa of Movilla, 03/2003, R-Middle]
[Argent, a pile inverted vert issuant from a ford proper] The ford is drawn with the blue stripe to chief, lying entirely against the vert pile inverted. This has insufficient contrast, as the remainder of the ford does not have enough stripes to clearly identify it as a ford. If the ford were drawn with two more stripes, or if the pile issued from the center of the ford (so that the top stripe on the ford laid partially against the field), there would not be a problem with having the blue stripe at the top of the ford.

The College had some questions about the way that the bottom of the ford extends exactly across the bottom of the pile inverted. As a general rule, we would expect a pile inverted to be somewhat thinner and thus issue from the center of the ford, rather than extend all the way across the ford. [Kateryne Segrave, 04/2003, R-East]
[Sable, a dhow Or sailed argent issuant from a ford proper and in chief a decrescent and an increscent Or] Some commenters inquired if this armory was overly pictorial armory per RfS VIII.4.a, "Pictorial Design", which states, in part, "Design elements should not be combined to create a picture of a scene or landscape. For example, combining a field divided per fess wavy azure and Or with a sun and three triangles Or, as well as a camel and two palm trees proper to depict the Nile Valley would not be acceptable." It is important to remember that heraldry reminiscent of simple landscapes is not uncommon period armory. The "landscape" in this armory is similar to period armorial designs, and is much simpler than the example given in RfS VIII.4.a.

In particular, period civic armory often includes designs where a ship or a building issues from a ford or similar charge depicting water in base. Jiri Louda's European Civic Coats of Arms gives the history of many civic coats of arms along with illustrations. The arms of Paris in the 13th C were Gules, a lymphad issuant from a base wavy argent, and Charles V added a chief azure semy-de-lys Or in 1358. A piece of civic armory even more reminiscent of a landscape was granted to Cambridge in 1575, Gules an arched bridge throughout, in chief a fleur-de-lys Or between two roses argent barbed and seeded proper, in base three lymphads sable sailing atop a ford proper. [Achmed ibn Yousef, 05/2003, A-Atlantia]
A question was raised about the depiction of the ford, which has four barry wavy traits. Some commenters asked whether it was necessary to draw the ford with six traits. It is perfectly acceptable (and sometimes ideal) to draw a ford with four barry wavy traits. Perhaps this question arose due to the recommended way of drawing a barry wavy field. A barry wavy field is usually drawn with six or more traits, but there is much less room to draw that many traits on a ford, which is often less than one-third of the height of the field. Six or more barry wavy traits on a ford will often result in undesirably narrow traits. Four traits is an excellent compromise depiction for many fords. [Helga lómr, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
Note that SCA blazon always explicitly tinctures a ford. If the tinctures of the ford are argent and azure (or the other way around) it may be blazoned as proper. [Thomas Joseph de Lacy, 11/2003, A-Caid]
[a merman .... issuant from a base] Some commenters mentioned the fact that the merman has his tail reflexed up in a 'u' in this emblazon. The main body of the merman through the top of his tail (where his hips would be if he had them) issues from the base, and the end of his tail also issues from the base, and these two pieces of the merman are not conjoined to each other. This is an acceptable way of drawing a merman issuant from a base. It is analogous to the period practice of drawing a demi-lion issuant from a line of division so both the demi-lion and the end of the demi-lion's tail are issuant from the line of division and are not conjoined to each other. It is the choice of the heraldic artist to decide whether to draw the merman in this fashion, whether to draw him so that his body and tail end are conjoined, or to draw him without the tail tip showing at all. [Christopher MacEveny, 01/2004, A-An Tir]

BEAST -- Badger

[a badger rampant sable] The badger was originally blazoned as sable marked argent, but it is predominantly sable with only a few small argent details. We generally do not blazon a charge as "marked" when the marking details are so small. In addition, we might mistakenly give the impression that large portions of the badger (such as its underside) are argent, which might lead to emblazons that have inadequate contrast with the argent field. [Gareth Craig, 08/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
This month, some questions were raised about the tincture of a previously registered SCA brock proper. The tincture of a brock (or badger) proper is not clearly defined in SCA or real-world heraldic practice. We here state explicitly that the SCA has no default proper tincture for brocks or badgers. In this LoAR, we have reblazoned the few pieces of existing SCA armory that were blazoned using brocks or badgers proper. [11/2003, CL]
[brock vs. wolverine] A wolverine is not a charge that is used in period heraldry, so its difference from a badger must be determined on visual grounds per RfS X.4.e. There is not sufficient difference between a badger and a wolverine to give a CD for this type change. [Caisséne Merdrech, 11/2003, R-Atlantia]

BEAST -- Bat

[a reremouse displayed head to dexter] The reremouse is both displayed and guardant by default. Since this reremouse is displayed but has its head turned to dexter, its posture has been explicitly blazoned for clarity. [Mat of Forth Castle, 03/2002, A-Meridies]
The submitter requested that these charges, normally blazoned as reremice, be blazoned using the common term bats. Since the term bat for this animal is not heraldically ambiguous, and it has been registered recently (in July 2001), we may accede to her request. [Elynor O'Brian, 09/2002, A-Caid]
[a reremouse inverted] Bats inverted have been explicitly allowed in the SCA in the past, as long as they are identifiable (as is the case here):
While the inversion of the bat is unusual, it remains (even at a distance) identifiable... Because of the bird-like nature of the bat, we believe that it should be allowed a posture which is not so very different from "migrant to base", which posture has not been disallowed under the ban on "inverted creatures" noted in the September 1993 LoAR. [The badge was registered] (LoAR September 1994)
There is also a recent precedent concerning tergiant animals which applies equally well to bats displayed:
A significant number of commenters felt that inverting a tergiant charge which is commonly found as tergiant (such as a tergiant scorpion or a frog) does not hamper the identifiability of the charge so much as to render it unidentifiable, and they felt that it should be acceptable. The frog in this submission certainly retains its identifiability very clearly in the inverted posture. As a result, inverting a tergiant charge is acceptable as long as it does not otherwise violate any basic heraldic principles, including the requirement for identifiability. Because of the lack of period evidence for tergiant inverted charges, the posture will be considered a clear step from period practice (also known informally as a "weirdness") for any charge that cannot be found in this posture in period (LoAR May 2002).
We will accordingly consider a bat (displayed) inverted to be a step from period practice ("a weirdness") unless documentation is provided for bats inverted in period heraldry. [Zhou Long Xi Xian Sheng, 10/2002, A-Lochac]
[a reremouse dormant pendant from a branch] The reremouse is hanging upside down and has its wings wrapped around its body in a natural sleeping posture. This posture is not registerable by previous precedent: "[a reremouse dormant dependent from an annulet] The bat was not dormant, but was rather in its natural sleeping posture. We know of no examples of this posture in period heraldic depictions of bats, and for good reason: this posture eliminates any identifiable aspects of the bat. Therefore the device violates VIII.4.c, Natural Depiction: ... Excessively natural designs include those that depict animate objects in unheraldic postures ... and VIII.3, Armorial Identifiability" (LoAR August 2000). [Sebastian Goulde, 09/2003, R-Middle]

BEAST -- Bear

[a panda bear] By current precedent, it is not acceptable to use a species of flora or fauna in armory which was not known to Europeans in period: "The primary charge is the leaf of a vanillaleaf plant (genus Achlys). Europeans did not discover it until the 18th century so [it] cannot be used in SCA armory" (LoAR February 2000). The most recent precedent explicitly concerning pandas notes in pertinent part that the panda was not known to Europeans in period: "Lanner provided some distinct evidence that the panda was not seen by an European until this century and that its furs were not known to Europeans until the last century" (LoAR December 1989). The panda is therefore not acceptable for registration. [Zubaydah as-Zahra, 02/2002, R-Meridies]
[a bear rampant contourny gules] Conflict with Elfarch Myddfai, Or, a bear legged of an eagle's legs rampant to sinister gules. There is one CD for changing the field but no difference for changing the type of the bear's feet. [Od Barbarossa, 07/2002, R-Calontir]
[a bear vs. a winged bear] There is one CD for removing the wings ... [Wilhelm Bär, 02/2003, R-Calontir]

BEAST -- Beaver

[a beaver vs. a sea-dog] ... and a second CD for the type difference between a sea-dog and a beaver.

One commenter asserted that the sea-dog is "the heraldic depiction of a natural beaver", and went on to reason that, as a result, no difference should be given between a sea-dog and a beaver. No references or documentation were provided to support this assertion. Two questions are begged by this unsupported assertion: As for the first question, the only source we found saying that the beaver is the origin of the sea-dog is Fox-Davies' A Complete Guide to Heraldry, where the sea-dog is discussed with the other dogs in the chapter titled "Beasts". Parker's A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry mentions a conjecture that the crocodile is the origin of the sea-dog. However, it seems generally agreed that the most likely origin of the sea-dog is the otter (as stated in Parker's A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, Woodward's A Treatise on Heraldry British and Foreign, and Moule's The Heraldry of Fish).

As for the second question, RfS X.4.e gives clear criteria for when we should, and should not, give difference between two charges. That rule states "Types of charges considered to be separate in period, for example a lion and an heraldic tyger, will be considered different."

In comparing the sea-dog with the most likely animal of origin, the otter, Woodward states explicitly that "The otter may be the original of the heraldic creature known as the sea-dog, but it is quite clear that, as represented, the latter finds a fitting place among armorial monsters. The otter, of whose use in armory The Heraldry of Fish contains a sufficient number of instances both as a charge and as a supporter, is usually drawn proper, and is thus very unlike the heraldic sea-dog." By "drawn proper" it is clear in context that Woodward means "drawn naturalistically" rather than "in its proper tincture": The Heraldry of Fish, pp. 147-149, provides a sizeable discussion of armory using otters, none of which are tinctured proper, but which are illustrated using naturalistic otters.

Visually, the sea-dog is quite distinct in period heraldry from period heraldic otters and from period heraldic beavers. The sea-dog is drawn like a talbot with prominent scales and fins. It often has a paddle-shaped tail, but not always: the sea-hounds dated to 1547 on p. 155 of Dennys' The Heraldic Imagination do not have paddle-shaped tails. The sea-dog's prominent fins often extend to the head of the creature as in the crest circa 1528 for Thomson on the bottom row of figure 13 of Woodcock and Robinson's The Oxford Guide to Heraldry, stated in the index to be a sea-dog.

By contrast, the heraldic otter is drawn as a smooth-furred animal with the shape of an ermine, except with a wider tail, as can be seen in the various arms of Meldrum (a good example is in the 15th C Armorial de Berry). The otter's head is a particularly popular charge in period Scottish heraldry, and is very different from the finned talbot-like head of a sea-dog: the heraldic otter's head has a pointed weasel-like face and small erect round ears, rather than the blunt muzzle, large floppy ears, and finny details of a sea-dog's head.

The heraldic beaver is drawn with a stocky, smooth-furred (not finned or scaled) body, a wide (usually, but not always, paddle-like) tail, and small or nonexistent ears. It is sometimes contorted into an unspeakable posture based on the medieval view of this animal's habits, as noted in Dennys' The Heraldic Imagination, p. 151. As an example of a beaver in a standard heraldic posture, see the family of Biber, Or, a beaver rampant sable, in the 14th C Zuricher Wappenrolle (http://ladyivanor.knownworldweb.com/zroadt2r.htm). Some heraldic beavers did not resemble naturalistic beavers but did maintain the smooth-furred body, wide tail, and small (or nonexistent) ears of the beaver. Note, for example, the arms of the town of Biberach from 1483 (redrawn in Fox-Davies' A Complete Guide to Heraldry from the Concilum von Constanz), also in the chapter on "Beasts". Note also the arms of the same town on f. 219 of Siebmacher from 1605, which depict a less stocky beaver than the other examples, but which still cannot be visually confused with a sea-dog.

The evidence above appears to strongly indicate that a sea-dog and a beaver were considered distinct charges in period and should be given a CD for type difference under RfS X.4.e.

We do note that Fox-Davies, in his discussion of the sea-dog, states that "There has been considerable uncertainty as to what the sinister supporter [of the city of Oxford] was intended to represent. A reference to the original record shows that a beaver is the real supporter, but the representation of the animal, which in form has varied little, is very similar to that of a sea-dog." Certainly the sinister supporter of the city of Oxford in the emblazon used in Fox-Davies' time does not closely resemble a sea-dog, although it does resemble Siebmacher's beaver. A depiction of the emblazon used in Fox-Davies' time (roughly 100 years ago) is depicted at http://www.oxfordbusiness.info/civic/old_oxford/town_hall.htm, which site states that the charge is indeed intended to depict a beaver. It is not clear what emblazons Fox-Davies is using to support his assertion that the depictions of the sea-dog and the beaver are "very similar": it is entirely possible that any "very similar" emblazons are found after 1600. Given the other evidence above, we do not feel that Fox-Davies' assertion contravenes the demonstrated general pattern by which sea-dogs were drawn distinctly from beavers before 1600. [Elia Stefansdottir, 01/2004, A-Outlands]
Based on period heraldry, naturalism, and the Pictorial Dictionary, beavers proper are brown by default. [Adelicia of Caithness, 02/2004, A-Caid]

BEAST -- Boar

[winged boars vs. boars] There is one CD for the number of boars and another for removing the wings:
[A winged wolf] Conflict with ... a wolf ... there is only one CVD for adding the wings. (LoAR October 1991 p.16).
[Ruaidhri ua Ceallaigh, 09/2001, A-Calontir]
[a boar statant sable crined gules] The crining of the boar refers to the ridge of bristles along its back. [Rycharde de Northewode, 12/2001, A-An Tir]
There is a CD between a correctly drawn hippopotamus and a correctly drawn boar. [Tat'iana Travina, 11/2002, A-Outlands]

BEAST -- Cat, Lion and Tiger

[a natural tiger couchant guardant contourny Or marked sable] The device conflicts with ... Gules, in pale a Grecian fa�ade argent and a cat couchant to sinister guardant Or. There is one CD for removing the second primary charge (the fa�ade). There is no difference for changing the type of cat, or for the tincture change represented by the markings, which are less than half the charge. This also conflicts with ... Gules, a lion dormant contourny Or, a chief wavy argent. There is one CD for the removing the chief but nothing for the changing the posture from dormant to couchant guardant. Again, there is no difference between types of cats. [Sheila Stuart, 11/2001, R-Meridies]
[Manx cat rampant] The College could not identify this animal as a cat, generally believing it appeared to be some sort of dog, or perhaps a bear. While period heraldic art was by no means always realistic, it had unmistakable cues to the identity of the type of animal, especially in stylized artwork. Because the Manx cat has no tail, one of these cues was lost, making it all the more important that the remainder of the animal be drawn recognizably as a cat. Since this drawing was not identifiable, the armory must be returned. [Zachary Strangeman, 11/2001, R-Meridies]
[winged lion vs. a lion-dragon] ... and at least another [CD] for the difference between a winged lion and a lion-dragon. As seen in the Pictorial Dictionary, a lion-dragon is a demi-lion conjoined to the tail of a dragon, much like a sea-lion is a demi-lion conjoined to the tail of a fish. [Maredudd Angharad ferch Gwenhyfar, 01/2002, A-Outlands]
[a winged lioness] We have preserved the submitter's desired blazon of a lioness, since the creature does not have any of the characteristics that would mark it specifically as a male lion, such as a mane or a pizzle. However, it should be noted that this artwork probably would have been perceived as a winged lion in the culture which originated it, not a winged lioness. Lions in period could be drawn without a distinct mane, and often were not drawn with any mane in early period. Also, period lions were often drawn without a pizzle. [Þórunn Vígadóttir, 06/2002, A-Trimaris]
There is no type difference between a cat and a natural panther. [Isabel Margarita de Sotomayor y Pérez de Gerena, 11/2002, R-Trimaris]
The lion was blazoned as a Saracenic lion, but we do not blazon the national origin of charges unless such an adjective is needed to distinguish between different types of charge. This appears to be a reasonable artistic variant of a lion guardant and we have so blazoned it. [Scheherazade al-Zahira, 01/2003, R-East]
[a lion vs. a continental panther] There is one CD, but not substantial difference, between a heraldic (as opposed to natural) panther and a lion, just as there is only one CD between a heraldic tyger and a lion per RfS X.4.e. [Jane Atwell, 02/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
[a cat rampant guardant] This device does not conflict with ... Per chevron sable and azure, an English panther rampant reguardant argent pellety incensed Or, an orle argent. ... Precedent indicates that there is a CD between a panther and a lion, so there should also be a CD between a panther and a cat: "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]" (LoAR March 1993). [Catte MacGuffee, 03/2003, A-Meridies]
We have reblazoned the cats from herissony to statant, as their backs are not arched enough to be blazoned herissony. [Garrett Fitzpatrick, 04/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[a lion] The primary charge was originally blazoned as a Chinese lion. We do not specify the artistic or ethnic origin of a charge in blazon unless the modified blazon indicates a significantly different type of charge from the unmodified blazon. As an example where such an adjective indicates a significantly different charge, an Oriental dragon is a sinuous wingless monster, while the default dragon has wings and a much more compact body.

Because of the wide range of depictions of lions in period, this maned quadruped with clawed feet, fangs, and a long feathery tail is sufficiently identifiable as a standard lion, and is therefore blazoned as such. [Uggedei Mighan Nidun, 07/2003, A-Artemisia]
Lions' tails, when nowed, are generally blazoned as such, although this distinction is not worth difference. [Asshelin Chrystal, 11/2003, A-Ansteorra]
The leopard was originally blazoned as spotted sable, but the spots of a natural leopard are usually left as an artistic detail rather than blazoned explicitly. [Skarpheðinn Irlandsfari, 11/2003, A-Drachenwald]
There is no difference for changing the type of feline from a lynx to a natural leopard. [Jenet Froste, 02/2004, R-Atlantia]
This charge was originally blazoned as a panther, but it is neither a heraldic panther (as it lacks the appropriate incensing) nor a natural panther (as it has the elaborately tufted tail and legs of a heraldic lion, which would never be found on a natural panther). It is an appropriately stylized lion for much of the heraldry in the last two centuries of our period. While it has either a minimal or nonexistent mane, this lack of mane is common with heraldic lions in our period. [Racheel Dominique de Brienne, 03/2004, A-Middle]

BEAST -- Deer

[three unicorns couchant] There were some suggestions in the commentary that these unicorns were not in a standard couchant posture, and perhaps might be better blazoned as lodged. Lodged is just a synonym for couchant used when blazoning deer and their close relatives, and there is no difference in the way lodged and couchant are drawn. The slight bend in one foreleg is an acceptable artistic variant for any animal in this posture, although it is found most often with a long-legged animal such as a deer. [Myfanwy ferch Rhiannon,11/2001, A-Æthelmearc]
The term springing is, in the SCA, a synonym for salient used when blazoning deer and their close relatives, and should not be used for other animals. [Stierbach, Barony of, 11/2001, A-Atlantia]

BEAST -- Dog and Wolf

Per the cover letter for the June 2001 LoAR, there is no difference between talbots and wolves. This means any additional difference must be derived from the posture of the beasts. [Ingilborg Sigmundardóttir, 08/2001, R-Caid]
[talbots vs. foxes] By long standing precedent, there is no difference between foxes and talbots. [James Jacob Talbot, 11/2001, R-East]
... no difference for the type change from a fox to a wolf ... [Æthelwynn Rædwulfesdohter, 01/2002, R-Trimaris]
The LoI suggested that the blazon term ravissant be used. This term is sometimes used for a wolf which is grasping its prey by the neck and holding it over its back. However, it might also be considered appropriate for other sorts of predator/prey arrangements. Therefore, the term ravissant should not be used without more explicit arrangement and posture description. [Sigmundr Hákonsson, 02/2002, R-Drachenwald]
Some commenters felt that the terrier was hard to identify, but most were able to identify it as a dog. The particular terrier in this emblazon has a short muzzle with a long hairy "beard" or "mustache", which seemed to be the source of the identifiability issues. Similar small dogs were documented with the submission, from the Arnolfini Wedding portrait circa 1434 and from the Unicorn Tapestries circa 1500 (which dog resembles a West Highland terrier, except that it is tan colored). The period sources showed dogs with small fluffy tails, so the fact that this dog's tail is also small (possibly docked) does not require blazoning. [Helena d'Évreux, 06/2002, A-West]
A fox proper in the SCA is "Red with black 'socks' and white at tip of tail", according to the Glossary of Terms. [Piero Antonio Volpe, 10/2002, A-Atlantia]
[a dachshund] Ammalynne Starchild Haraldsdottir's "May I Use a Collie In My Arms" (KWHS, Meridies, AS XVII, pp. 45-55) indicates that the dachshund is probably a period breed of dog. The dachshund is literally a badger-hound, bred to hunt badgers. The New Zealand Kennel Club (http://www.nzkc.org.nz/breeds/dacsh.htm) states that "Earliest records now available of dogs hunting badgers include several woodcuts in a book first published in 1560. These dogs had long bodies, short legs, medium length heads, pendant ears, short necks and sickle tails." This description matches the emblazon here. It seems reasonable to register dachshunds as period charges. If nothing else, the term for the breed is generic ("badger-hound") and closely resembles a period sort of dog used for hunting badgers. [Marie Boleyn, 11/2002, R-Middle]
Many commenters noted the similarity of this emblazon to the Dalmatian breed of dog, and questioned whether that breed was period. Clarion stated:
Dalmatians are probably a period breed, there is a mention of spotted dogs in an Elizabethan Journal (National Geographic Book of Dogs). As the shape of the dog resembles a Dalmatian, we might as well use it. I would still give its color as argent spotted sable, especially as modern Dalmatians can have brown spots as well.
This is sufficient evidence to allow this sort of depiction of a dog in SCA heraldry, as the type of dog is compatible with period types of dog. Because the submitter originally blazoned this dog simply as a dog argent spotted sable rather than a Dalmatian argent spotted sable we will continue to blazon it as a dog. [Lyn the Inquisitive,12/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[an armored wolf] The wolf's armor is not dissimilar from period dog-armor. Dog-armor was found in various places in Europe by the end of period, according to documentation provided from Brassey's Book of Body Armor by Robert Woosnam-Savage and Anthony Hall. This book also describes other sorts of animal armor. While the armored animals in the body armor book are all domestic animals, the arms of Finland, Gules semy of roses argent, a lion rampant crowned Or brandishing with one human arm armored a sword and in base a falchion fesswise reversed proper, incorporate a wild creature wearing armor. All in all it seems unusual, but acceptable, to have an armored wolf in SCA armory. Because the armor does not affect the outline of the wolf and is of the same tincture as the wolf, it is considered a blazonable artist's detail and is not worth difference. [Vilk{u,} Urvas, Shire of, 12/2002, A-Middle]
The dog was originally blazoned as a Bouvier de Flandres but that is a modern breed. The Zuricher Wappenrolle shows a dog much like this one, stocky, fuzzy, with short pointed ears and a short tail, for the family of Toggenburg. Pastoureau blazons this dog simply as a chien (or dog) in Traité d'Heraldique. It thus seems appropriate to register this very similar-looking dog simply as a dog. [Jean Philippe des Bouviers Noirs, 01/2003, A-East]
... no type difference between a fox and a wolf. [Ichijou Jirou Toshiyasu, 01/2003, R-Atlantia]
[a brown vixen proper] The vixen was originally blazoned as proper, which is defined in the SCA Glossary of Terms as "Red with black 'socks' and white at tip of tail". The vixen drawn here is brown with black feet, white chest, and white tail-tip. This is not acceptable by the following precedent, which requires that the brown fox proper be all brown:
A falcon proper will be considered to be all brown, not brown head, wings and back, buff breast with darker spots, and a tail striped with black; a hare proper will be considered to be all brown, not brown with white underbelly and tail and pink ears. This also appears to be more in keeping with period heraldic practice. (Cover Letter for the October 1995 LoAR)
If period evidence is shown for a brown fox proper with black socks and white at the tip of the tail (and on the chest), we may reconsider the return. However, no evidence for such a period heraldic depiction of a fox has been presented. We can find find evidence for period foxes that are solid brown (for example, the canting arms of Die Fuchsen in Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch, fol. 62, Or a brown fox salient proper). [Apollonia Voss, 01/2003, R-East]
[A wolf couchant sable] This does not conflict with a badge of Thylacinus Aquila of Dair Eidand, (Fieldless) A thylacine couchant gardant proper, orbed and langued gules. There is one CD for fieldlessness and another CD for the tincture of the beast. The thylacine proper in Thylacinus' emblazon is predominantly tan in color. The College's researches also indicate that this is the expected proper coloration for a thylacine. [Rhys ab Idwal, 06/2003, A-Middle]
[enfield vs. talbot] Previous precedent strongly implies that there is difference between a wolf and an enfield (and thus, a talbot and an enfield) as long as the forelegs of the enfield are not obscured by other elements of the design: "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" (LoAR July 1992, pg. 17). There is thus a second CD for changing the talbots to enfields. [Dafydd ap y Kynith, 09/2003, A-Meridies]
[a wolf statant argent] The cumulative problems with the artwork call for redrawing. The wolf is not clearly identifiable as a wolf. It does not have a wolf's long bushy tail, nor does it have a wolf's erect pointed ears. The head and neck are slightly in trian aspect, which causes the neck to effectively disappear, which also hampers the identifiability of the animal. Only about half the people who commented on this submission or who viewed this submission at the Wreath meeting were able to clearly identify this charge as a canine, and few of them believed it to be a wolf. [Randolf Garard, 10/2003, R-Atlantia]
[wolves vs. seawolves] There is a ... CD for changing the type of secondary charges. Most (albeit not all) "sea-beast" monsters are constructed as fish-tailed demi-beasts (the top half of the beast conjoined to a fish's tail). A sea-wolf follows this general practice: it is a fish-tailed demi-wolf, just as a a sea-griffin is a fish tailed demi-griffin. As a general rule, there is a CD between a quadruped (or quadrupedal monster) and a fish-tailed demi-quadruped. While there are not many explicit precedents on this topic, one such precedent is found in the LoAR of January 1992, p. 6: "There is a CD... for the difference between a sea-griffin and a griffin." [Daniel of Whitby, 11/2003, A-Ealdormere]
The dogs were originally blazoned as mastiff hounds but they should simply be termed mastiffs. From a heraldic perspective, a mastiff and a hound are different types of dogs, and the phrase mastiff hound is as nonsensical as the phrase talbot greyhound. [Grimbrand Hundeman, 12/2003, R-Calontir]

BEAST -- Elephant

[Gules, in pale a woolly mammoth statant proper atop a hurt fimbriated argent] The Laurel files did not contain a colored emblazon for this very old submission, and so we were unable to clarify the tincture of the mammoth in the blazon. [Aaron the Mighty, 03/2002, A-West]
[Per bend Or and vert, an elephant argent] Conflict with Andrew Castlebuilder, Per chevron purpure and Or, overall an elephant [Elephas sp.] trumpeting passant proper, on its back a carpet purpure, fimbriated Or, supporting a tower argent, masoned sable. There is a CD for changing the field but no difference for adding the tower. Towers are commonly found on the back of elephants, and must be blazoned when present. However, such towers are of much less visual weight than the elephant, and are therefore equivalent to maintained charges. The tower in Andrew's arms follows this pattern. [Dionello Cristoforo dei Medici, 03/2002, R-An Tir]

BEAST -- General

[a horse's head contourny erased Or collared gules] This is clear of conflict with ... Sable, a single headed chess knight contourny Or. There is a CD for changing the field and a second CD for adding the collar. "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." (LoAR 9/93 p.5) [Ceinwen ferch Rhys ap Gawain, 03/2002, A-Caid]
The College was generally in agreement that the addition or deletion of a crown from the head of a (whole) animal should not be worth difference. Some period evidence was presented suggesting that, in armory using a crowned animal, the crown was at times dropped from the emblazon. Such an easily deletable artist's distinction should not be considered to be worth difference.

The College was not able to find period evidence about whether crowned animal's heads could have the crown added or deleted by artistic license. Some commenters suggested that perhaps crowns on animal's heads should be considered analogous to collars on animal's heads. Current precedent gives a CD for collaring an animal's head (as if the collar were a tertiary charge) but does not give a CD for adding a collar to a whole animal. However, these two designs are not truly analogous. A collar on an animal's head does indeed function as a tertiary charge and thus must have good contrast with the head on which it lies. This good contrast enhances the collar's visual prominence. However, a crown on an animal's head does not generally have such good contrast. The crown generally either has poor contrast with the field or with the animal's head. In addition, a crown may be further obscured by some artistic details of the head on which it lies, such as ruffled eagle's feathers or a lion's mane.

Without period evidence to the contrary, and because of the contrast problems inherent in the design of a crown on an animal's head, it does not seem appropriate to give difference for adding a crown to a charge consisting only of an animal's head. [12/2002, CL]
Most demi-quadrupeds (including winged demi-quadrupeds, such as demi-griffins) are erect in period armory. Erect appears to be the default posture for such charges in the real world. Therefore, erect should be the default posture for demi-quadrupeds in the SCA. [Thomas von Hessen, 08/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[stag's head erased gorged of a pearled coronet ... argent] A beast's head gorged of a coronet or collar is treated by the SCA as having a tertiary charge. "When [considering a] creature's head gorged, however, the gorging is much more prominent in proportion --- and treated as a tertiary charge." (LoAR of September 1993). A tertiary charge needs to have good contrast with the underlying charge. This coronet is the same tincture as the underlying head, so it violates our rules for contrast. On a full-sized beast, where a collar is considered an artist's detail rather than a charge in its own right, it would be acceptable to have a no-contrast detail of this nature. [Chrestienne de Waterdene, 04/2002, R-Æthelmearc]

BEAST -- Goat

[goats clymant] Some commenters suggested that clymant was not a correct blazon and that these goats should be reblazoned as salient. This is an erroneous suggestion, as clymant may be used as a synonym for either salient or rampant goats. Parker's A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry defines clymant as "salient, applied to the goat", and, under goat, he notes that "[clymant] may be used for either salient or rampant." It is thus acceptable to use the term clymant to refer to a goat which is either rampant or salient. [Christophe de Lorraine, 11/2003, A-Atenveldt]
Note that, in the SCA, the default sheep does not have horns... [Boddi bjarki Bjarnarson, 11/2003, A-East]
[A ram statant gules] The ram was tinctured on the Letter of Intent as gules armed Or. The horns of the ram are a large enough artistic detail so that their tincture could be blazoned (unlike the tincture of the hooves of the ram, which the SCA always leaves entirely to the artist). However, the tincture of the horns of the ram is not so important that it must be blazoned. The submitter did not blazon the horns as Or on the form, so we suspect the submitter would like to leave the tincture of the horns to artist's license, and we have omitted the arming tincture from the blazon. [Aaron Graves and Alessandra Gabrielli, 12/2003, A-Atenveldt]

BEAST -- Miscellaneous

[a pillar sable surmounted by a horse passant] While the pillar and horse combination were universally found to be evocative of a carousel horse, it does not appear to be so obtrusively modern as to warrant return. Please note a very similar design found in the period arms of v. König, Siebmacher f. 146, Azure a pillar Or surmounted by a horse salient argent. [Micaela Leslie, 02/2002, A-Atenveldt]
Camels may be brown as part of their natural color variations. Just as we register brown wolves proper (even though natural wolves are often grey) we may register brown camels proper, under the criteria set forth in the cover letter for the October 1995 LoAR.

The original blazon was simply a camel. Since there is no default proper tincture for a camel, it is necessary to specify that this is a brown camel proper.

The blanket on the back of the camel was originally blazoned as a saddle, but it is simply a blanket. As drawn in this submission, the blanket is an artistic detail worth blazoning, but not a tertiary charge, and therefore does not need good contrast with the camel. [Aminah of Nithgaard, 03/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
Please advise the submitter to draw the squirrel more identifiably. A squirrel has shorter and smaller forelegs and larger round hindquarters. Its tail, while full, also tends to be less shaggy than in this submission. The squirrel's statant posture does not enhance its identifiability, as squirrels are sejant erect by default and almost always found in that posture in period armory. As drawn, this squirrel risks being confused with another animal. [Isabel Fosson, 04/2002, A-Middle]
There is a CD between a correctly drawn hippopotamus and a correctly drawn boar. [Tat'iana Travina, 11/2002, A-Outlands]
[gorillas] The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica (http://88.1911encyclopedia.org/G/GO/GORI.htm) states:
It was long supposed that the apes encountered on an island off the west coast of Africa by Hanno, the Carthaginian, were gorillas, but in the opinion of some of those best qualified to judge, it is probable that the creatures in question were really baboons. The first real account of the gorilla appears to be the one given by an English sailor, Andrew Battel, who spent some time in the wilds of West Africa during and about the year 1590; his account being presented in Purchas's Pilgrimage, published in the year 1613. From this it appears that Battel was familiar with both the chimpanzee and the gorilla, the former of which he terms engeco and the latter pongo-names which ought apparently to be adopted for these two species in place of those now in use. Between Battel's time and 1846 nothing appears to have been heard of the gorilla or pongo, but in that year a missionary at the Gabun accidentally discovered a skull of the huge ape; and in 1847 a sketch of that specimen, together with two others, came into the hands of Sir R. Owen, by whom the name Gorilla savagei was proposed for the new ape in 1848.
We require that animals used in our armory were known to Western Europeans. In the past this has not been taken as a requirement that Western Europeans were very familiar as a group with the animal in question. Rather, it has been taken as a requirement that the animal had been seen by some explorer or explorers. It appears from the 1911 Encyclopedia citation that a Western European explorer had seen a gorilla before 1600. Thus, this charge may be accepted.

The College should note that the standard heraldic ape, found in the crest of the Irish family of FitzGerald, has a long tail and is thus biologically a representation of a type of monkey. [Seth MacMichael, 02/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
The primary charges were blazoned on the forms and the LoI as buffalo. We have reblazoned them to ensure that the correct animal will be drawn from the blazon. The term buffalo, according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, primarily refers to the large-horned water buffalo and African buffalo. The term bison is used for a different sort of ruminant noted for its "large forequarters, a shaggy mane, and a massive head with short curved horns." Bisons include the American bison (bison bison) and the European bison or wisent (Bison bonasus). Even though the word buffalo may properly be used in modern English to refer to bison, the SCA has previously registered bison as bison. [Tarasius of Galata, 03/2003, A-Calontir]
The armadillo is a New World animal. The Oxford English Dictionary dates the word "armadillo", referring to this animal, to 1577 and 1594. Armadillos are also found in several regions occupied by the Spanish long before the end of period. As armadillos were known to Western Europeans in period they may be registered, albeit as a step from period style (a "weirdness"). Per the LoAR of August 1999, "New World flora and fauna... are a discouraged weirdness, but registerable." Armory with a single step from period style may be registered, and there are no other steps from period style in this device. [Drogo Rabenwald, 01/2004, A-Æthelmearc]

BEAST -- Mouse

[mouse vs. mole] ... a CD for changing the type of beast. While moles were found in period armory (e.g. Twistleton, Argent, three moles sable; Dictionary of British Armorials Volume I p.295), we've found no period examples of armory using mice or rats. Woodward, in A Treatise on Heraldry, British and Foreign, indicates that mice and rats were found in real-world heraldry but were limited to the Continent in their few appearances, and he gives no dated examples of their use. We must therefore judge the difference in the types of charges by visual distinctions, per the provisions of RfS X.4.e. Given that the mouse has prominent ears and tail, while the mole has none, there should be a CD between them. [Eileen ingen Dubh-luchag, 12/2001, R-An Tir][Ed: Evidence was later found - see Franz Belgrand die Mus below.]
[mouse vs. ferret] Weasels are found in many forms in period heraldry: ermines, martens, and so forth. Without period examples of armory using mice, the distinction must be made on visual grounds. The weasel has very different body proportions from the mouse and lacks the prominent ears. It has at least a CD's difference for type change. [Eileen ingen Dubh-luchag, 12/2001, R-An Tir]
Please advise the submitter that a lemming resembles a mouse with a short mouse tail. [Hierytha Storie, 05/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
The gerbil is a Mongolian animal that was first found by Western Europeans in the 19th C. While some members of the College suggested reblazoning this animal as a hamster, hamsters have vestigial tails and gerbils have long thin furry tails. Because this is not a period animal, and cannot easily be reblazoned using a period heraldic animal, it may not be registered under RfS VII.4, "Period Flora and Fauna". [Kis Mária, 01/2004, R-East]
[a brown mouse rampant proper] We are glad to see a submission including a mouse, as it gives us an opportunity to modify, due to later developments, the statement in the December 2001 LoAR that "we've found no period examples of armory using mice or rats." We've found some now. The Stemmario Trivulziano, a 15th C Milanese armorial, has armory using both mice and rats. The arms of di Francavila on p. 150 and da Sorexina on p. 329 both include a mouse statant sable (blazoned in modern Italian by Carlo Maspoli as "sorcio"). The canting arms of di Topi on p. 354 also include a mouse (or rat) statant sable (modernly blazoned as "topo", which word can mean either rat or mouse). Canting rats (from the dialectical Italian "ratt" variant of the more common "ratto") may be found in the arms of Ratazi on p. 312, using a rat statant sable, and Ratanate on p. 308 using a rat rampant sable.

Note that all these rats and mice are sable. There are no mice proper in Stemmario Trivulziano - although there are a number of other proper brown animate charges in this book including canting dormice. Dormice are distinctly visibly different from mice or rats, with bushy tails, and we do not believe that practices for dormice can necessarily be extended to practices for mice. We thus continue to uphold the Glossary of Terms entry in Table 3 stating that there is no default proper tincture for mice.

This leaves the question of whether a brown mouse proper should be allowed. As noted in the LoAR of August 1995 and upheld since then (including the extensive discussion in the Cover Letter for the March 2002 LoAR), "Animals which are frequently found as brown but also commonly appear in other tinctures in the natural world may be registered as a brown {X} proper (e. g., brown hound proper, brown horse proper)." Mice are commonly found in a brown tincture in the natural world, so brown mice proper may be registered. [Franz Belgrand die Mus, 03/2004, A-Æthelmearc]

BEAST -- Rabbit

[a hare passant gules breathing flames] Breathing fire is (to put it mildly) an unusual attribute for a hare, and may be considered a weirdness. [Maeve of Trimaris, 08/2001, A-Trimaris]
[a rabbit sejant erect affronty paly argent and azure] The identifiability of the rabbit is unacceptably compromised by the combination of the unusual sejant erect affronty posture and the paly tincture of the rabbit. While there is period armory depicting animals in multiply divided tinctures such as barry and checky, the period animals so tinctured are in their most identifiable postures. Sejant erect affronty is not such a posture. In addition, period examples of sejant erect affronty, such as the crest of Scotland, are generally drawn with the forepaws displayed. Such a rendition is more identifiable than the depiction in this emblazon, where the forepaws lie entirely on the rabbit's body. [Tieg ap Gwylym, 07/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[A hare-headed man argent statant to sinister vested azure] The primary charge was blazoned on the letter of intent as a hare-headed man, and blazoned by the submitter as a hare. The charge has a hare's feet and head but a man's proportions. This is a style of drollery which is found in period art, but no documentation has been presented for such a charge in period heraldry. Most of the commentary received on this submission indicated that it was difficult to identify the charge. As a result, this may not be accepted without either documentation for such a charge in heraldry, or a redrawing so that the charge is clearly either a hare-headed man or a hare. [Bright Hills, Barony of, 07/2002, R-Atlantia]

BEAST -- Weasel

[a black-footed ferret proper] Reblazon to: Azure, a black-footed ferret passant guardant Or marked sable and argent, grasping in its dexter forepaw a rose argent, barbed, seeded, slipped, and leaved proper. Her original blazon was Azure, a black-footed ferret passant guardant proper, grasping in its dexter forepaw a rose argent, barbed, seeded, slipped, and leaved proper [Mustela nigripes]. Members of the College were confused about what tincture a black-footed ferret proper might be, citing various references to support interpretations of either argent or Or. Inspection of her form shows that the ferret is predominantly Or with a black mask, forefeet, and tail, and white showing at the very bottom of the belly. The blazon has been changed to reflect the predominant Or tincture. The term black-footed has been retained in the blazon. We would not currently specify a species to this level of detail in blazon, but this term is grandfathered to the submitter. The Linnaean species reference has been omitted, as it was only necessary due to the use of Linnaean proper. The term black-footed should specify the type of ferret sufficiently. [Megan Glenleven, 10/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[mouse vs. ferret] Weasels are found in many forms in period heraldry: ermines, martens, and so forth. Without period examples of armory using mice, the distinction must be made on visual grounds. The weasel has very different body proportions from the mouse and lacks the prominent ears. It has at least a CD's difference for type change. [Eileen ingen Dubh-luchag, 12/2001, R-An Tir]

BEND and BEND SINISTER

A baton in heraldry is, by definition, a bend couped. [Lucia Francesca de Valencia, 04/2002, A-East]
The bendlets sinister are far too enhanced to be acceptable. Overly enhanced ordinaries have been a reason for return for many years. As an example: "These bendlets are enhanced so much to chief that the style becomes unacceptably modern" (LoAR of January 1992). Scarpes enhanced should issue from most of the way across the chief, taking up most of the top half of the armory. These issue from less than halfway across the chief. [Gruffydd ap Idwallon, 04/2002, R-Artemisia]
[three barrulets bevilled] The bendlets provided here are not bevilled. A bend bevilled, as illustrated in the Pictorial Dictionary, is a bend which has been cut along a vertical line and offset so that the top edge of the chiefmost portion of the bend touches the bottom edge of the basemost portion. Each of the bars here is in a "Z" shape: the bar is not broken but bent at two sharp angles. No evidence has been presented that a bar in this shape is a period heraldic charge or an SCA-compatible heraldic charge.

Moreover, the nested Z-shaped barrulets are each individually much too thin and much too close together for good heraldic style for any sort of barrulet. This emblazon is much more like a single Z-shaped barrulet with white artistic details rather than three barrulets bevilled. We cannot, however, reblazon this, as we lack a term of art for a Z-shaped barrulet of this sort.

While the College speculated about whether a charge of this shape might be a traditional element of Japanese mon, no such example has been found. The closest that could be found is the traditional Japanese stream depiction, which uses S-shaped barrulets.

As this design cannot be blazoned in either Eastern or Western terms, and as it is not a documentable design in either the East or the West, it cannot be accepted. [Kusunoki Yoshimoto, 10/2002, R-East]
Please advise the submitter to draw the bend sinister closer to a 45-degree angle. It is drawn somewhat too steeply in this emblazon, with the result that it lies low on the field. [Richard de Frayne, 02/2003, A-Caid]
[a bend sinister embowed-counterembowed] The bend sinister was originally blazoned as wavy but did not have enough waves for that blazon. The concensus of the College appeared to support the SCA-acceptability of a bend sinister embowed-counterembowed.

Because there is no evidence that a bend sinister embowed-counterembowed is a period charge, we must determine any difference from a bend sinister wavy on solely visual grounds. A bend sinister wavy and a bend sinister embowed-counterembowed do not appear to be so visually distinct as to warrant difference.

Thus, this conflicts with ... Vert, on a bend sinister wavy between two ox heads erased affronty argent a scarpe wavy azure. There is a CD for changing the type of the secondary charges. A bend sinister wavy argent charged with a scarpe wavy azure is heraldically equivalent to a bend sinister azure fimbriated argent, so there is no additional difference. [Aíbinn ingen Artáin, 03/2003, R-Trimaris]
Some commentary asked whether this depiction of an ermine bend, which charges the bend with five bendwise ermine spots, should be blazoned as A bend argent charged with five ermine spots sable rather than a bend ermine. This is an excellent period depiction of an ermine bend. As noted in the January 2002 LoAR:
There seem to be few ermine bends in period, but they may be found throughout the heraldic period. Those which [Maister Iago ab Adam] found are all depicted with the ermine spots tilted bendwise on the bend.
Maister Iago has provided some additional detailed information about English depictions of ermine bends throughout our period:
Out of seven period examples of ermine bends studied, two had two offset rows of spots (like footprints up the bend), one had seven spots arranged 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, one was charged and had the spots arranged to fit around the charges, and three were drawn as in this submission, with a single row of five spots (although it should be noted that these last three examples are all mid-16th C. or later.)
[Catarina de Zaneto Rizo, 04/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[a bend engrailed to base Or between two pineapples Or leaved vert] Pineapples are new world flora and thus considered a step from period style (a "weirdness"): "New World flora and fauna... are a discouraged weirdness, but registerable" (LoAR of August 1999). It appears that having a two-sided ordinary (like a bend) with a complex line on only the lower side of the bend should also be considered a "weirdness": "The only period examples of treating one side of an ordinary which were noted was that of embattling the upper edge of an ordinary" (LoAR of November 1990 p. 15). As a result, the armory has two steps from period style armory ("two weirdnesses") and is stylistically unacceptable. [Pamela Gattarelli, 04/2003, R-East]
[a fess of three conjoined fusils] This does not conflict with Vert, a dance Or between three daisies proper. There is one CD for removing the secondary daisies. There is another CD for the difference between a dance and a fess of fusils:
[a bend sinister fusilly vs. a bend sinister dancetty] Evidence taken from the Dictionary of British Arms strongly indicates that bends dancetty were not used interchangeably with bends fusilly; in fact, they were used by different people and in different ways. Thus there is a CD for changing the line of division on the bend ... (LoAR April 2001)
We have also researched the question in the Dictionary of British Arms in the two bars section, and also found that bars dancetty were used by different people from bars lozengy. Unfortunately, the Dictionary of British Arms is not yet published to the point where we could research fesses, but the evidence so far found implies strongly that what is true for bends and bars should also be true for fesses.

We do note that there is some interchangeability in period between the somewhat analogous lines embattled-counterembattled and bretessed, which also differ by putting the top and bottom lines 180 degrees out of phase. As a consequence of the period interchangeability, we do not give difference between embattled-counterembattled and bretessed. However, the square and indented line treatments are not exactly analogous, because there is no "zig-zag" form of the square lines analogous to dancetty. The "zig zag" form of embattled-counterembattled would look like the shaft of the SCA charge of a lightning bolt (see the Pictorial Dictionary for an illustration). There is no period treatment of an ordinary which makes this sort of square "zig zag". Because the two sides of a period ordinary embattled-counterembattled or bretessed are always separated by at least a thin amount of central ordinary, the two treatments are much more visually similar, and this may have contributed to the period confusion between them.

Some commentary on this submission addressed previous precedent on this topic, which appears to need some clarification (especially when only excerpts of the precedent were quoted). Here is some discussion clarifying these past precedents. As always, we encourage people quoting precedents to consider going back to the original LoAR and reading the excerpts in context.
As a bend sinister of fusils is an artistic variant of indented, there is not a CD between it and a bend sinister indented (LoAR April 2001, p. 13)
This precedent only refers to the lack of difference between an ordinary indented and an ordinary of fusils - ordinaries dancetty are not discussed by this precedent at all. Ordinaries indented and ordinaries of fusils were indeed interchangeable artistic variants in period. In both an ordinary indented and an ordinary of fusils, the top and bottom lines are 180 degrees out of phase, and the only difference is whether the artist decides to touch the "inside" parts of the top and bottom lines (creating an ordinary of fusils) or whether to leave some space between them (leaving an ordinary indented).
...the distinction between 'dancetty' and 'indented' when applied to ordinaries being not one of amplitude, as White Stag suggests, but a distinction parallel to that between counterembattled and bretassed (LoAR December 1988)
This precedent did not discuss the determination of difference between ordinaries dancetty and indented, but solely discussed the definitions of the two treatments. It makes the very good point that there is no implication of an amplitude difference between indented and dancetty (as indicated in some very post-period treatises). As noted in the discussion above, the difference between dancetty and indented is indeed "parallel" to that between counterembattled and bretessed, but it is by no means exactly the same. [Elena Bertholmeu, 05/2003, A-Atlantia]
[a bend abased and cotised argent] No documentation was presented for ordinaries which are both abased and cotised. Abased ordinaries are so rare in period armory that this treatment appears to be too far a departure from period heraldic style to be acceptable without documentation. [Arabella Mackinnon, 06/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[Argent, three bendlets azure each charged with a mullet of six points palewise Or] Conflict with ..., Per pale gules and sable, three compass stars in bend sinister Or. Because armory with three or more bendlets is equivalent to armory with a bendy field, this armory needs to be considered as if it were blazoned as Bendy argent and azure, in bend sinister three mullets of six points Or. Under this interpretation, there is one CD for changing the field. There is no type difference between the compass stars and the mullets of six points. Because of the unusual (and non-period) design of compass stars, with their four greater and four lesser points, they are considered as variants of both mullets of four points and mullets of eight points. There is no type difference between mullets of six points and mullets of eight points and, hence, no difference between mullets of six points and compass stars. [Brian Sigfridsson von Niedersachsen, 07/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[Gules, three bendlets abased argent each charged with a bendlet azure] Her previous armory submission was very similar to this but was blazoned as using bendlets abased azure fimbriated argent. That submission was returned for using fimbriated charges that were not in the center of the design, which is forbidden by RfS VIII.3. The submission is blazoned as using bendlets each charged with a bendlet, and is proportioned acceptably for that blazon.

Per the LoAR of February 2000, "In this case the blazon can make a difference: while you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict, you can 'blazon your way out of' a style problem." In the colored-in full-sized emblazon, the bendlets are identifiable as bendlets (rather than part of a complicated bendy field), and are not debased so far as to be unregisterable. [Ann Busshenell of Tylehurst, 10/2003, A-Atenveldt]
[Quarterly gules and sable, three bendlets argent] Conflict with Ysfael ap Briafael, Per bend bendy vert and argent and vert. Ysfael's device could alternately be blazoned as Vert, three bendlets enhanced argent, and was originally submitted under that blazon. Ysfael's registration in the LoAR of December 2000 stated, "Originally blazoned as three bendlets enhanced, the blazon above more closely describes the emblazon." When considering Ysfael's device under the alternate blazon of Vert, three bendlets enhanced argent, and comparing it to Tigernach's submission, there is one CD for changing the field, but the second CD must come from the change of location of the bendlets from enhanced.

Our original inclination was to give a second CD for enhancing the bendlets under RfS X.4.g. However, evidence indicates that, in period, armory using three bendlets enhanced was not distinct from armory using three bendlets in their default location on the field. We thus should not give difference between these designs.

The Dictionary of British Arms (DBA) volume two gives very few coats of arms using three bendlets enhanced (on p. 117). Most of these coats are also found belonging to the same family but with the three bendlets in their default position (on pp. 114-116): the arms of Byron, Argent, three bends [enhanced] gules, Greeley, Gules, three bends [enhanced] Or, and Mawnyse/Mauvesin, Gules, three bends [enhanced] argent. For one of these families, there is scholarship which explicitly states that the coat with the three bendlets enhanced is a later version of the coat with three bendlets, rather than a distinctly different, cadenced, coat. Woodward's A Treatise on Heraldry British and Foreign discusses the arms of Byron on p. 132, stating, "What appears to have been the original coat of Biron viz., Argent, three bendlets gules, is now borne with the bendlets enhanced (Fr. haussés) i.e. placed higher in the shield, as in the arms of the poet, Lord Byron."

The difference between three bendlets and three bendlets enhanced is thus similar to the difference between crosses bottony and crosses crosslet. We give no difference between these crosses because, as discussed in the LoAR of August 2002, "It is important to recall that the cross bottony and the cross crosslet are both used to represent the same charge throughout our period's heraldry. The bottony form is found predominantly in earlier artwork, and the crosslet form predominantly in later artwork." The evidence in DBA and Woodward suggests that three bendlets and three bendlets enhanced are both used to represent the same armory throughout our period's heraldry. Just as the cross crosslet became distinct from the cross bottony after our period, three bendlets enhanced became distinct from three bendlets after our period. [Tigernach Mag Samhradh�in, 11/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
[Or, three bendlets sinister vert] This submission is heraldically equivalent to Bendy sinister Or and vert. It thus conflicts with ... Bendy sinister of four vert, argent, purpure and argent. There's no difference between bendy sinister of four and bendy sinister of six. The two pieces of armory share a tincture so X.4.a.ii.b does not apply. This leaves one CD for changing the tincture of the field, but that is all. [Gabriel Halte, 12/2003, R-Drachenwald]

BIRD -- Cock and Hen

[dunghill cock] According to J. P. Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet, a "dunghill cock" is "the common farmyard cock". [Barbara Sterling, 08/2001, A-Meridies]
There is a CD between a correctly drawn turkey cock and an ostrich. The turkey has a much shorter neck and legs and has a distinctive fan-shaped tail. [William Crome, 09/2002, A-Calontir]
[cock vs. secretary bird] This is clear of the Society for Creative Anachronism's badge for the Privy Clerk to Morsulus Herald, (Tinctureless) A secretary-bird sejant regardant. [Sagittarius sepentarius]. There is one CD for tincturelessness. A secretary bird is a thin African raptor, with a shaggy crest, long tail and long legs. It is unique among hawks for killing its prey by stamping with its powerful legs and taloned feet. Because the secretary bird is a charge that was not used in heraldry in period, difference from a period charge (such as a cock) is determined on visual grounds by RfS X.4.e. The secretary bird should thus have at least a CD from a cock. [Sancha de Flores, 08/2003, A-East]
... no difference between a dunghill cock and a hen. While the dunghill cock generally has a more pronounced tail and comb than the hen, given the period variations with which these charges are drawn, there is little visual difference between them. No evidence has been presented or found to indicate that period heralds would have given difference between these charges. [Alienor of Iron Mountain, 11/2003, R-Meridies]
[dunghill cock] This also conflicts with ... Azure, a simurgh close Or. A simurgh is a monster which is effectively identical to a peacock. Per this month's cover letter, both dunghill cocks and peacocks are "poultry-shaped" birds, and substantial difference cannot be given between them, which would be necessary to clear this conflict under RfS X.2.

Both dunghill cocks and peacocks have details on their heads (a crest for the peacock, a comb and wattles for the dunghill cock) and both have prominent tails. Despite these vague similarities, they are considered different in period, and consistently drawn differently in period. They are thus significantly different, and a CD is given between them. [Alienor of Iron Mountain, 11/2003, R-Meridies]
[(Fieldless) A rooster vert] This badge is clear of ... (Fieldless) A raven vert. Per the Cover Letter to the November 2003 LoAR, there is substantial difference between a rooster (a "poultry-shaped" bird) and a raven (a "regular-shaped" bird) when both birds are in period postures and drawn correctly. The two badges are clear of conflict by RfS X.2.

This is also clear of conflict with ... (Fieldless) A dodo close vert armed Or. The dodo is not a bird used in period heraldry, and its eligibility for RfS X.2 is thus determined on a case by case basis. Because RfS X.2 is not required to clear these two pieces of armory, we are declining to rule on the question of the dodo's eligibility for RfS X.2. There is one CD for fieldlessness, and a second CD under RfS X.4.e between a rooster and a dodo. While both the rooster and the dodo are heavy-bodied short-legged birds, the dodo lacks the distinctive tail, crest and wattles of a rooster. [Carlo Gallucci, 03/2004, A-Æthelmearc]
[duck vs. dunghill cock] Per the Cover Letter for the November 2003 LoAR, "swan-shaped" birds and "poultry-shaped" birds are eligible for X.2 (substantial) difference when they are drawn correctly and in period postures, which is the case in this armorial comparison. [Rainald Slater, 03/2004, A-Ansteorra]

BIRD -- Cornish Chough
see also
BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

[Cornish chough] There is no difference between the falcon and the Cornish chough. For more details on the reason why falcons have no difference from either ravens or Cornish choughs, see the cover letter. [Muirenn Faulkner, 01/2002, R-Ansteorra] [Ed.: The Cover Letter discussion is included below under "From Wreath: Ravens and Similar Birds"]
Cornish choughs are black birds with red beak and feet, and so this is a correctly tinctured proper Cornish chough's leg. [Leona of Remington, 02/2002, A-Ansteorra]

BIRD -- Dove
see also BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

The bird in chief was originally blazoned as a dove. However, the bird lacks the head tuft which is used to identify a heraldic dove, and is not in the dove's standard close posture. It has thus been reblazoned as a generic bird, per the Cover Letter for the January 2000 LoAR: "In the future I will be stricter about requiring that a bird be drawn with its defining attributes (i.e., a dove should have a tuft). Without the defining attributes, the bird may just be blazoned as 'a bird.'" [Kyne Wynn the Kind, 08/2002, A-Artemisia]
[Vert, a dove rising wings addorsed Or] We have reblazoned the dove from volant wings addorsed to rising, as its somewhat bendwise body posture and legs "planted on the ground" are indicative of the rising posture. A bird volant wings addorsed would have a fesswise body posture and the legs would be tucked up as with a bird in flight.

The device conflicts with Conall Ó Cearnaigh, Vert, a hawk striking within a bordure embattled Or. There is one CD for removing the bordure. "There is ... nothing for the difference between striking and rising" (LoAR January 2001). Per the Cover Letter for the LoAR of January 2000 (which should be read in its entirety for a full discussion of the interaction between bird posture and type difference), "In the future I will be more likely to grant difference between different types of birds when they are (a) different in period, (b) in a period posture, (c) drawn correctly, and (d) there is some visual difference." Hawks and doves would be considered different in period when in their default postures. However, Conall's striking hawk is not in a period posture, and Sarah's rising dove is not in a standard period posture for doves. Sarah's dove is drawn with the dove's heraldic attribute of a tuft at the back of the head. However, Conall's hawk is also drawn with a tuft or crest at the back of its head. The body shapes and beak shapes of the two birds as depicted in their emblazons are not as distinct as one would expect for good depictions of either type of bird. After visually comparing the two emblazons, it was the strong opinion of the people present at the Wreath meeting that there was not much visual difference between these two birds. As a result, we cannot give additional difference for changing the type of bird. [Sarah nic Leod, 07/2003, R-Atenveldt]
The bird ... was originally blazoned as a dove. However, it lacks the tuft at the back of the head, which is the defining characteristic of a heraldic dove. It also has some characteristics that are not found in heraldic doves: it has a deeply forked swallow-tail. Because the type of bird is not clearly apparent, we have reblazoned it as a generic bird. [Riguallaun map Guoillauc, 09/2003, A-A-Ansteorra]

BIRD -- Duck

By examination of period armory, ducks and geese are close by default - this is by far the most common posture for either of these birds. Ducks and geese do not share the same default posture as the larger and more aggressive swan, which is rousant by default. [Svana ormstunga Vermundardottir, 11/2003, A-Atenveldt]
[duck vs. dunghill cock] Per the Cover Letter for the November 2003 LoAR, "swan-shaped" birds and "poultry-shaped" birds are eligible for X.2 (substantial) difference when they are drawn correctly and in period postures, which is the case in this armorial comparison. [Rainald Slater, 03/2004, A-Ansteorra]

BIRD -- Eagle
see also BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

An examination of the development of the various heraldic eagles shows that the direction of the wingtips of a displayed eagle is entirely a matter of artistic license. To avoid incorrectly limiting the submitter's ability to display the arms in reasonable period variants, we will no longer specify "elevated" and "inverted" when blazoning displayed birds. [Robert Michael McPharlan, 08/2001, A-Ansteorra]
The birds were originally blazoned as "ravens displayed". Ravens are not found in the displayed posture in period heraldry. They are close by default and almost always found in that posture. The unusual posture makes them more closely resemble eagles, which are usually found in the displayed posture. Because of the difficulty of identifying these birds as any particular sort of bird, they have been reblazoned as generic birds. See the cover letter of January 2000 for a more complete discussion of the interaction between bird type and bird posture.

... There is no type difference between these generic birds and the double-headed eagles. [Brangwayn Snowden, 01/2002, R-Middle]
[Vert, an eagle Or] Conflict with Constantinople, Emperor of, Gules, a double-headed eagle Or. There is one CD for changing the field, but nothing for changing the type of eagle from a double-headed to a single-headed eagle. This also conflicts with Napoleon I, Azure, an eagle displayed contourny grasping in both claws a thunderbolt Or. There is one CD for changing the field but nothing for changing the head posture only of the eagle and nothing for removing the small held thunderbolt. There are other conflicts as well, but none so illustrious. [Egil Haraldsson, 05/2002, R-Meridies]
[three hawks jessed displayed] Some commenters suggested that these birds be reblazoned to eagles. The birds in this submission are jessed, which is an identifying attribute for hawks. They can thus be visually distinguished from eagles. [Randal Gartnet, 08/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[Per bend azure and argent, an eagle striking to sinister, wings elevated and addorsed, Or and a Lebanon cedar proper] The previous blazon was Per bend azure and argent, an eagle rising to sinister, wings elevated and addorsed, Or and a Lebanon cedar proper. The submitter's request for reblazon asked that we change the eagle's posture to striking. Striking is an SCA blazon term describing a hawk terminating its dive by braking with its wings and extending its claws down in order to, with luck, send some smaller animal into the afterlife. It is different from stooping, which depicts the hawk in the midst of the dive. Striking is similar to the period posture rising and no difference is given between these postures, but the SCA has continued to use striking when the posture seems appropriate. The eagle here is drawn in a posture that is at least somewhat characteristic of striking and we may therefore accede to the submitter's request. [Jamal Damien Marcus, 09/2002, A-Caid]
[an eagle enflamed] The bird was originally blazoned as a firebird, which is an SCA-defined charge representing a folk art design. The SCA firebird resembles a peacock. This charge is an eagle enflamed (surrounded with small tufts of flame). We have reblazoned it accordingly.

Conflict ... no difference ... for removing the small tufts of flame. [Piera da Ferrara, 04/2003, R-Atlantia]
[a raven displayed vs. a double-headed eagle displayed] There is no type difference given between a raven displayed and a double-headed eagle displayed: "[a raven displayed vs. an eagle displayed] Even though ravens and eagles were different birds in period, only eagles were ever displayed. Therefore there is not a CD for type" (LoAR November 1999; see also the extensive discussion in the Cover Letter for the January 2000 LoAR). There is also no difference for the number of heads: "...(not too dissimilarly to not granting a CVD for the difference between an eagle and a double-headed eagle)" (LoAR October 1990 p.14). [Njall Randvesson, 04/2003, R-East]
[an eagle Or] We have removed the explicit armed sable from the blazon; this is too small a detail to mention on an eagle, and is invisible from any distance. [Heinrich von Melk, 05/2003, R-Atlantia]

BIRD -- Falcon and Hawk
see also
BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

There is no difference between the falcon and the Cornish chough. For more details on the reason why falcons have no difference from either ravens or Cornish choughs, see the cover letter. [Muirenn Faulkner, 01/2002, R-Ansteorra] [Ed.: The Cover Letter discussion is included below under "From Wreath: Ravens and Similar Birds"]
... there is another CD for changing the type of bird from an owl close to a falcon close. [Falco de Jablonec, 06/2002, A-Drachenwald]
There is another CD for changing the type of bird from a stork statant (which is equivalent to a stork close) and a falcon close. [Falco de Jablonec, 06/2002, A-Drachenwald]
There is no posture difference between birds naiant and birds close. However, there is another CD for changing the type of bird from a swan naiant to a falcon close. [Falco de Jablonec, 06/2002, A-Drachenwald]
[three hawks jessed displayed] Some commenters suggested that these birds be reblazoned to eagles. The birds in this submission are jessed, which is an identifying attribute for hawks. They can thus be visually distinguished from eagles. [Randal Gartnet, 08/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[Per bend azure and argent, an eagle striking to sinister, wings elevated and addorsed, Or and a Lebanon cedar proper] The previous blazon was Per bend azure and argent, an eagle rising to sinister, wings elevated and addorsed, Or and a Lebanon cedar proper. The submitter's request for reblazon asked that we change the eagle's posture to striking. Striking is an SCA blazon term describing a hawk terminating its dive by braking with its wings and extending its claws down in order to, with luck, send some smaller animal into the afterlife. It is different from stooping, which depicts the hawk in the midst of the dive. Striking is similar to the period posture rising and no difference is given between these postures, but the SCA has continued to use striking when the posture seems appropriate. The eagle here is drawn in a posture that is at least somewhat characteristic of striking and we may therefore accede to the submitter's request. [Jamal Damien Marcus, 09/2002, A-Caid]
There is a second CD for the type difference between a falcon and a wren.

We have no reason to believe the two charges would not have been considered distinct in period. They are certainly different types of bird (the falcon is a raptor and a wren is a small perching bird), and real-world heraldry generally distinguishes between these types of bird, at least in blazon. Falcons and wrens are certainly quite visually distinct. A wren has a thin pointed beak, and horizontal body posture with its tail pointing straight up. A falcon has a hooked raptor's beak, and vertical body posture with its tail pointing downwards. The falcon in this device is further identified as a falcon or hawk by its prominent bells and jesses. [Kateline Hicch, 09/2002, A-East]
[Ermine, a hawk striking wings displayed sable tailed and in chief three triquetras gules] Conflict with Malutka sep Srebnitska, Ermine, a turkey vulture [Cathartes aura] displayed, dexter wing erect, sinister wing inverted, proper. There is one CD for adding the triquetras.

There is no type difference between a turkey vulture and a hawk. The turkey vulture is a New World bird, which is not a period heraldic charge. Per RfS X.4.e, when determining difference from a non-period charge, difference is determined by a visual comparison. A visual comparison shows that there is insufficient difference between a turkey vulture and a hawk to give difference on solely visual grounds.

There is no difference between the visually similar postures of displayed dexter wing erect and striking wings displayed. There is no difference for changing tincture, as less than half the charge has changed in tincture. Malutka's turkey vulture is black with a red head, and Morgan's hawk is black with a red tail. The head and the tail combined make up less than half the tincture of these birds. [Morgan mac Máeláin, 09/2002, R-Caid]
[A hawk striking maintaining in its talons a compass star sable] Conflict with ... Argent, a raven rising regardant wings disclosed proper, maintaining in the dexter claw a sword gules. There is a CD for changing the field. There is no difference between a hawk and a raven (see the discussion in the January 2002 cover letter). There is no difference in posture between these birds except for the head position, which is insufficient for posture difference by RfS X.4.h. There is no difference for changing the maintained charge.

This is also a visual conflict by RfS X.5 with ... (Fieldless) A raven striking sustaining a spur rowel of eight points sable. The only obvious visual difference between these two pieces of armory is the angle of the bird's wings (which is never worth difference) and the piercing of the spur rowel. Only on close comparison is it clear that in Jared's case the spur rowel is co-primary while in Ricart's case the compass star is a maintained charge. The visual similarities of two designs are so close as to give an unavoidable visual conflict. [Ricart Berenguer Falcón, 03/2003, R-Meridies]
[Vert, a dove rising wings addorsed Or] We have reblazoned the dove from volant wings addorsed to rising, as its somewhat bendwise body posture and legs "planted on the ground" are indicative of the rising posture. A bird volant wings addorsed would have a fesswise body posture and the legs would be tucked up as with a bird in flight.

The device conflicts with Conall Ó Cearnaigh, Vert, a hawk striking within a bordure embattled Or. There is one CD for removing the bordure. "There is ... nothing for the difference between striking and rising" (LoAR January 2001). Per the Cover Letter for the LoAR of January 2000 (which should be read in its entirety for a full discussion of the interaction between bird posture and type difference), "In the future I will be more likely to grant difference between different types of birds when they are (a) different in period, (b) in a period posture, (c) drawn correctly, and (d) there is some visual difference." Hawks and doves would be considered different in period when in their default postures. However, Conall's striking hawk is not in a period posture, and Sarah's rising dove is not in a standard period posture for doves. Sarah's dove is drawn with the dove's heraldic attribute of a tuft at the back of the head. However, Conall's hawk is also drawn with a tuft or crest at the back of its head. The body shapes and beak shapes of the two birds as depicted in their emblazons are not as distinct as one would expect for good depictions of either type of bird. After visually comparing the two emblazons, it was the strong opinion of the people present at the Wreath meeting that there was not much visual difference between these two birds. As a result, we cannot give additional difference for changing the type of bird. [Sarah nic Leod, 07/2003, R-Atenveldt]

BIRD -- Generic
see also BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

[A bird close gules] There is ... nothing for the difference between a generic bird and another sort of bird. [Tatiana Heinemann, 08/2001, R-Trimaris]
An examination of the development of the various heraldic eagles shows that the direction of the wingtips of a displayed eagle is entirely a matter of artistic license. To avoid incorrectly limiting the submitter's ability to display the arms in reasonable period variants, we will no longer specify "elevated" and "inverted" when blazoning displayed birds. [Robert Michael McPharlan, 08/2001, A-Ansteorra]
There is no CD for type for ravens vs generic birds ... [Robert of Gresewode, 09/2001, R-Caid]
[a bird displayed] The bird was originally blazoned as a martlet, but as drawn it was not clearly a martlet. It was not in the martlet's default close position and does not show the martlet's leg stumps. It has therefore been reblazoned as a generic bird. [Aidan of Aran, 04/2002, A-Middle]
The bird in chief was originally blazoned as a dove. However, the bird lacks the head tuft which is used to identify a heraldic dove, and is not in the dove's standard close posture. It has thus been reblazoned as a generic bird, per the Cover Letter for the January 2000 LoAR: "In the future I will be stricter about requiring that a bird be drawn with its defining attributes (i.e., a dove should have a tuft). Without the defining attributes, the bird may just be blazoned as 'a bird.'" [Kyne Wynn the Kind, 08/2002, A-Artemisia]
The birds in chief were originally blazoned as ravens but they are not in a standard period posture for ravens and they do not have any particularly defining attributes of ravens. They have thus been reblazoned as generic birds. [Wulf Gray Wind, 09/2002, A-East]
[Three birds close conjoined in annulo sable] These birds are conjoined in annulo. The only conjoining is where the beak of each bird touches the tail of the bird in front of it. This emblazon thus meets the objections stated in the previous return. The outline of the group is somewhat more triangular than round, because the birds have straight backs, but this is an acceptable group of birds conjoined in annulo. [Bran Trefonin, 01/2003, A-Atlantia]
The bird was originally blazoned as a nightingale. However, the drawing is not clearly a nightingale; it has a significantly longer tail than a nightingale, and has some other artistic details (such as wing bars) which are not present on a nightingale. According to Peterson's A Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe, a nightingale in nature is a brown bird with a buff underside and rusty tail. We have thus blazoned this bird as a generic bird. [Arlindis o Gordon, 02/2003, A-An Tir]
[a bird displayed] The bird was originally blazoned as a raven, but it is neither in the raven's default posture nor is it otherwise clearly identifiable as a raven. We have thus blazoned it as a generic bird. [Bronwyn Mewer, 02/2003, A-An Tir]
The College generally felt that this bird, drawn in some sort of early period artistic stylization, was not recognizable as a raven. However, this charge is clearly identifiable as a bird close, albeit a stylized one. We have therefore reblazoned it as a bird. [Brenna of Storvik and Gauss Magnússon, 04/2003, R-Atlantia]
Note that a generic bird does not have a defined proper tincture. [Lachlan McBean, 08/2003, A-Atenveldt]
The bird ... was originally blazoned as a dove. However, it lacks the tuft at the back of the head, which is the defining characteristic of a heraldic dove. It also has some characteristics that are not found in heraldic doves: it has a deeply forked swallow-tail. Because the type of bird is not clearly apparent, we have reblazoned it as a generic bird. [Riguallaun map Guoillauc, 09/2003, A-A-Ansteorra]
In the last months we have often received commentary suggesting that some charge should be reblazoned from a specific sort of bird to a generic bird (e.g., reblazoning a hawk as a bird). We remind the College that we should only reblazon a specific sort of bird as a generic bird when the specific bird truly cannot be identified as such. We also remind the College that the reblazon to a generic bird has unfortunate side effects for conflict. As noted on the LoAR of April 1998, "Blazoned on the LoI as [a specific type of bird], as drawn it is not clearly any species of bird, so we have reblazoned it as a generic bird. Unfortunately, generic birds conflict with all birds, so this conflicts with ..." When one proposes to reblazon an imperfectly-drawn "hawk" as a generic "bird", it would lose an often-critical type CD from past or future submissions using swans, herons, chickens, peacocks, ostriches, hummingbirds, penguins, and so forth. Never forget that the suggestion to reblazon a specific bird as a generic bird is also a proposal to reward a poor artist with an unwontedly huge slice of armorial space. When we reflect on the quality of much period heraldic artwork, which is rarely precise in its depiction of birds or other animals, I think we can all agree that birds should only be reblazoned as "generic" birds when there is no other alternative.

We have also continued to receive commentary indicating that ravens that are not drawn as "hairy" birds should be reblazoned as generic birds. This suggestion does not match period armorial style, which often depicts ravens as smooth-feathered birds. Please refer to the cover letter to the January 2002 LoAR, which discusses this matter in detail, including citations in commonly-available heraldry books showing specific examples of smooth-feathered/non-hairy corbies in period heraldic art. [10/2003, CL]

BIRD -- Goose

While swans are rousant by default, their barnyard cousins, geese, are close by default. Note, for example, the canting arms of Die Gansen on fol. 150 of Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch, and von Ganse on fol. 182 of the same volume. Each of these canting coats uses a goose close as the sole charge on the armory. [Effie Little, 03/2003, A-An Tir]
By examination of period armory, ducks and geese are close by default - this is by far the most common posture for either of these birds. Ducks and geese do not share the same default posture as the larger and more aggressive swan, which is rousant by default. [Svana ormstunga Vermundardottir, 11/2003, A-Atenveldt]

BIRD -- Loon
see also BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

[Argent, a loon naiant contourny sable] The loon was originally blazoned as sable marked argent, but it is predominantly sable on the color emblazon. The depiction of this loon on the mini-emblazon included details that closely resemble the markings of the black and white bird that the Americans call a Common Loon and the British call a Great Northern Diver, but most of the details that would be white in a naturalistic depiction of this species were tinctured sable in the color emblazon. If we blazon this loon as sable marked argent, it would likely be drawn by an artist as a naturalistic loon/diver, and would then have too many argent markings against the argent field to have acceptable contrast. We have thus blazoned the loon as sable. Per the LoAR of March 2000, concerning an orca proper (black and white) on an argent field, "The argent portions of the orca cannot be placed on an argent field." The same constraints apply to a Common Loon in its natural colors. [Helga lómr, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
[loon vs. raven] No evidence has been presented or found indicating that a loon is a charge found in period heraldry. Thus, per RfS X.4.e, we must determine the type difference between a raven and a loon on visual grounds. A loon is similar to a duck, except that it has a thin pointed bill rather than a duck-bill. The visual difference between the loon and the raven merits significant difference ... [Helga lómr, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
[loon vs. quail] Per the LoAR of March 2002, "Quails are round birds, shaped much more like a hen than like a corbie... The European quail, like the quail in Kathren's badge, has a round body. However, it is worth noting that the quail in Kathren's badge is distinctly a California or Gambel's quail, New World birds with a distinctive feather shaped like an inverted comma atop their heads. Old World quails do not have this distinctive crest." Neither the loon nor the California or Gambel's quail are found in period heraldry, and thus the difference between them must be determined visually per RfS X.4.e. There is certainly sufficient visual difference between the loon and the New World quail to give a CD between them. [Helga lómr, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
Note that this loon does not clearly and obviously fall into any of the categories of birds set forth in this month's cover letter. While the loon resembles the "swan-shaped" birds more than any of the other types of birds found in period heraldry, it lacks the rounded bill of a "swan-shaped" bird. While a loon does have webbed feet, its feet are not visible when is naiant (as in this submission), and thus a naiant loon also lacks the prominent webbed feet of a "swan-shaped" bird. The armorial comparisons between this submission and ... do not require us to determine whether loons are substantially different from either ravens or (New World) quail, and thus we are not ruling on those questions at this time. [Helga lómr, 11/2003, A-An Tir]

BIRD -- Martlet
see also BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

[a bird displayed] The bird was originally blazoned as a martlet, but as drawn it was not clearly a martlet. It was not in the martlet's default close position and does not show the martlet's leg stumps. It has therefore been reblazoned as a generic bird. [Aidan of Aran, 04/2002, A-Middle]
Some commenters inquired about the depiction of the martlet in this emblazon. The College should note that martlets across Europe are drawn in varying depictions. The standard English depiction is based on a swallow, with its slim body and long forked tail. However, the depictions on the continent and even in Scotland more resemble a European blackbird (with a thrush-like shape) or a lark. Neither of these birds have long forked tails, and both types of bird have stouter bodies than the swallow. In all cases, a martlet is drawn without visible feet, although the way that this 'footlessness' is depicted also varies from period emblazon to period emblazon. Martlets may be drawn with forked 'leg stubs', couped 'leg stubs', and probably other leg variations. The important thing in drawing a martlet is that the legs should not end in clawed bird's feet. [Renee Claymore, 11/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[a martlet volant "brown"] The martlet is tinctured in brown, and was originally blazoned as proper. However, the martlet is a heraldic (rather than natural) creature, and does not have a defined proper tincture. Because brown may not be used in SCA heraldry except as a proper tincture, this may not be registered. [Tamar bas Reuven, 08/2003, R-East]

BIRD -- Miscellaneous
see also BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

An examination of the development of the various heraldic eagles shows that the direction of the wingtips of a displayed eagle is entirely a matter of artistic license. To avoid incorrectly limiting the submitter's ability to display the arms in reasonable period variants, we will no longer specify "elevated" and "inverted" when blazoning displayed birds. [Robert Michael McPharlan, 08/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[a swan rousant vs. a stork passant, wings elevated and addorsed] There is one CD ... and another for the change of type of bird between a swan and a stork. While both birds do have long necks, they appear to have been considered distinct types of bird in period. Moreover, the stork is visually distinct from the swan, both in general and in ... emblazon. The stork has much longer legs and a spearlike beak. [William Lindsay, 11/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[a penguin statant affronty, head to dexter vs. a vulture close affronty] Penguins are arguably in their most identifiable posture when in this posture (statant affronty, head to dexter.) The most identifying portions of the vulture (the head and neck ruff) and penguin (flipper wings) are easily visible. Since penguins are not birds found in period heraldry, the difference between the penguin and vulture must be determined on visual grounds. A second CD is available for changing the type of bird. [Tylar of Lochmere, 04/2002, A-Atlantia]
Herons are close by default, so the posture need not be blazoned. [Herons Reach, Shire of, 08/2002, A-An Tir]
There is a CD between a correctly drawn turkey cock and an ostrich. The turkey has a much shorter neck and legs and has a distinctive fan-shaped tail. [William Crome, 09/2002, A-Calontir]
There is a second CD for the type difference between a falcon and a wren.

We have no reason to believe the two charges would not have been considered distinct in period. They are certainly different types of bird (the falcon is a raptor and a wren is a small perching bird), and real-world heraldry generally distinguishes between these types of bird, at least in blazon. Falcons and wrens are certainly quite visually distinct. A wren has a thin pointed beak, and horizontal body posture with its tail pointing straight up. A falcon has a hooked raptor's beak, and vertical body posture with its tail pointing downwards. The falcon in this device is further identified as a falcon or hawk by its prominent bells and jesses. [Kateline Hicch, 09/2002, A-East]
The demi-crane was originally blazoned as a crane displayed. While this is a Far Eastern stylization of an entire crane, from the Western perspective this crane lacks the bottom of a bird displayed: no tail or legs are visible. Therefore, this is, for purposes of SCA heraldry, a demi-crane. [Ise no Kusunoki Kametsuru, 09/2002, R-Calontir]
The bird was originally blazoned as a nightingale. However, the drawing is not clearly a nightingale; it has a significantly longer tail than a nightingale, and has some other artistic details (such as wing bars) which are not present on a nightingale. According to Peterson's A Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe, a nightingale in nature is a brown bird with a buff underside and rusty tail. We have thus blazoned this bird as a generic bird. [Arlindis o Gordon, 02/2003, A-An Tir]
[cock vs. secretary bird] This is clear of the Society for Creative Anachronism's badge for the Privy Clerk to Morsulus Herald, (Tinctureless) A secretary-bird sejant regardant. [Sagittarius sepentarius]. There is one CD for tincturelessness. A secretary bird is a thin African raptor, with a shaggy crest, long tail and long legs. It is unique among hawks for killing its prey by stamping with its powerful legs and taloned feet. Because the secretary bird is a charge that was not used in heraldry in period, difference from a period charge (such as a cock) is determined on visual grounds by RfS X.4.e. The secretary bird should thus have at least a CD from a cock. [Sancha de Flores, 08/2003, A-East]
[a winged owl's head cabossed] Some members of the College did not find the owl's head as drawn here to be identifiable. We note that this is a very stylized depiction of an owl's head, without a clearly drawn beak or eyes.

Those members of the College who were able to identify the owl's head all perceived this "winged owl's head cabossed" as a depiction of an owl flying straight out of the shield towards the viewer. While the SCA does register many winged objects, such as winged swords, they generally cannot be perceived as anything other than a winged object. When one adds wings to a bird's head cabossed, one does not perceive a winged bird's head, but one perceives an entire bird seen flying towards the viewer, which is to say, a bird volant affronty. Previous precedent notes that "The posture volant affronty has been ruled unsuitable for use in heraldry on at least two occasions ... on the grounds that it is "inherently unidentifiable"... in those case[s] the returns involved birds... [This return was of a demi-pegasus.]" (LoAR February 1998 p. 18). [Mora de Buchanan, 08/2003, R-Caid]
[(Fieldless) A rooster vert] This is also clear of conflict with ... (Fieldless) A dodo close vert armed Or. The dodo is not a bird used in period heraldry, and its eligibility for RfS X.2 is thus determined on a case by case basis. Because RfS X.2 is not required to clear these two pieces of armory, we are declining to rule on the question of the dodo's eligibility for RfS X.2. There is one CD for fieldlessness, and a second CD under RfS X.4.e between a rooster and a dodo. While both the rooster and the dodo are heavy-bodied short-legged birds, the dodo lacks the distinctive tail, crest and wattles of a rooster. [Carlo Gallucci, 03/2004, A-Æthelmearc]

BIRD -- Owl
see also BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

An owl affronty has been ruled to be equivalent to an owl close (and thus therefore, also to an owl close and contourny): "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" (LoAR of October 1992). Therefore there is no meaningful posture difference for turning the charges in chief (which are contourny) to this owl affronty, as the owl affronty is equivalent to an owl contourny. [Ambra Biancospina, 04/2002, R-Middle]
[a brown owl] The owl in the device was originally blazoned as a horned owl, but this overspecifies the type of owl. This sort of detail should be specified as an artist's note, not as a blazon detail. In Europe, the eagle owl is a large owl found over most of Europe which is brown in tincture (with darker brown spots.) Three other sorts of owl (the short-eared, Scops, and long-eared owls) are predominantly brown. It therefore seems reasonable that an owl proper could be depicted as brown. Per the Cover Letter of the October 1995 LoAR, "animals which are frequently found as brown but also commonly appear in other tinctures in the natural world may be registered as a brown {X} proper (e.g., brown hound proper, brown horse proper)." [Leofwynn Kyndheir, 05/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
... there is another CD for changing the type of bird from an owl close to a falcon close. [Falco de Jablonec, 06/2002, A-Drachenwald]
The owl was blazoned as affronty on the Letter of Intent but the overall posture of the owl is mostly a side view, with only the head facing forward. This close guardant posture is the default for an owl and need not be blazoned.

Please advise the submitter to make some changes to the artwork. The submitter should be careful to draw the owl's body entirely in profile, rather than having the chest portion tilted slightly towards the viewer. An owl in a truly three-quarter view (also known as "trian aspect") would have had to be returned for a nonperiod heraldic posture. [Alfgeirr skytja, 03/2003, A-Calontir]
[an owl argent] The owl was originally blazoned as a snowy owl. As noted in the LoAR of January 1993, "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. [The owl was registered with an argent tincture.]" We have thus reblazoned this owl accordingly. We also note that, even if a snowy owl could be blazoned, the distinguishing black spots are not present in this emblazon. [Keja Tselebnika, 03/2003, A-Ealdormere]
[an owl contourny] Conflict with Ayslynn MacGuraran, Azure, a snowy owl affronty proper grasping in its dexter talon three roses Or, slipped and leaved vert, and in its sinister talon two of the same, within an orle Or. There is one CD for changing the field. "There is not a CD between an owl close guardant and an owl close affronty" (LoAR of October 2000). The same applies to an owl close guardant contourny (as in this submission) and an owl close affronty (as in Ayslynn's device). There is no difference for removing the small held charges. [Marko Evanovich Panfilov, 04/2003, R-Outlands]
[a winged owl's head cabossed] Some members of the College did not find the owl's head as drawn here to be identifiable. We note that this is a very stylized depiction of an owl's head, without a clearly drawn beak or eyes.

Those members of the College who were able to identify the owl's head all perceived this "winged owl's head cabossed" as a depiction of an owl flying straight out of the shield towards the viewer. While the SCA does register many winged objects, such as winged swords, they generally cannot be perceived as anything other than a winged object. When one adds wings to a bird's head cabossed, one does not perceive a winged bird's head, but one perceives an entire bird seen flying towards the viewer, which is to say, a bird volant affronty. Previous precedent notes that "The posture volant affronty has been ruled unsuitable for use in heraldry on at least two occasions ... on the grounds that it is "inherently unidentifiable"... in those case[s] the returns involved birds... [This return was of a demi-pegasus.]" (LoAR February 1998 p. 18). [Mora de Buchanan, 08/2003, R-Caid]
[Azure, three owls within a bordure argent] This does not conflict with Catalina of Tir Ysgithr, Azure, three quail and a bordure argent. Per this month's Cover Letter discussion of birds and substantial difference, owls are "regular-shaped" birds and (European) quail are "poultry-shaped" birds. There is thus substantial difference between "poultry-shaped" European quails in a period posture (the default close posture) and "regular-shaped" owls in a period posture (the default close guardant posture).

The quails in Catalina's device are the new-world California or Gambel's quails, with a comma-shaped feather topping their heads, so their eligibility for substantial difference must be determined on a case by case basis. Because the California quail resembles a European quail very closely except for the comma-shaped crest, it is as different from an owl as a European quail would be - or even more so, since an owl does not have a crest of this sort. Thus, it seems appropriate to give substantial difference between California/Gambel's quails and owls. These two pieces of armory are thus clear of conflict under RfS X.2. [Megge de Northwode, 11/2003, A-Atlantia]
[two owls addorsed] Some of the commentary noted the precedent stating that there is no difference between an owl turned to dexter and an owl affronty, and wondered if that meant there was no difference between an owl turned to dexter and an owl turned to sinister. The precedent in question, on the LoAR of August 1992, states, "The owl's posture has slightly changed, from statant close guardant to statant close affronty (which is guardant by definition). 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." Conflict is not transitive: if A conflicts with B and B conflicts with C, it is not required that A must conflict with C. In this case, while there may not be a CD between an owl affronty and an owl turned to dexter, and there may not be a CD between an owl affronty and an owl turned to sinister, there is sufficient visual difference to allow a CD between an owl turned to dexter and an owl turned to sinister. One can thus meaningfully give a posture CD between respectant owls and addorsed owls, ... [Sigurd Grunewald, 11/2003, A-Meridies]

BIRD -- Peacock
see also BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

[(Fieldless) A peacock Or the tail marked gules] The markings on the tail of the peacock are the "eyes" of the tail feathers. However, we are hesitant to use the term eyed in the blazon, as was done in the Letter of Intent. The term eyed could be confused with the heraldic term orbed, which refers to the bird's eyes. [Sunnifa Eiríksdóttir, 10/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[Azure, a simurgh close argent] The simurgh has been explicitly blazoned as close, since simurghs have no default posture. The simurgh is not visually distinct enough from a peacock to be worth difference. Since the simurgh is not a charge found in period heraldry, difference is determined on visual grounds only under RfS X.4.e. This therefore conflicts with ... Azure, in pale a peacock passant close between two roses, all argent. There is one CD for removing the roses. This also conflicts with a badge of ... Sable a peacock close maintaining in its beak a lotus with seedpod argent, slipped and leaved vert. There is one CD for changing the field but nothing for removing the very small maintained lotus. [Tavia of Persia, 05/2002, R-Outlands]
[an eagle enflamed] The bird was originally blazoned as a firebird, which is an SCA-defined charge representing a folk art design. The SCA firebird resembles a peacock. This charge is an eagle enflamed (surrounded with small tufts of flame). We have reblazoned it accordingly.

Conflict ... no difference ... for removing the small tufts of flame. [Piera da Ferrara, 04/2003, R-Atlantia]
[two peacocks respectant Or] Peacocks are close by default, with their tails extending behind them, and closed up (rather than being fanned out). The SCA has blazoned some peacocks close as pavonated to base (indicating that the tail points downwards), but the exact orientation of the tail of a peacock close is an artistic choice rather than a heraldic distinction. A peacock close could legitimately be drawn with the tail pointing straight behind the peacock, to base, or even somewhat towards the chief, as long as the tail is not fanned out. The exact orientation of the tail of a peacock close thus does not need to be explicitly blazoned and is not worth difference. A peacock in his pride, which is affronty with its tail fanned out and held up behind its body, must be explicitly blazoned. There is a posture CD between a peacock close and a peacock in his pride.

Because there is no difference between a default peacock and a peacock pavonated to base, the device conflicts with ... Gules, two peacocks pavonated to base respectant and a pomegranate Or. There is only one CD for removing the pomegranate.

The peacock tails in this emblazon are held so that they point behind the peacocks and the end of each tail curves to chief. This is a Byzantine and Eastern stylization of a peacock. Some members of the College felt that the identifiability of the peacocks had been diminished by the unusual tail depiction. Although we feel that these peacocks are adequately recognizable in a Western artistic context, please advise the submitter to be careful to draw the peacocks so that they are clearly identifiable in the context of Western heraldic art.

We also note that the submitter has drawn the peacocks' tails with substantial amounts of detail in argent, vert, and sable. Please advise the submitter to draw the tails of the Or peacocks so that they are more predominantly Or. [A'ishah bint Rashid al-Andalusi, 08/2003, R-Caid]
[dunghill cock] This also conflicts with ... Azure, a simurgh close Or. A simurgh is a monster which is effectively identical to a peacock. Per this month's cover letter, both dunghill cocks and peacocks are "poultry-shaped" birds, and substantial difference cannot be given between them, which would be necessary to clear this conflict under RfS X.2.

Both dunghill cocks and peacocks have details on their heads (a crest for the peacock, a comb and wattles for the dunghill cock) and both have prominent tails. Despite these vague similarities, they are considered different in period, and consistently drawn differently in period. They are thus significantly different, and a CD is given between them. [Alienor of Iron Mountain, 11/2003, R-Meridies]

BIRD -- Quail
see also BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

[a corbie contourny sable] This does not conflict with a badge of Kathren of Sandesward, Argent, a legless quail close to sinister reguardant sable. There is ... another [CD] for the difference between a corbie and a quail. Quails are round birds, shaped much more like a hen than like a corbie. Hens and corbies are distinct in period, so quails and corbies should be distinct as well.

The European quail, like the quail in Kathren's badge, has a round body. However, it is worth noting that the quail in Kathren's badge is distinctly a California or Gambel's quail, New World birds with a distinctive feather shaped like an inverted comma atop their heads. Old World quails do not have this distinctive crest. [Ansger von Hohenkrewe, 03/2002, A-Drachenwald]
[Azure, three quail and a bordure argent] This does not conflict with ... Azure, three swallows migrant within a bordure argent. There is one CD for the change in posture from close to migrant and a second CD for the difference in type between quail and swallows. Both quail and swallows are found in period armory. They appear to be considered distinct in period and most certainly have significant visual difference. Quails are round birds with short tails and swallows are lean birds with long forked tails.

Please note that the comma-shaped head feathers drawn on the quails in this emblazon are an attribute of certain species of quail native to the southwest portion of North America. The European quail does not have any sort of distinguishing crest. The comma-shaped head feather, while not a bar to registration, should not be considered a period heraldic identifier for a quail. [Catalina of Tir Ysgithr, 10/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[loon vs. quail] Per the LoAR of March 2002, "Quails are round birds, shaped much more like a hen than like a corbie... The European quail, like the quail in Kathren's badge, has a round body. However, it is worth noting that the quail in Kathren's badge is distinctly a California or Gambel's quail, New World birds with a distinctive feather shaped like an inverted comma atop their heads. Old World quails do not have this distinctive crest." Neither the loon nor the California or Gambel's quail are found in period heraldry, and thus the difference between them must be determined visually per RfS X.4.e. There is certainly sufficient visual difference between the loon and the New World quail to give a CD between them. [Helga lómr, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
[Azure, three owls within a bordure argent] This does not conflict with Catalina of Tir Ysgithr, Azure, three quail and a bordure argent. Per this month's Cover Letter discussion of birds and substantial difference, owls are "regular-shaped" birds and (European) quail are "poultry-shaped" birds. There is thus substantial difference between "poultry-shaped" European quails in a period posture (the default close posture) and "regular-shaped" owls in a period posture (the default close guardant posture).

The quails in Catalina's device are the new-world California or Gambel's quails, with a comma-shaped feather topping their heads, so their eligibility for substantial difference must be determined on a case by case basis. Because the California quail resembles a European quail very closely except for the comma-shaped crest, it is as different from an owl as a European quail would be - or even more so, since an owl does not have a crest of this sort. Thus, it seems appropriate to give substantial difference between California/Gambel's quails and owls. These two pieces of armory are thus clear of conflict under RfS X.2. [Megge de Northwode, 11/2003, A-Atlantia]

BIRD -- Raven
see also BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

There is no CD for type for ravens vs generic birds ... [Robert of Gresewode, 09/2001, R-Caid]
[a raven rising wings elevated and addorsed vs. a falcon striking]. There is a CD for adding the laurel wreath, but no difference for the posture of the bird. [Fiodnach Eoghan, Shire of, 11/2001, R-Trimaris]
These are correctly drawn ravens, even though they have smooth feathers rather than hairy feathers. Please see the cover letter for a discussion of the correct depiction and blazon of ravens. [Lazarus von Kyrchberc, 01/2002, A-Caid] [Ed.: The Cover Letter discussion is included below under "From Wreath: Ravens and Similar Birds"]
The submitter's raven is drawn as a smooth-feathered, and otherwise recognizable, raven. For a discussion of the depiction of ravens in period armory, see the cover letter. [Derbáil ingen Chonchobair, 01/2002, A-Meridies][Ed.: The Cover Letter discussion is included below under "From Wreath: Ravens and Similar Birds"]
... there is no difference between ravens and falcons. [Muirenn Faulkner, 01/2002, R-Ansteorra] [Ed.: The Cover Letter discussion is included below under "From Wreath: Ravens and Similar Birds"]
There is no difference between the falcon and the Cornish chough. For more details on the reason why falcons have no difference from either ravens or Cornish choughs, see the cover letter. [Muirenn Faulkner, 01/2002, R-Ansteorra] [Ed.: The Cover Letter discussion is included below under "From Wreath: Ravens and Similar Birds"]
The birds were originally blazoned as "ravens displayed". Ravens are not found in the displayed posture in period heraldry. They are close by default and almost always found in that posture. The unusual posture makes them more closely resemble eagles, which are usually found in the displayed posture. Because of the difficulty of identifying these birds as any particular sort of bird, they have been reblazoned as generic birds. See the cover letter of January 2000 for a more complete discussion of the interaction between bird type and bird posture.

... There is no type difference between these generic birds and the double-headed eagles. [Brangwayn Snowden, 01/2002, R-Middle]
[a bird displayed wings inverted] The bird was originally blazoned as a raven. However, it is not in a posture used by ravens in period. It has a very eagle-like stylization of the wings and it lacks any other distinguishing features of a raven. It therefore cannot be identified as a raven and must be blazoned as a bird. [Thorfinn of Deodar, 02/2002, A-Calontir]
[birds displayed] The birds on the chief were originally blazoned as "ravens". They are are not identifiable as ravens: they are not in a period posture for ravens, they do not have any of the heraldic identifying characteristics of a raven and they do not clearly resemble naturalistic ravens. They have thus been reblazoned as birds. [Dietrich von Ravensburg, 02/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[a corbie contourny sable] This does not conflict with a badge of Kathren of Sandesward, Argent, a legless quail close to sinister reguardant sable. There is ... another [CD] for the difference between a corbie and a quail. Quails are round birds, shaped much more like a hen than like a corbie. Hens and corbies are distinct in period, so quails and corbies should be distinct as well. [Ansger von Hohenkrewe, 03/2002, A-Drachenwald]
[a raven sable vs a vulture close sable] The pertinent question is whether we should give a CD for type difference between a vulture and a crow. Both birds are found in period armory, although the vulture is found much less frequently than the raven. One example is in Siebmacher, in the arms of Geyer von Osterberg on fol. 34 (canting on German for vulture, geier). The vulture in those arms is depicted so that it is identical to an eagle rising wings displayed sable.

It does not seem surprising that European vultures would be depicted similarly to other raptors. When one looks at European vultures in bird guides, many of them have a closer resemblance to hawks and eagles than do the commonly found North American vultures (such as the turkey vulture): for example, some European vultures have feathered heads. The term vulture may also apply, in some cultures, to any bird of prey, not just a carrion eater. A vulture close (said to be heraldic) is found on a coin of Vladislav (Vlaieu) of Wallachia in 1364-1377 as noted in an article at http://www.geocities.com/romaniancoins/coattar.html. The article states that in Romanian, vultur refers to any large bird of prey and the bird depicted on the coin is certainly not distinct from an eagle.

The similar depictions of hawks and ravens in the close posture has been noted at some length in the Cover Letter of January 2002. [Ed.: The Cover Letter discussion is included above under "From Wreath: Ravens and Similar Birds"] The vulture seems to fall into the same category, as the period representations of vultures in heraldry (or heraldic coins) noted are apparently indistinguishable from eagles and hawks. The Cover Letter of January 2000 stated, "In the future I will be more likely to grant difference between different types of birds when they are (a) different in period, (b) in a period posture, (c) drawn correctly, and (d) there is some visual difference." Until such time as it can be demonstrated that there is ¨some visual difference¨ between a vulture and a raven when used in heraldry, no difference will be given between these charges. [Brand Björnsson, 11/2002, R-Meridies]
[a bird displayed] The bird was originally blazoned as a raven, but it is neither in the raven's default posture nor is it otherwise clearly identifiable as a raven. We have thus blazoned it as a generic bird. [Bronwyn Mewer, 02/2003, A-An Tir]
[A hawk striking maintaining in its talons a compass star sable] Conflict with ... Argent, a raven rising regardant wings disclosed proper, maintaining in the dexter claw a sword gules. There is a CD for changing the field. There is no difference between a hawk and a raven (see the discussion in the January 2002 cover letter). There is no difference in posture between these birds except for the head position, which is insufficient for posture difference by RfS X.4.h. There is no difference for changing the maintained charge.

This is also a visual conflict by RfS X.5 with ... (Fieldless) A raven striking sustaining a spur rowel of eight points sable. The only obvious visual difference between these two pieces of armory is the angle of the bird's wings (which is never worth difference) and the piercing of the spur rowel. Only on close comparison is it clear that in Jared's case the spur rowel is co-primary while in Ricart's case the compass star is a maintained charge. The visual similarities of two designs are so close as to give an unavoidable visual conflict. [Ricart Berenguer Falcón, 03/2003, R-Meridies]
The College generally felt that this bird, drawn in some sort of early period artistic stylization, was not recognizable as a raven. However, this charge is clearly identifiable as a bird close, albeit a stylized one. We have therefore reblazoned it as a bird. [Brenna of Storvik and Gauss Magnússon, 04/2003, R-Atlantia]
[a raven displayed vs. a double-headed eagle displayed] There is no type difference given between a raven displayed and a double-headed eagle displayed: "[a raven displayed vs. an eagle displayed] Even though ravens and eagles were different birds in period, only eagles were ever displayed. Therefore there is not a CD for type" (LoAR November 1999; see also the extensive discussion in the Cover Letter for the January 2000 LoAR). There is also no difference for the number of heads: "...(not too dissimilarly to not granting a CVD for the difference between an eagle and a double-headed eagle)" (LoAR October 1990 p.14). [Njall Randvesson, 04/2003, R-East]
[loon vs. raven] No evidence has been presented or found indicating that a loon is a charge found in period heraldry. Thus, per RfS X.4.e, we must determine the type difference between a raven and a loon on visual grounds. A loon is similar to a duck, except that it has a thin pointed bill rather than a duck-bill. The visual difference between the loon and the raven merits significant difference ... [Helga lómr, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
[(Fieldless) A rooster vert] This badge is clear of ... (Fieldless) A raven vert. Per the Cover Letter to the November 2003 LoAR, there is substantial difference between a rooster (a "poultry-shaped" bird) and a raven (a "regular-shaped" bird) when both birds are in period postures and drawn correctly. The two badges are clear of conflict by RfS X.2. [Carlo Gallucci, 03/2004, A-Aethelmearc]

BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds
see also BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

From Wreath: Ravens and Similar Birds
Three submissions this month (Muirenn Faulkner in Ansteorra, Lazarus von Kyrchberc in Caid, and Derbáil ingen Chonchobair in Meridies) raised questions about the correct depictions of ravens in armory, and how much difference ravens should be given from other birds.

A raven is a crow is a rook is a daw is (almost) a Cornish chough

It is important to remember that, for the medieval herald, no difference is made in depicting ravens, crows, rooks, or jackdaws. Cornish choughs are only distinguished in heraldic art from these birds by the chough's gules beak and feet. This information can be found in various heraldic treatises, including Parker, Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, and Woodward, A Treatise on Heraldry, British and Foreign. Even the word corbie in English, from which derives the canting arms of Corbet, refers both to the raven and to the carrion crow, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The ensuing discussion will use the term "corbie" to refer to all these birds, for convenience.

Must corbies be depicted with hairy feathers to be good period style?

Just as one attribute of the boar is its bristles, one attribute of the corbie is its hairy feathers. A nice depiction of a "hairy" raven is in the Gr�nenberg Armorial, reproduced in fig. 474 of Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry. It is important to realize that corbies are drawn with hairy feathers in period heraldic art just as often as boars are drawn with clearly visible bristles, which is to say, infrequently. It is therefore acceptable to draw a corbie with smooth feathers and blazon it as a raven, crow, or whatever sort of corbie it is meant to be, as long as it is identifiable as a corbie in the emblazon. It is not necessary to reblazon a smooth-feathered and identifiable corbie as a generic bird.

In the Cover Letter to the January 2000 LoAR, Laurel ruled in pertinent part that "... in the future I will be stricter about requiring that a bird be drawn with its defining attributes (i.e., a dove should have a tuft). Without the defining attributes, the bird may just be blazoned as 'a bird.'" Since the majority of the period depictions of corbies are smooth-feathered, it is clear that the corbie's hairy feathers are merely an attribute of the corbie, not a defining attribute. It is unclear whether a corbie has a true defining attribute. Corbies in period heraldry are overwhelmingly both tinctured sable and postured close, but other birds share these attributes. The question of whether the corbie has a defining attribute for purposes of the January 2000 ruling must be left for further research.

In England, smooth-feathered corbies are found in depictions of the canting arms of Corbet throughout our period. These arms all feature some number of corbies in sable on an Or field. These depictions range from the Herald's Roll c. 1280 (as seen in Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones, Heraldry, p. 8), through the 15th C Fenwick Roll (Gwynn-Jones, The Art of Heraldry, p. 26) through the early 17th C Segar Roll (The Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 12). In addition to the canting corbies in the arms of Corbet, the Fenwick roll gives us the canting rooks in the arms of Rokesdon (Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones, p. 61) and the canting crows in the arms of Crowmer (ibid., p. 109). They are drawn virtually identically.

Outside of England, we also find many smooth-feathered corbies. Siebmacher, in his 1605 Wappenbuch, draws his corbies indistinctly from some of the other birds close, and without hairy feathers. Some of the corbies in Siebmacher hold a coin or ring in their mouths, as period heralds also recognized the corbie's acquisitive nature and love for shiny objects. However, most of Siebmacher's corbies are drawn in their default close posture without other accoutrements. Two of the numerous examples from Siebmacher are the canting arms of die Raeblinger (f. 129) from the Rhineland, Or, a raven sable maintaining in its beak a ring argent, and the canting arms of die Krhomair (f. 63) from Silesia, Or a crow sable atop a trimount vert. The author of Gelre (a late 14th/early 15th C armorial) depicts the Spanish arms of Don Loys Cornel, Or, five crows sable, but the only way to know these are meant to be crows (keeping in mind the French for crow, corneille), is to recognize the cant, or to read the blazon provided by the editors of this volume. The birds are drawn indistinguishably from martlets. In Italy, the arms of Alfonso Sadoleto da Modeno (who held office in the Bargello from 1521-1524) are found in bas relief in the courtyard of the Bargello, Bendy embattled ... on a chief ... a raven (Stemmi (nel museo nazionale del Bargello), p. 126). This bird is blazoned as a raven by the author of Stemmi and is a rather naturalistic raven or crow. It has the outlines of a smooth-feathered bird, although the bas relief shows some shaggy feathering as internal detail.

How much difference should be given between corbies and other birds?

As noted in reference to Gelre and Siebmacher's Wappenbuch, some period heraldic art draws corbies interchangeably from other sorts of birds which are in the same close posture. In these cases, only obvious cant, or well researched blazon, can help the viewer know what sort of bird was intended. Both the author of Gelre and Siebmacher draw their corbies indistinguishably from martlets, although other heraldic art may be found (such as the Fenwick roll) which is careful to distinguish between the footless martlet (drawn either with erased leg stumps, or couped leg stumps) and birds which have feet. It is interesting to note one coat in Gelre, the arms of Jan von Raligen (f. 75), Argent a cross and in canton a martlet sable, for a crest on a cap of maintenance argent turned up sable, a martlet sable between two wings argent. The martlet on the shield is drawn with the expected couped legs, but the martlet on the crest is shown with full legs and standard bird feet. So in Gelre, not only does it appear that other compact-outlined birds are drawn like martlets, but on some occasions, martlets are drawn more like other birds. The heraldic art in both Siebmacher and Gelre is generally of good quality, so these depictions are not a result of sloppy heraldic art.

The specific question raised this month was that of the difference between corbies and falcons, when they are both in the close posture. It is easier to find artwork depicting corbies close in period heraldry than it is to find artwork depicting falcons close, as a larger proportion of the falcons in period armory are depicted in a rising posture, either with wings addorsed or displayed (see, for example, Elizabeth I's badge, Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones, p. 118, or the arms of die Falcken on f. 189 in Siebmacher, Or a falcon rising wings displayed proper ... as a crest a falcon rising wings displayed between two bundles of sticks proper).

When it comes to the question of the difference of a close falcon and a close corbie, it appears that a falcon close could be drawn in period so that it was not distinguishable from a corbie close. See for example v. Falckenstein, f. 193 of Siebmacher, Azure three falcons argent ... as a crest, a falcon rising wings displayed argent. In the Cover Letter of the January 2000 LoAR, Laurel ruled in pertinent part, "In the future I expect that I will be more likely to grant difference between different types of birds when (a) they are (a) different in period, (b) in a period posture, (c) drawn correctly, and (d) there is some visual difference (i.e., there is really no visual difference between a popinjay and a hawk).". It appears that, at least in the case of falcons close versus corbies close, there are cases where there is no visual difference, even though they are in a period posture and in well-drawn works of heraldic art. Therefore, falcons close are not entitled to difference from corbies close. Similarly, martlets close and corbies close should not be given difference. [01/2002, CL]

BIRD -- Sparrow
see also BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

[brown sparrows proper] It is only acceptable to blazon an animal as a brown animal proper when that animal is frequently found in a brown color in nature, as per the Cover Letter of October 1995, which states in pertinent part in part "... animals which are normally brown may be registered simply as an {X} proper (e.g., boar proper, hare proper). Animals which are frequently found as brown but also commonly appear in other tinctures in the natural world may be registered as a brown {X} proper (e.g., brown hound proper, brown horse proper)"

Period Western European sparrows are not brown birds, but distinctly marked birds. The male is about one-third brown with the remainder marked in black and white. The less distinctive female is half brown and half off-white. One typical species is Passer domesticus, which is called the house sparrow in both Europe and the United States. It is thus appropriate to inquire as to how a bird with such natural markings would be depicted in period heraldry when proper. Documentation was neither provided nor found for sparrows proper in period armory, so we have to draw conclusions based on other similarly marked proper birds.

There is evidence that birds that are black and white in nature are depicted as black and white birds when proper, even if their markings in the heraldic depictions are not quite correct for the species. The black and white stork with red legs and beak in the arms of Die Dobrzinsky on f. 73 of Siebmacher (from Silesia) is depicted very much like a European stork. There are two types of European stork, the White Stork and the Black Stork. Both are black and white birds with red beak and legs. Siebmacher's depiction is closer to a White Stork. Rietstap's blazon for this family indicates that the bird there depicted is intended to be a stork proper (beaked and membered gules, although this would, as stated, also be proper for a stork). Siebmacher also gives us the arms of von Atzelndorf (from Meissen) on f. 156 using a black and white bird. Atzel is the German word for magpie, and a magpie is a black and white bird, so it seems logical to conclude that the bird in these arms is meant to be a magpie. The Siebmacher rendition does not do a good job of duplicating a magpie's natural markings, but its proportions and general black and white coloration are correct for a magpie. A more accurately marked magpie proper may be found in the 15th C Milanese Stemmaria Trivulziano, p. 67, in the arms of de Bertis. The magpie there is black and white and the markings mostly follow the natural markings of a magpie. The editors inform us that the word berta means magpie (although it is not the most common Italian word for that bird) and de Bertis thus has canting arms.

Because birds that are black and white in nature appear to be drawn black and white when proper in period heraldry, it is not reasonable to assume that the partially brown and partially black and white sparrow would be solid brown in period heraldry. The female sparrow is a closer match, but is still not an "all brown bird". Also, as a general rule, it is the more colorful member of a species that is used to determine the proper coloration of a species in heraldry, the peacock being the prime example of this practice. Thus, unless evidence is provided for brown sparrows proper in period armory, they may not be registered in the SCA.

Note that some New World birds that are called "sparrows" in modern terminology are mostly brown in their coloration, unlike the Old World species. It does not seem appropriate to consider species outside of Western Europe when considering the proper tincture of an animal, unless the animal being considered is a distinctly non-European animal, such as the turkey (which is found in its proper coloration as the crest of Robert Cooke in 1556). [Líadan Arundel, 09/2002, R-Ansteorra]
[sparrows proper] This submission violates some of the provisions of RfS VIII.4.c. That rule states: "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."

The College felt strongly that there was no "widely understood default coloration" for sparrows. The members of the College "would have to look up the correct coloration" in order to draw the sparrow correctly. European sparrows all have complicated markings that cannot be blazoned without "Linnaean genus and species (or some other elaborate description)." Most male European sparrows (the House, Tree, Italian, and Spanish Sparrows) have white chests, black bibs, brown wings, back and top of head, and brown or grey tails (with slight difference between them in the particulars of the markings). The only male European sparrow that don't match this general description is the Rock Sparrow, which is white with grey streaks below and buff and brown streaks above. The female sparrows are less elaborate in their coloration but are still complicated to describe.

The sparrows as drawn in this submission are also not a correct proper color for period European sparrows. The birds drawn in this emblazon have dark grey breasts and rumps, which does not match any of the European sparrow species described above. [Líadan Arundel, 11/2003, R-Ansteorra]

BIRD -- Swan

[a swan rousant vs. a stork passant, wings elevated and addorsed] There is one CD ... and another for the change of type of bird between a swan and a stork. While both birds do have long necks, they appear to have been considered distinct types of bird in period. Moreover, the stork is visually distinct from the swan, both in general and in ... emblazon. The stork has much longer legs and a spearlike beak. [William Lindsay, 11/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[A swan contourny] Conflict with ... Per bend Or and sable, a goose counter-statant, wings elevated, head lowered, argent. There is one CD for fieldlessness. There is no difference between the postures of the birds, which only differ in how high the head is held. There is no difference between a goose and a swan. [Katerina von Halberstadt, 11/2002, R-Ansteorra]
While swans are rousant by default, their barnyard cousins, geese, are close by default. Note, for example, the canting arms of Die Gansen on fol. 150 of Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch, and von Ganse on fol. 182 of the same volume. Each of these canting coats uses a goose close as the sole charge on the armory. [Effie Little, 03/2003, A-An Tir]

BIRD -- Vulture
see also BIRD -- Ravens and Similar Birds and BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

[a penguin statant affronty, head to dexter vs. a vulture close affronty] Penguins are arguably in their most identifiable posture when in this posture (statant affronty, head to dexter.) The most identifying portions of the vulture (the head and neck ruff) and penguin (flipper wings) are easily visible. Since penguins are not birds found in period heraldry, the difference between the penguin and vulture must be determined on visual grounds. A second CD is available for changing the type of bird. [Tylar of Lochmere, 04/2002, A-Atlantia]
[Ermine, a hawk striking wings displayed sable tailed and in chief three triquetras gules] Conflict with Malutka sep Srebnitska, Ermine, a turkey vulture [Cathartes aura] displayed, dexter wing erect, sinister wing inverted, proper. There is one CD for adding the triquetras.

There is no type difference between a turkey vulture and a hawk. The turkey vulture is a New World bird, which is not a period heraldic charge. Per RfS X.4.e, when determining difference from a non-period charge, difference is determined by a visual comparison. A visual comparison shows that there is insufficient difference between a turkey vulture and a hawk to give difference on solely visual grounds.

There is no difference between the visually similar postures of displayed dexter wing erect and striking wings displayed. There is no difference for changing tincture, as less than half the charge has changed in tincture. Malutka's turkey vulture is black with a red head, and Morgan's hawk is black with a red tail. The head and the tail combined make up less than half the tincture of these birds. [Morgan mac Máeláin, 09/2002, R-Caid]
[a raven sable vs a vulture close sable] The pertinent question is whether we should give a CD for type difference between a vulture and a crow. Both birds are found in period armory, although the vulture is found much less frequently than the raven. One example is in Siebmacher, in the arms of Geyer von Osterberg on fol. 34 (canting on German for vulture, geier). The vulture in those arms is depicted so that it is identical to an eagle rising wings displayed sable.

It does not seem surprising that European vultures would be depicted similarly to other raptors. When one looks at European vultures in bird guides, many of them have a closer resemblance to hawks and eagles than do the commonly found North American vultures (such as the turkey vulture): for example, some European vultures have feathered heads. The term vulture may also apply, in some cultures, to any bird of prey, not just a carrion eater. A vulture close (said to be heraldic) is found on a coin of Vladislav (Vlaieu) of Wallachia in 1364-1377 as noted in an article at http://www.geocities.com/romaniancoins/coattar.html. The article states that in Romanian, vultur refers to any large bird of prey and the bird depicted on the coin is certainly not distinct from an eagle.

The similar depictions of hawks and ravens in the close posture has been noted at some length in the Cover Letter of January 2002. [Ed.: The Cover Letter discussion is included above under "From Wreath: Ravens and Similar Birds"] The vulture seems to fall into the same category, as the period representations of vultures in heraldry (or heraldic coins) noted are apparently indistinguishable from eagles and hawks. The Cover Letter of January 2000 stated, "In the future I will be more likely to grant difference between different types of birds when they are (a) different in period, (b) in a period posture, (c) drawn correctly, and (d) there is some visual difference." Until such time as it can be demonstrated that there is ¨some visual difference¨ between a vulture and a raven when used in heraldry, no difference will be given between these charges. [Brand Björnsson, 11/2002, R-Meridies]

BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

From Wreath: Birds and Substantial Difference

This month we were called upon to make a number of rulings concerning difference between very different types of birds. After much thought, and discussion with Evan Wreath-designate, we have formulated the following policy.

Policies concerning birds and substantial difference need to be built upon previous policies concerning birds and significant difference. An important ruling on the topic is found in the Cover Letter for the January 2000 LoAR. That ruling was entitled On Owls and Eagles, but it also spoke more generally concerning difference for birds. The pertinent summary portions of that ruling read as follows:
The conflict rules make a rigid distinction between the type of a charge and its posture. This works well most of the time, but less so for birds, where the type and the posture are often closely connected. In particular, with vanishingly rare exceptions the eagle is the only bird found displayed in period heraldry. Therefore any other bird displayed will arguably be visually similar to an eagle...

The new solution to the problem is to sacrifice some of the theoretical purity of separation of type and posture. Because only eagles among birds are attested as displayed in period, any other bird in a displayed posture will be compared to any bird in a displayed posture usuing [sic] the visual test of rule X.4.e for non-period charges. Thus there will not be a CD between an owl displayed and an eagle displayed, because they are too visually similar, but there will be a CD between an owl displayed and a penguin displayed, because there is still significant visual difference. Additionally any bird other than an eagle in a displayed posture will be considered a "weirdness" [step from standard period practice].

In the future I expect that I will be more likely to grant difference between different types of birds when (a) [sic] they are (a) different in period, (b) in a period posture, (c) drawn correctly, and (d) there is some visual difference (i.e., there is really no visual difference between a popinjay and a hawk).
In some cases, it is appropriate for very different types of bird to be given substantial difference from each other. This parallels the SCA's precedents for other kinds of similarly-formed, but nonetheless very different, animate charges: bulls and lions were ruled substantially different in the LoAR of July 2001, dragons and griffins were ruled substantially different in the same LoAR, zebras and stags were ruled substantially different in the LoAR of May 2001, unicorns and wolves were ruled substantially different in the LoAR of March 1994, and ferrets and hedgehogs were ruled substantially different in the LoAR of September 1991.

In order for two birds to be considered substantially different from each other, it is necessary for the following conditions to apply, analogous to the criteria listed in the January 2000 Cover Letter for significant difference between birds:
1. The change from one type of bird to the other type of bird must "not usually [have been] used to indicate any form of cadency" in period (RfS X.2). The two types of bird must of course also have been considered different in period, or they would not even be significantly different (RfS X.4.e).

2. Each bird, in both the new and the old submissions, must be in a posture which was period for that type of bird.

3. Each bird, in both the new and the old submissions, must be drawn correctly.

4. The two types of bird must have been drawn in fashions that were consistently very different from each other throughout period heraldry.
Concerning criterion 2, remember that a bird may be in a period posture without being in a default posture. Ravens are sometimes found in the rising posture in period, although their default posture is close. Swans are found in the close posture in period, although their default posture is rousant (synonymous with rising).

It is vanishingly rare to find birds other than eagles in the displayed posture, while vast multitudes of eagles are found in the displayed posture. We thus re-affirm the January 2000 Cover Letter precedent (above). All birds (other than eagles) in the displayed posture are considered a "weirdness" and are not eligible for substantial difference - unless documentation is provided showing that the particular type of (non-eagle) bird is frequently found in the displayed posture in period.

Here are a few generalizations concerning bird posture to be used in conjunction with criterion 2 above. In addition, see the attachment to this LoAR titled "Some birds and the postures in which they are found in period English heraldry." [Ed: Included as Appendix A] On examining the types of birds found in period armory, and how they were used, certain categories of bird type become apparent. These categories are: Not all period birds are found in the categories above. For example, while many popinjays (parrots) are drawn as "regular-shaped" birds in period (often indistinct from a green crow with red legs and bill), some of the more naturalistic drawings of popinjays have such pronounced tails that popinjays, for the moment, been left out of any of these categories.

Substantial difference relates to these categories of birds as follows: [11/2003, CL]

BLAZON
see also POSTURE/ORIENTATION -- Animate Charges and POSTURE/ORIENTATION -- General and POSTURE/ORIENTATION -- Inanimate Charges

Since the July 1992 LoAR, the term maintaining has been used for grasped or held items which are too small to be worth difference. Sustaining and supporting have been used for a grasped or held item which is of comparable visual weight to the item holding it, and thus worth difference. In cases where other blazon words are used for the act of holding an item, the blazon is ambiguous about whether the held item is significant or not. It is true that the term maintaining literally derives from a Latin phrase for holding in a hand, and thus is not ideal for blazoning an item which is held in the mouth, or by the tail, of an animal. However, it seems preferable to remove the blazon ambiguity and use the word maintaining in these cases. [Godwin Alfricson, 08/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[Tierced per chevron wavy throughout ...] ... the stylistic problems are allowed under the Grandfather Clause. The general form of her blazon, using the term tierced, has been held over from her previous device as well. [Allison Poinvillars de Tours, 09/2001, A-Æthelmearc]
[coward] The Letter of Intent blazoned this cat as coward. The exact disposition of the tail of an animal is a matter for artistic license in period, which would argue against using the term coward in blazon. However, the term is permissible if the submitter so requests, as long as the tail position is drawn correctly and identifiably. Coward may be blazoned when the tail is clearly tucked between the hind legs. This is not the case in this emblazon. Also, the submitter's original blazon did not use the term coward. Therefore, the term was deleted. [Muirgel ingen Gilla Comgaill, 09/2001, A-Æthelmearc]
The Pictorial Dictionary indicates that a pair of deer's horns conjoined in this fashion may be blazoned as a deer's attires or as a massacre. The former term is closer to the submitted blazon. [Colin de Vire, 09/2001, A-Calontir]
[Reblazon of device] The Administrative Handbook mandates that an error in blazon which requires correction via a Letter of Intent must also include an emblazon in the Letter of Intent. The Letter of Intent did not provide such an emblazon in the Letter of Intent, although a copy of the old form with the emblazon was provided in the package to Wreath. This is therefore being returned for lack of necessary paperwork. [Gilbert Rhys MacLachlan, 09/2001, R-Caid]
Reblazon. Azure, a black-footed ferret passant guardant Or marked sable and argent, grasping in its dexter forepaw a rose argent, barbed, seeded, slipped, and leaved proper. Her original blazon was Azure, a black-footed ferret passant guardant proper, grasping in its dexter forepaw a rose argent, barbed, seeded, slipped, and leaved proper [Mustela nigripes]. Members of the College were confused about what tincture a black-footed ferret proper might be, citing various references to support interpretations of either argent or Or. Inspection of her form shows that the ferret is predominantly Or with a black mask, forefeet, and tail, and white showing at the very bottom of the belly. The blazon has been changed to reflect the predominant Or tincture. The term black-footed has been retained in the blazon. We would not currently specify a species to this level of detail in blazon, but this term is grandfathered to the submitter. The Linnaean species reference has been omitted, as it was only necessary due to the use of Linnaean proper. The term black-footed should specify the type of ferret sufficiently. [Megan Glenleven, 10/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[a dragon rampant] Winged quadrupedal monsters have their wings elevated and addorsed by default when rampant. For dragons and griffins, both segreant and rampant will result in the same emblazon. There is no reason to prefer one term over the other in blazon, and thus I will preserve the submitted term in blazon.

Recall that for many years, SCA blazon did not use segreant at all, and it is a latecomer to real-world blazon as well. Parker indicates that segreant is "applied by most writers to the griffin instead of rampant", but I believe Parker overstates the case for our period, even though he may adequately represent 19th and 20th C English preferences. Parker also does not extend his preference for segreant outside of griffins. His discussion of dragons, on p. 296 (inexplicably under the Griffin heading), depicts the dragon rampant of Dauney exactly as we would draw a dragon segreant. The SCA allows the term segreant to be used for all winged quadrupeds.

Brault's Early Blazon (second edition) is a book which thoroughly discusses 12th and 13th C blazon. The phrase grifon rampant on p.218 is translated as "griffin rampant". The illustration, in figure 222, is exactly what one would expect from segreant. Brault gives one period blazon example, taken from the Siege of Caerlaverock c. 1300, De inde au grifoun rampant de or fin. This blazon, using other entries in Early Blazon, translates to Azure a griffin rampant Or. The term segreant is not found in Early Blazon at all. It is interesting to note that Dennys, in An Heraldic Imagination, refers to a coat of arms in the Siege of Caerlaverock as Azure a Griffin segreant gold. I believe that this is likely to be the same example as Brault gives, and Dennys has used the later preference for segreant when translating the blazon (as well as choosing to translate or fin as literally gold, although Brault does not indicate that this was a real 13th C blazon implication for the term or fin.) However, since Brault does not indicate the owner of the arms in question, this remains a conjecture. [Feme inghean Donnabháin, 10/2001, A-Trimaris]
The term springing is, in the SCA, a synonym for salient used when blazoning deer and their close relatives, and should not be used for other animals. [Stierbach, Barony of, 11/2001, A-Atlantia]
[a boar statant sable crined gules] The crining of the boar refers to the ridge of bristles along its back. [Rycharde de Northewode, 12/2001, A-An Tir]
[in chief three lozenges] The original blazon read, in latter part, ... and in chief three lozenges in fess Or. Three items in chief will also be in fess by default. We do find armory in the SCA with three items in chief, arranged one and two, but this arrangement should always be blazoned. [John de Lochabre, 12/2001, A-Atlantia]
[A holly branch bendwise sinister inverted vert fructed gules enfiling a mullet voided Or] The design of a charge enfiling a voided mullet is a weirdness, but it is not in itself sufficient reason for return. It is a weirdness because of the cumulative effects of the unusual voided charge (the voided mullet), the unusual action of enfiling, and the fact that the overlap implicit in the act of enfiling reduces the identifiability of both charges involved. Charges which in their standard period depiction include a large central hole (such as laurel wreaths, annulets, and mascles) are not considered a weirdness when enfiled. Charges with small central holes (such as spur rowels and rustres), and voided charges where the usual form of the charge is not voided (mullets) will be considered a weirdness when enfiled.

The question of which charge in the heraldic ring-toss is "enfiled" is one of the great heraldic cocktail party discussion topics. The SCA has a precedent on the topic which is being followed in this blazon:
[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.
[Evelyn atte Holye, 12/2001, A-Ealdormere]
This submission was originally blazoned using a lozenge fesswise. Because lozenges could be drawn with various proportions in period, including a square set on its corner (which can be neither fesswise nor palewise), it does not make sense to distinguish different proportions of lozenge in blazon. [Cecily of Whitehaven, 02/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[wolf's heads erased ululant] This seems a good time to remind the College that the blazon term ululant, indicating that the animal has its head up and is howling, is not a period blazon term: "While we allow wolves and foxes to be ululant, the head posture is an SCA invention. It is possible that had the head posture been introduced today we would not allow it. Allowing ululant wolves is a step beyond period practice; allowing anything but canines to use the position is two steps beyond period practice and therefore grounds for return" (LoAR December 2000). [Wülfer Drachenhand, 02/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[Or, a mascle within a mascle throughout sable] This was originally blazoned as Sable vêtu Or, a lozenge within a mascle Or. The visual realities of the emblazon are such that it is immediately perceived as a mascle within another, and we have so reblazoned it. There were concerns about "op art" stylization, but this is clearly visible and reproducible as a mascle within another, so it does not have visual ambiguity. While it is possible to blazon this in the fashion originally presented in the Letter of Intent, blazon ambiguity is not the same problem as visual ambiguity. [Marquet de Hyet, 02/2002, A-Ansteorra]
Labels are throughout by default, so this need not be blazoned. [Thomas de Lacy, 02/2002, A-Atenveldt]
The device was blazoned on the LoI using a lozenge ployé throughout rather than the originally submitted vêtu ployé. We have been asked whether one can reblazon using a lozenge ployé throughout to avoid stylistic problems with placing charges (in this submission, the estencely) on the "vested" portions of a field (in this submission, the portions of the field outside the "lozenge"). There is explicit precedent stating that placing charges around a lozenge ployé throughout (also known as a lozenge concave throughout) is not allowable style:
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. (LoAR December 1992, pg. 15)
Some commenters noted that we allow fields per chevron throughout to be charged with three charges two and one. Such fields could conceivably be blazoned as chapé with charges on the "vested" portions of the field. Yet we do not return these arms for using charged chapé. This is because a "per chevron" design with three charges on it is relatively common in period, and "per chevron throughout" is a period artistic variant of "per chevron". Chapé with any charges on it is extremely rare. The most likely interpretation of such a design is per chevron, and thus that design is acceptable. The design in this submission is one for which the most likely interpretation is of a vêtu field, rather than some design using a variant lozenge, and absent documentation to the contrary, will be considered to be a vêtu ployé field.

We have had a few previous registrations of charged lozenges ployé throughout between charges, but they were registered without explanatory stylistic comment. One cannot draw any firm conclusions about heraldic policy from registrations without comment. [Brigitte MacFarlane Red, 02/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
The raven was originally blazoned with its dexter talon raised. This detail has been ruled unblazonable in the past: "A bird passant, that is to say, with one leg raised, is considered an unblazoned variant of close" (LoAR February 1996, p. 1). Quite a few period birds close are drawn with one leg raised to some degree, especially massive birds such as cocks, hens and swans. Perhaps this is because the bird better fills the space at the bottom of the shield when drawn with one leg raised. [Branwen of Werchesvorde, 02/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[a wolf passant regardant ravissant a man] The device cannot be blazoned in a way which consistently reproduces the emblazon. The man is almost large enough to be co-primary with the wolf, so his exact posture and placement on the field must be blazoned rather than left to artistic license. The man overlaps the wolf in front, is somewhere between palewise and bendwise sinister, and his posture is statant affronty with raised arms. No one in the College or at the Wreath meeting was able to provide a clear blazon for this man or his arrangement with the wolf. [Sigmundr Hákonsson02/2002, R-Drachenwald]
The LoI suggested that the blazon term ravissant be used. This term is sometimes used for a wolf which is grasping its prey by the neck and holding it over its back. However, it might also be considered appropriate for other sorts of predator/prey arrangements. Therefore, the term ravissant should not be used without more explicit arrangement and posture description. [Sigmundr Hákonsson, 02/2002, R-Drachenwald]
[Argent, ... and a chief barry argent and gules] This was blazoned on the Letter of Intent with three barrulets enhanced rather than a chief barry. The College felt that the proportions of the emblazon would be better preserved with this blazon. [Ii Saburou Katsumari, 03/2002, A-Atlantia]
Remember, enfiling is equivalent to threading (as in threading a needle). [Randal Avery of the Mease, 04/2002, A-Artemisia]
[Argent, a columbine and a bordure wavy purpure charged with increscents argent] It is an odd but nonetheless valid nuance of SCA blazon that the blazon above is equivalent to the blazon Argent, a columbine flower purpure and a bordure wavy purpure semy of increscents argent. Either blazon form is acceptable. In this emblazon, the columbine is purpure, and the bordure is purpure with argent increscents on it. However, the blazon Argent, a columbine and a bordure wavy purpure semy of increscents argent puts increscents on the columbine as well as on the bordure. [Olivia MacKay, 04/2002, A-Calontir]
[Gules, in dexter chief, sinister chief, and base a bear rampant Or, and in chief, dexter base and sinister base a tree argent] No documentation was presented, and none was found, for this arrangement of two types of charge on a plain field. The arrangement is very difficult to blazon, hence the laborious blazon above. Some less explicit blazons were suggested, but none of them would unambiguously recreate this emblazon. The combination of the lack of documentation and difficulty of blazon indicates that this design is too far from period style to be accepted.

While we were unable to find this arrangement of two types of charge on a plain field, it may be found on a field divided party of six pieces. See, for example, a grant of arms c.1558, Party of six azure and Or, three fountains and three lion's heads erased gules (Gwynn-Jones, The Art of Heraldry, p. 103). This blazon for the 1558 coat is patterned on the blazon for Theodoric of Salt Keep, Party of six pieces per fess nebuly gules and ermine, three anvils argent and three falcons close sable. In these cases, the divided field causes the charges to fall into the desired arrangement by default, simplifying the blazon. [Sofia Chiudskaia Smolianina, 05/2002, R-Middle]
[Per fess purpure and sable, a skull and in base an hourglass fesswise argent] There were some questions about the charge placement in this armory and the correct blazon for the armory. The visual interpretation of this emblazon shows that the skull is indeed a primary charge, the only primary in this design. This can be seen by the fact that it is mostly centered on the field and overlies the line of division. The hourglass is clearly secondary because it is in base beneath a charge which is clearly primary.

The primary nature of the skull and secondary nature of the hourglass are apparent from the blazon as well as from the emblazon. The fact that the hourglass is marked by the blazon as in base after a charge which is not explicitly positioned on the field makes it clearly a secondary charge, and the previously named charge a primary charge.

If the blazon were simply Per fess purpure and sable, a skull and an hourglass fesswise argent, then the two charges would be co-primary, with the skull entirely on the top half of the field and the hourglass entirely on the bottom half of the field. If the two charges were both explicitly positioned in chief... and in base..., they would also be co-primary charges and again be placed with the first named charge entirely on the top half of the field and the second named charge entirely on the bottom half of the field. [Soshka Gregor'evich Vilanov, 07/2002, A-Trimaris]
The bird in chief was originally blazoned as a dove. However, the bird lacks the head tuft which is used to identify a heraldic dove, and is not in the dove's standard close posture. It has thus been reblazoned as a generic bird, per the Cover Letter for the January 2000 LoAR: "In the future I will be stricter about requiring that a bird be drawn with its defining attributes (i.e., a dove should have a tuft). Without the defining attributes, the bird may just be blazoned as 'a bird.'" [Kyne Wynn the Kind, 08/2002, A-Artemisia]
[in base three millrinds two and one] The millrinds' arrangement was not originally explicitly blazoned on the LoI, but it was blazoned on the form. On a shield shape three charges in base will be two and one by default, but this is not necessarily the case on other shapes, such as a rectangular banner. Since the submitter explicitly blazoned the charges in base as two and one, we have reinstated this term. If the submitter would prefer to have this left as a matter of artist's licence, she may request a reblazon. [Áine Sindradóttir, 10/2002, A-Atlantia]
This submission adds an augmentation to her registered device. The previous device blazoned the field as Per pale argent and gules, goutty. We have reblazoned the field of her registered device to Per pale argent and gules, all goutty to ensure that both sides of the field are goutty. [Ysabella Celestina Manrique de Palma, 10/2002, A-Trimaris]
[a brown horse couchant proper blazed and stockinged argent] The details of the tincture of the stockings and blaze of the horse would not generally be blazoned but were present in the submitter's previous blazon. Blazons can be changed by Laurel at any time, so the Grandfather Clause does not apply to blazons as it does to registration of armorial elements. However, it seems appropriate to maintain the same blazon if that blazon is not misleading. [Betha of Bedford, 11/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[Quarterly argent and vert, two crosses potent in bend sable] Some commenters suggested that it was unnecessary to explicitly blazon the sable crosses in bend on this quarterly argent and vert field. Because the black crosses could be disposed in many different arrangements on the field, including in pale and in fess, it is necessary to blazon their arrangement explicitly. Had the field been quarterly argent and sable, then the crosses would indeed be placed in bend by default, since the black crosses could not overlap the black portions of the field. [Arkell vom Cophus, 11/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[in pale a thistle proper issuant from a tower] We have used the blazon phrase in pale to indicate that the thistle and tower are co-primary charges. The blazon A thistle proper issuant from a tower sable implies that the thistle would be a maintained charge. [Derek of Ildhafn, 01/2003, A-Caid]
The lion was blazoned as a Saracenic lion, but we do not blazon the national origin of charges unless such an adjective is needed to distinguish between different types of charge. This appears to be a reasonable artistic variant of a lion guardant and we have so blazoned it. [Scheherazade al-Zahira, 01/2003, R-East]
[Per bend argent and sable, a hound rampant and a hound rampant contourny counterchanged] This does not conflict with Matthew de Wolfe, Per bend sinister embattled argent and sable, in bend two wolves rampant combattant counterchanged. To understand why there is no conflict, it is helpful to remove all blazon shortcuts and blazon each of these pieces of armory explicitly. Note that there are two important common blazon shortcuts which are found in both Matheus' and Matthew's current blazons. The first blazon shortcut is that two charges on a divided field are placed on opposite sides of a line of division by default. The other blazon shortcut is the use of the word counterchanged rather than using the tinctures argent and sable.

Thus, when we remove blazon shortcuts, Matheus' arms may be blazoned Per bend argent and sable, in sinister chief a hound rampant sable and in dexter base a hound rampant to sinister argent. Matthew's arms may be blazoned Per bend sinister embattled argent and sable, in dexter chief a wolf rampant to sinister sable and in sinister base a wolf rampant argent.

Precedent has consistently held that "you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict" (stated succinctly in this quote from the LoAR of February 2000, which upheld years of previous precedent). Thus, we must compare these two pieces of armory using the "explicit" blazons. There is one CD for changing the field. There is no difference for changing the type of canine from wolf to hound.

The charges may not lie on a portion of the field with which they have no contrast. Matheus' charges could not be arranged like Matthew's (with the sable charge in dexter chief and the argent charge in sinister base) on a per bend argent and sable field, because each charge would have no contrast with half of the field on which it lies. The charges must change their arrangement. Because this change in arrangement is "caused by other changes to the design" (namely, the changes to the field) it is not worth difference per RfS X.4.g for arrangement changes. (This is often known as a "forced" arrangement change or "forced" position change.)

The second CD comes from the change of posture. Each canine is facing in the opposite direction from the corresponding canine in the other coat. This posture change is a CD by RfS X.4.h.

By this analysis we are expressly overturning the precedent set in January 1994 that stated in pertinent part:
[Per pale and per chevron argent and sable, in chief two <charges> counterchanged vs. Huffam, Per bend sable and argent, two <charges> counterchanged ] Because the charges are counterchanged, they could legitimately be placed anywhere on the field, even over the line(s) of division. As a consequence, the change in position of the <charges> cannot be considered to be "forced" by the field division (though in Huffam they are in the expected position, one on either side of the line of division), thus giving a CD for position on the field
By this precedent, the use of the word counterchanged would remove a conflict which would apply if the tinctures of the charges were explicitly sable and argent, which is contrary to long-standing SCA policy. [Matheus of Coppertree, 02/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[a chevron enarched within and conjoined at the point to a chevron] The central conjunction of chevrons was blazoned on the Letter of Intent as a chevron inarched. A standard SCA chevron enarched has each arm embowed outwards (curved in the opposite direction from the arms of a chevron ployé). The SCA chevron enarched is an artistic variant of a standard chevron deriving from attempts to show the curvature of a shield. The combination of chevrons in this submission is found in Legh's 1591 Accedens of Armory, where the combination is blazoned as a chevron enarched. Parker, in his Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, blazons this combination as a chevron inarched. To avoid confusion with the already established SCA definition of a chevron enarched we have blazoned this device using standard SCA blazon terms. If there is any question about what this conjunction of chevrons looks like, we direct the reader to Parker's Glossary under chevron inarched. The book may be found in libraries and there is an on-line version at http://www002.upp.so-net.ne.jp/saitou/parker/jpglossc.htm#Chevron. [Hákon Þorgeirsson, 02/2003, A-Atenveldt]
This submission has been reblazoned by Laurel many times since it was originally registered. ... Some commenters questioned the blazon of the chief as urdy, as it has somewhat rounded lines. This chief has consistently been blazoned as urdy in her long and varied reblazon history, and at this point we are happy to grandfather this odd depiction of urdy to this submitter. However, should this somewhat "onion-domed" depiction of urdy be presented by anyone else, it must be accompanied by documentation. [Neptha of Thebes, 02/2003, A-Caid]
[Per chevron throughout argent and gules, two frogs tergiant vert and an increscent argent] The field drawn here is an acceptable per chevron throughout field.

SCA precedent has been consistent, if somewhat unclear, regarding per chevron throughout fields (which may have charges in each portion of the field without violating any style rules) and chapé fields (which may only have charges in the lower portion of the field).

Both per chevron throughout and chapé fields have the top of the line touch the top of the escutcheon. However, the proportions of the rest of the line of division can make a difference in whether the armory is viewed as per chevron throughout or chapé in the SCA. If the line of division provides a roughly equal balance between the top and bottom halves of the field, it is considered a reasonable depiction of per chevron throughout. If the line of division leaves the bottom half of the field much larger than the top half, then it is considered chapé. It is not uncommon for the bottommost charge on a per chevron throughout field to be larger than the chiefmost charge(s), but the bottommost charge should not be so large as to force the field division up to the fess line and therefore contribute to the appearance of a chapé field (requiring its return).

As a general rule, the sides of a charged per chevron throughout field hit the sides of the escutcheon significantly lower than the fess line, while in charged chapé fields, the line of division hits the sides of the escutcheon at the fess line or higher. This follows from the need for per chevron throughout fields to balance the top and bottom halves of the field. Note the following precedent from the LoAR of June 2002 (quoting, in part, an earlier precedent from January 2000). This precedent is also consistent with earlier precedents on the topic (bolded emphasis added):
The submission was blazoned on the LoI as Per chevron in chief. It is a clear drawing of modern chapé: it's throughout and high on the field. Note the following precedent: "Listed on the LoI as having a per chevron line of division, the location of the line of the division and the relative sizes of the charges makes this an example of chapé. Therefore, it must be returned ... for charging its upper portions" (LoAR January 2000).
These precedents specifically set SCA policy for SCA stylistic rules concerning charged fields which are per chevron throughout and chapé. Period armory almost never uses any charges on a chapé field. In period armory using uncharged chapé fields, the line of division often extends down so that the field division could be interchangeable with per chevron throughout. Thus, we will continue to allow the use of the blazon term chapé for uncharged armory which resembles the period armory described above. [Aemilia Sabine, 02/2003, A-Calontir]
There is no difference between a single chevronelle and a chevron; at this time we would blazon any single central "chevronelle" as a chevron regardless of how narrowly it was drawn, to be in keeping with period armorial practices. [Aclina of Wyvern Heyghts, 02/2003, R-Caid]
[in pale three labels couped] The armory depicts all three labels in the top two-thirds of the escutcheon. These labels are therefore not in the in pale arrangement (which would distribute them equally across the shield). However, the labels cannot be blazoned in chief, because that would place the labels considerably higher on the field. The blazon term enhanced only applies when there is a standard position on the field for the charge (from which the charge has been moved towards chief). There is no standard position on the field for three labels, so enhanced is not meaningful in this context. Thus, this device is not blazonable as drawn. At this time, it appears that the armory would be acceptable if the three labels were correctly drawn in pale, as indicated in the blazon.

There was a question about whether it is acceptable to have multiple labels in a piece of armory. This is not a common period design but al-Jamal provided a number of period or near-period examples from various sources. [Valentino da Siena, 03/2003, R-An Tir]
[Per chevron] Please note that the line of partition was originally blazoned as enhanced. The line is moved slightly to chief from the most standard central position, but that is a natural consequence of only having one charge in base. The term enhanced has thus been removed from the blazon as unnecessary. [Jon the Tall, 04/2003, A-Meridies]
[a chevron between three towers argent and a fleur-de-lys] The three towers would default, given this blazon, to lie in chief. However, they are arranged somewhere between in chief and one and two. This arrangement is not blazonable and thus is not acceptable by RfS VII.7.b. [Julienne de La Rochelle, 04/2003, R-East]
We have removed the Linnaean species name from the blazon given in the Letter of Intent, as we have not specified types of flora or fauna with Linnaean designations for some years. [Dananir bint Zang al Tabib, 05/2003, A-Ealdormere]
[an eagle Or] We have removed the explicit armed sable from the blazon; this is too small a detail to mention on an eagle, and is invisible from any distance. [Heinrich von Melk, 05/2003, R-Atlantia]
[Azure, a chevron argent charged with three roundels azure] A number of comments were received about this blazon. Blazons of the form On an [underlying charge] [a group of tertiary charges] are equivalent to blazons of the form An [underlying charge] charged with [a group of tertiary charges]. The specifics of a particular piece of armory may cause one form or the other to be more mellifluous, but there is no generally applicable rule which indicates that one or the other form of blazon is preferable. [Hildegardis filia Vulframni, 07/2003, A-Artemisia]
[a lion] The primary charge was originally blazoned as a Chinese lion. We do not specify the artistic or ethnic origin of a charge in blazon unless the modified blazon indicates a significantly different type of charge from the unmodified blazon. As an example where such an adjective indicates a significantly different charge, an Oriental dragon is a sinuous wingless monster, while the default dragon has wings and a much more compact body.

Because of the wide range of depictions of lions in period, this maned quadruped with clawed feet, fangs, and a long feathery tail is sufficiently identifiable as a standard lion, and is therefore blazoned as such. [Uggedei Mighan Nidun, 07/2003, A-Artemisia]
From Wreath: Responses to Some Requests for Reblazon
In the last few months, we have received some requests for systematic reblazon of certain types of blazon in the Ordinary and Armorial. We thought we would set out Wreath and Laurel's current philosophy regarding such requests for systematic reblazon, and some of the specific requests.

There are two main reasons why armory is reblazoned. The first reason is that the submitter requests the reblazon: these cases are by their nature specific, and do not result in systematic reblazons. The second reason is that some specific type of blazon is so confusing that it will most likely not reproduce the emblazon correctly. In this category we have the March 1997 reblazon of all the seahorses, natural seahorses, or hippocampi to clearly indicate the type of charge, and the January 2003 reblazon of all the trilliums to clearly indicate the posture of the charge.

It is important to remember that while it is Laurel's right to reblazon armory at any point, a person who already has many scrolls on the walls using the original blazon may not wish to have a reblazon. As a result, we have limited reblazons to cases where the submitter has requested the reblazon or cases where the original blazon is genuinely confusing. We tend not to initiate systematic reblazons for less compelling reasons.

In some borderline cases, the issue of available time affects the decision of whether to do the systematic reblazon. When we reblazon armory, we always have to check in the files to ensure that the reblazon is correct, even if the request only appears to address a simple typographical error. (After all, just as when we do visual comparisons, an examination of the file may find that there is an error in the existing blazon that must be corrected, which may have nothing to do with the original systematic reblazon request). We are not blessed with much free time. We note with thanks those persons who, when requesting a systematic reblazon, are willing to do the (also time-consuming) preliminary research to identify all the cases which may require reblazon, rather than expecting Wreath and her staff to perform this work as well.

It may be determined that, for reasons other than inaccurate reproduction of emblazon, some particular blazon style is so problematic that it requires a systematic reblazon. People feeling strongly about any of the requests for systematic reblazon listed below - or who have similar concerns that have not yet been received - should write privately to Laurel and Wreath.

In some cases, a member of the College requests a systematic reblazon of some style of blazon which is not at all likely to cause an error in the emblazon, although examples of the blazon style in the Armorial and Ordinary may cause new heralds to emulate the undesirable blazon style. For example, despite the fact that (everyone, sing in unison!) "there is no 'e' in contourny", the SCA has registered a number of blazons using contourney. We have received one request to correct all the "contourney" spellings. So far, we have not acceded to this request, because contourney is interpreted correctly by heralds and scribes and the submitters may not wish the blazon to be corrected.

In some cases, a member of the College may request a systematic reblazon of some blazon style to help with conflict checking. It is (or should be!) generally understood that blazon is to some extent a natural language as well as a technical language, and the Armorial and Ordinary follows that language's accepted variations. Thus, one finds SCA blazons that correctly represent the same charge as, variously, a griffin rampant to sinister, a gryphon segreant and sinister facing, or a griffon contourny. One also finds heraldically identical charges blazoned using terms that span the alphabet (and thus, a section of the Ordinary), often due to the period practice of canting. Thus, a picture of a particular type of stylized dog might be blazoned as a brachet, a hound, or a talbot.

It is important to remember that the Armorial and Ordinary's primary purpose is to record names and blazons, not to provide a data base for conflict checking. While some of our friends in Library or Information Science dream of a controlled vocabulary for SCA blazon, it is unlikely to happen in the Armorial and Ordinary because so many people would have their blazons changed without their request and so many cants would be removed. We may someday, perhaps, see a "controlled vocabulary and normalized style" blazon as an adjunct to the official blazon, used for computer search purposes only. However, the magnitude of the project, and the concerns about mistakenly introducing discrepancies between the official blazon and the "controlled vocabulary" blazon, have been prohibitive.

One request for reblazon has been made on the grounds that similar armorial designs are not phrased similarly in their blazons, which adds to difficulty in conflict checking. The specific issue is the blazon of tertiary charges: the identical designs (Fieldless) On a mullet gules a trefoil Or and (Fieldless) A mullet gules charged with a trefoil Or do not have identical blazons and will not be found next to each other in the Ordinary. The request asked that all the "charged with" blazons be changed to follow the "... on a ..." convention. Because both blazon styles are clear, and because different legal blazon choices routinely result in heraldically identical items being phrased quite differently in blazon, we have chosen not to implement this request.

One other request has been received from a few different people, on the grounds that the blazon style may lead to incorrect emblazons and that it is also difficult to conflict check. This is the blazon style that reads Azure, a bend argent, three estoiles in bend sinister counterchanged, rather than the more usual Azure, on a bend between two estoiles argent an estoile azure. Note that this blazon style may be misleading, as it may lead a scribe to draw the estoiles so some part of an estoile overlaps the edge of the bend (which is usually not the case in the submitted emblazon). This blazon style is also difficult to conflict check.

This request for systematic reblazon seems more compelling than the other requests that have recently been received. We would not, however, embark on such a significant reblazon without getting the opinion of the College on whether it is necessary. It is also important to note that it will be very time-consuming to compile the list of items that may need to be re-blazoned in this request. There is no handy keyword like "trillium" to use for a search: it may be necessary to examine every piece of armory using the word "counterchanged" to assemble the list of items that might need reblazon. We also suspect there will be a large number of items which need to be visually checked at the end of the list compilation. It is important to note that in this tenure, we do not expect that this project could be completed unless the compilation of the initial list of items which may need reblazon were performed by some volunteers other than Wreath and her usual staff.

Reblazons of this blazon style may occur on a case by case basis as they come through Wreath's office, as happened this month for the submission of Christopher Jameson in the Midrealm section of this LoAR, which came to the attention of the office for a different reason. [08/2003, CL]
[a badger rampant sable] The badger was originally blazoned as sable marked argent, but it is predominantly sable with only a few small argent details. We generally do not blazon a charge as "marked" when the marking details are so small. In addition, we might mistakenly give the impression that large portions of the badger (such as its underside) are argent, which might lead to emblazons that have inadequate contrast with the argent field. [Gareth Craig, 08/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[a tulip] The tulip was originally blazoned as a Turkish tulip. However, this appears to be a reasonable variant of the standard tulip and needs not be explicitly blazoned. This particular stylization of a tulip is found in period Middle Eastern art. [Kathy of Tir Ysgithr, 08/2003, A-Atenveldt]
[Argent crusilly formy] The SCA has been fairly consistent about reblazoning a group of more than eight charges that evenly covers a field or underlying charge as a group of strewn charges. We have thus reblazoned this device from the original blazon of ten crosses formy to crusilly formy. We note that should this device be drawn on another shape for heraldic display, such as a rectangular banner or a round shield, the submitter will quite likely find that a different number of charges will fill the space better. [Christgaen von Köln, 08/2003, A-Caid]
The previous blazon ... misspelled the bretessed line of division as betressed. Betressed is not an acceptable spelling for this line of division. [Christopher Jameson, 08/2003, A-Middle]
[a fleur-de-lys] The fleur-de-lys was originally blazoned as florency but the SCA does not blazon this sort of artistic detail. Per the Cover Letter for the June 1993 LoAR (dated July 1993):
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.
[Oriana Luisa della Francesca, 09/2003, A-Ansteorra]
Seven charges on a stripe ordinary like a fess are too many to explicitly enumerate, so the blazon has been changed from on a fess ... seven compass stars to a fess ... semy of compass stars. [Gabrielle von Strassburg, 09/2003, A-Meridies]
[a bordure wavy] The blazon originally used the term undy rather than wavy. We have reblazoned it to use the more standard SCA term to avoid confusion. The term undy is confusing for two reasons. One reason is that the term undy sometimes represents a line of division (wavy) and sometimes a field division (barry wavy). Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet, p. 212, states: "Undy (also Undé or Ondé) A synonym for wavy. It is not much used today but in early blazon it was always employed, often meaning barry wavy." The other reason that the term undy is confusing is that it is prone to handwriting or typing errors, and might easily be misinterpreted as the different field division urdy. The SCA has previously chosen to avoid error-prone terms. For example, it has chosen not to use the error-prone term ermines (easily confused with ermine), in favor of the less error-prone term counter-ermine. [Ginevra Visconti, 09/2003, A-Trimaris]
There have been a number of requests in the commentary to modify the gender used in referring to (for example) a sun in its splendor or a moon in her plenitude. We allow suns to be either masculine or neuter, and we allow moons to be either feminine or neuter, and we will retain the submitter's blazon when feasible. [10/2003, CL]
In the last months we have often received commentary suggesting that some charge should be reblazoned from a specific sort of bird to a generic bird (e.g., reblazoning a hawk as a bird). We remind the College that we should only reblazon a specific sort of bird as a generic bird when the specific bird truly cannot be identified as such. We also remind the College that the reblazon to a generic bird has unfortunate side effects for conflict. As noted on the LoAR of April 1998, "Blazoned on the LoI as [a specific type of bird], as drawn it is not clearly any species of bird, so we have reblazoned it as a generic bird. Unfortunately, generic birds conflict with all birds, so this conflicts with ..." When one proposes to reblazon an imperfectly-drawn "hawk" as a generic "bird", it would lose an often-critical type CD from past or future submissions using swans, herons, chickens, peacocks, ostriches, hummingbirds, penguins, and so forth. Never forget that the suggestion to reblazon a specific bird as a generic bird is also a proposal to reward a poor artist with an unwontedly huge slice of armorial space. When we reflect on the quality of much period heraldic artwork, which is rarely precise in its depiction of birds or other animals, I think we can all agree that birds should only be reblazoned as "generic" birds when there is no other alternative.

We have also continued to receive commentary indicating that ravens that are not drawn as "hairy" birds should be reblazoned as generic birds. This suggestion does not match period armorial style, which often depicts ravens as smooth-feathered birds. Please refer to the cover letter to the January 2002 LoAR, which discusses this matter in detail, including citations in commonly-available heraldry books showing specific examples of smooth-feathered/non-hairy corbies in period heraldic art. [10/2003, CL]
[Gules, three bendlets abased argent each charged with a bendlet azure] Her previous armory submission was very similar to this but was blazoned as using bendlets abased azure fimbriated argent. That submission was returned for using fimbriated charges that were not in the center of the design, which is forbidden by RfS VIII.3. The submission is blazoned as using bendlets each charged with a bendlet, and is proportioned acceptably for that blazon.

Per the LoAR of February 2000, "In this case the blazon can make a difference: while you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict, you can 'blazon your way out of' a style problem." In the colored-in full-sized emblazon, the bendlets are identifiable as bendlets (rather than part of a complicated bendy field), and are not debased so far as to be unregisterable. [Ann Busshenell of Tylehurst, 10/2003, A-Atenveldt]
The mermaids were originally blazoned as respectant. We understand the temptation to use the term respectant: mermaids were often drawn in period so that they are slightly in trian aspect and they can thus face each other to a small extent, as these mermaids do. The LoAR of July 2001, ruling on an earlier submission of this device, stated, "The device originally blazoned the mermaids as respectant, but that implies that their bodies are in profile as well. There is no way to indicate in the blazon that the tails are symmetrical; the direction of the tail is normally artistic license and not blazoned." We agree with the previous ruling and have removed the term respectant from the blazon. [James of Riverhold, 10/2003, A-Calontir]
[Or, two foxes counter-salient in saltire purpure] His previous blazon, Or, two foxes countersalient purpure, did not clearly indicate that the foxes were in saltire. Although the most common illustrations of two animals counter-salient show animals which are counter-salient in saltire, research indicates that animals counter-salient must face in opposite directions, but are not in saltire by default. In addition, all the other SCA blazons using counter-salient for this arrangement blazon the animals explicitly in saltire. [Alfred of Warwick, 10/2003, A-Middle]
[a horse's head couped] Some commentary suggested that the head be blazoned in some fashion other than the default couped because it was "not couped in the usual horizontal manner." We direct the College to the Cover Letter of the November 2001 LoAR, which discusses period treatments of both couped and erased in some detail. Regarding the form of couped found in this emblazon, the cover letter states that one of the period depictions was "a straight line... [which could be] parallel to the side of the shield." Because Francesca's horse's head is a primary charge, drawn to fill the space, the bottom of the horse's head and neck is near the sinister base portion of the shield. The angle of the side of the shield in sinister base is approximately bendwise sinister, and the couping of the horse's head in this emblazon is roughly parallel to that sinister base portion of the side of the shield. Thus, this is a period form of couping, and it is not necessary to describe it further in blazon. [Francesca Testarossa de' Martini, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
[a tower argent] The tower was originally blazoned as argent masoned sable. This depiction is acceptable artistic license for a tower argent: as stated in the LoAR of August 1992, "As with all charges of stonework, the masoning is an artistic detail worth no difference." The submitter did not blazon the masoning explicitly on the submission form, so we have removed it from the blazon. [Gemma Meen, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
[A ram statant gules] The ram was tinctured on the Letter of Intent as gules armed Or. The horns of the ram are a large enough artistic detail so that their tincture could be blazoned (unlike the tincture of the hooves of the ram, which the SCA always leaves entirely to the artist). However, the tincture of the horns of the ram is not so important that it must be blazoned. The submitter did not blazon the horns as Or on the form, so we suspect the submitter would like to leave the tincture of the horns to artist's license, and we have omitted the arming tincture from the blazon. [Aaron Graves and Alessandra Gabrielli, 12/2003, A-Atenveldt]
The dogs were originally blazoned as mastiff hounds but they should simply be termed mastiffs. From a heraldic perspective, a mastiff and a hound are different types of dogs, and the phrase mastiff hound is as nonsensical as the phrase talbot greyhound. [Grimbrand Hundeman, 12/2003, R-Calontir]
The submitter asked that the tails of the dragon be blazoned as nowed in an Ormand knot [sic]. The SCA usually uses the term Wake knot for this knot, but the term Ormond knot is found as a synonym for this knot in standard real-world and SCA sources (Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet and the Pictorial Dictionary). Since the submitter wants to use this alternate name for the knot, we have acceded to her request, although we have fixed the spelling of the knot to the documented spelling Ormond Knot. [Symmonne Deccarrette de Villette, 01/2004, A-An Tir]
Please note that when blazoning items in saltire, the bendwise charge is blazoned first and the bendwise sinister charge is blazoned second. [Malise of Sundragon, 01/2004, A-Atenveldt]
[a pithon] This was originally blazoned as a sea-python. Firstly, the bat-winged snake monster found in this submission is blazoned as a pithon, and the natural snake is blazoned as a python. Secondly, this charge does not have a fish's tail, as one would expect from a sea-pithon. The small detail at the end of the tail is not large enough to require reblazoning this as a sea-pithon. [Setembrina Bramante, 01/2004, A-Northshield]
[a wolf's head] The wolf's head was originally blazoned as ululant, a term used in SCA heraldry for a wolf in some posture with its head pointed to chief and howling. In this emblazon, the muzzle of the head is tilted to dexter chief, which is a reasonable artistic variant for a plain wolf's head. We do not believe that it is necessary to blazon a charge consisting only of a head in profile as ululant. [Caitilín inghean Sheáin, 01/2004, A-Outlands]
[a sheaf of swords inverted Or banded argent] Parker, under banded, states that the term "is used when two or more objects (e.g. a garb or branches of a tree) are bound together with a band of different tincture." [James Irvin, 02/2004, A-Æthelmearc]
[A landscape (in pale sky azure, snow-capped mountains argent, hills vert, prairie proper, and a wheat field proper) and on a chief argent a cross gules] This armory posed some difficult questions regarding blazon: We are fortunate to have benefited by the efficiency and kindness of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. The Chief Herald of Canada, Robert D. Watt, provided the following information:
The most definitive information we have here is found on page 209 of Conrad Swan's, (now Sir Conrad Swan) landmark study entitled 'Canada: Symbols of Sovereignty' (University of Toronto Press, 1977). In the chapter on Alberta, Sir Conrad notes that the arms were assigned by Royal Warrant on 30 May 1907 and were blazoned as follows: 'Azure, in front of a range of snowy mountains proper a range of hills Vert, in base a wheat field surmounted by a prairie both also proper, on a chief Argent a St. George's cross.' The reference he gives is College of Arms 175.127. As he was York Herald at the time of writing and had full access to the records of the College, I believe it is fair to assume that this blazon can be considered absolutely accurate.
The real-world official blazon of the province of Alberta is not clearly comprehensible from the perspective of SCA blazon. It uses the term surmounted in a different way than we do. It also assumes that the reader is aware that a St. George's cross is, by definition, a cross (throughout) gules. We have elected to reblazon the armory for the SCA, as we generally do with important real-world armory when it is necessary. We have left in the ambiguous proper tinctures for the wheat field and the prairie, as this ambiguity seems to be part of the definition of the armory. By blazoning this armory, exclusive of the chief, as a landscape, we hope to make it clear for future researchers that this armory is distinct from most heraldic treatments (aside from issues of purely visual conflict). The landscape is not, for example, equivalent to a variant of a barry field, or some combination of bars, but it is an excellent example of an overly pictorial design per RfS VIII.4.a, that could not be registered to a new SCA submitter. [Alberta, 02/2004, A-Society for Creative Anchronism]
The crescents were blazoned as crescents pendant on the LoI but crescents inverted on the submission form. We have restored the submitter's preferred form. Both terms are acceptable for use in the S.C.A. [Iror of Crystal Mynes, 03/2004, A-Calontir]
[on a bend vert four bear pawprints argent and overall a bear statant sable] We were at a loss on how to blazon this armory in a way which would clearly re-create the emblazon and would also be compatible with period armorial style. As blazoned, and based on our knowlege of overall charges in period armory, we would expect the four pawprints to be evenly placed on the bend, and thus, we would expect overall bear to obscure some of the four pawprints on the bend. However, all four pawprints are visible. It is not possible to blazon the bend with a larger number of pawprints, because there is enough of the bend showing in between the bear's limbs to show that there are no pawprints under the bear. [Appolonia Notburgen, 03/2004, R-Calontir]

BOOK

[Sable, three open books Or] This submission raised the question of whether we should give difference between open and closed books. Both are found in period armory: the open book in the arms of Oxford in 1585 and the closed book in the arms of Cambridge in 1572. There are few books found in period heraldry, so it is not easy to generalize about period distinctions between open and closed books, although there is a fair amount of evidence showing that Oxford and Cambridge consistently use their books in the open and closed forms respectively in the 17th C and beyond.

Without evidence of period practice, we must rely on visual distinction, and open and closed books are visually distinct. This is therefore clear of conflict with ... Sable, a closed book palewise Or, with one CD for changing the number of books and another for open versus closed books. It is similarly clear of conflict with ... Vert, three closed books palewise, spines to sinister Or, with one CD for changing the field and another for open versus closed books. [Emma in draumspaka, 03/2002, A-An Tir]
[Azure, an open book and in base a bee argent marked sable] This does not conflict with Yale University (important non-SCA armory), Azure, an open book argent charged with Hebrew letters sable. There is one CD for adding the secondary bee, and another CD for removing the tertiary letters from the book. As seen on p. 241 of Neubecker's Heraldry-Sources, Symbols and Meanings, the Hebrew letters on the books in the arms of Yale University are few and large, and function as tertiary charges. In general, open books may be drawn with numerous small writing marks as artistic license, the writing so small that it could not be read from any distance, but such writing would not be blazoned. [Branwen filia Iohannis de Monmouth, 04/2002, A-East]
Please advise the submitter to draw the open book so it does not appear to be tilted back into the shield. [Cormac Mór, 02/2003, A-Caid]
[a merman maintaining an open book argent fimbriated gules] ... the maintained book may not be fimbriated. RfS VIII.3 states, in part, "Voiding and fimbriation may only be used with simple geometric charges placed in the center of the design." An open book is not a simple geometric charge and it is not in the center of the field in this device. Note that the book was blazoned on the Letter of Intent as an open book argent bound gules, but that blazon would not necessarily recreate the fact that the binding fimbriates the book around all of its edges. [Jens Sveinsson, 05/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[(Fieldless) On a ribbon fesswise enarched gules the words "verba volant scripta manet," overall an escallop Or] ... The ribbon in this submission was originally blazoned as a scroll. A scroll is not nearly as long and narrow as a ribbon, and is proportioned more like a billet. Æthelmearc has previously registered a badge using a scroll: Argent, on an open scroll gules an "Æ" Or. The scroll in that submission is drawn correctly and does not resemble this ribbon. Because this charge is not the same charge as the previously registered scroll, the grandfather clause does not apply to this submission.

We note that there would be stylistic difficulties with armory designed with a scroll... and overall an escallop. Due to the shapes of these charges, any such design would have a large amount of overlap between the scroll and the escallop, making the escallop just "barely overall." By previous precedent, "Barely overall charges have been ruled unacceptable for a long time and for fieldless badges overall charges must have very little overlap with the charge it surmounts" (LoAR of September 1999). [Æthelmearc, Kingdom of, 08/2003, R-Æthelmearc]

BORDURE

The bordure here is much too thin to be acceptable. Each side of a bordure is usually as thick as one-eighth to one-tenth of the shield width, and this bordure is less than one-twentieth of the shield width. Part of the problem is that the bordure was drawn with a very thick black outline compared to the outlines on the dragon's head. This outline cut into the white part of the bordure and also had somewhat of an appearance of fimbriation. [Magy McTerlach, 10/2001, R-Meridies]
[Argent ... a bordure parted bordurewise indented argent and sable] This sort of bordure has been registered in the arms of Coileáin Olafsson (registered February 1991), Gules, a sword inverted proper between a pair of lions' jambes couped Or within a bordure parted bordurewise indented sable and Or. To quote from the January 1990 LoAR (the return of Coileáin's original device submission, which used an identical bordure), "The bordure is a period usage, as noted by several commentors who adduced a number of examples of bordures and other ordinaries parted in this manner.".

The blazon for this unusual bordure treatment has been changed to be consistent with Coileáin's registration. To quote that acceptance: "The bordure was blazoned as 'indented-in-point' in the LoI. The above blazon, though not quite as elegant, is believed to be clearer.".

Please advise the submitter to draw the bordure so that the black is all on the inside and the argent is all on the outside. In Coileáin's bordure, each corner of the bordure is tinctured entirely in the outside tincture. [Heinricus vom Eichenhain, 12/2001, A-Drachenwald]
[Per pale argent and sable, a human footprint sable and two roundels in pale argent within a bordure vert] The device raised questions about marshalling. RfS XI.3 states: "Armory that appears to marshall independent arms is considered presumptuous." Without the bordure, this would be returned for the appearance of impalement, which is the display of two coats, side by side, to show marital affiliation or tenure in an office.

Armory can avoid the appearance of marshalling by adding "charges overall that were not used for marshalling in period heraldry" (RfS XI.3.a). In late period, a bordure may be added to some kinds of marshalled coats of arms as a mark of cadency: an individual who bore quartered arms as his personal arms might have a child who bore the quartered arms within a bordure. The child's arms would still be marshalled. Thus, adding a bordure will not remove the appearance of marshalling from quartered arms.

However, impaled arms show marriage or tenure in an office. In period, a second generation would not generally inherit the impaled arms in that form. The component arms of two married people might be inherited in a quartered form by a child, but would not be inherited in an impaled form.

Bordures in impaled arms traditionally cut off at the line of division. If one impaled the hypothetical arms Argent, a cross fleury within a bordure gules and Gules, a lion within a bordure argent, the resultant impaled armory would appear to be Per pale argent and gules, a cross fleury and a lion within a bordure counterchanged. As a result, armory using a per pale line of division, a bordure, and different types of charges on each side of the line of division will look like marshalled arms if the bordure changes tincture at the line of division. It may also look like marshalled armory if the bordure is a solid tincture but has good contrast with both halves of the field. The hypothetical arms Argent, a sword within a bordure sable and Or, an eagle within a bordure sable would combine when impaled to armory which would appear to be Per pale argent and Or, a sword and an eagle within a bordure sable. Thus, the only case in which a bordure may remove the appearance of impalement from armory which would otherwise appear to be impaled is if the bordure is a solid tincture and if it has poor contrast with one half of the field. That is the case with this device. [Pegge Leg the Merchant, 03/2002, A-An Tir]
Bordures may be counterchanged over a gyronny field. We have many period examples of bordures compony, which are almost the same in appearance as bordures gyronny. Because the bordure counterchanged has large enough pieces to maintain its identifiability, and it looks like a common multiply divided period bordure, it may be accepted without explicit documentation of a bordure counterchanged on a gyronny field. [Wulfgar Neumann, 03/2002, P-Outlands]
[a bordure indented] This bordure differs somewhat from the standard SCA bordure indented. This bordure indented is drawn with the indentations extending all the way to the edge of the shield, so that the indentations appear to be a series of conjoined triangles issuing from the side of the shield. (Or, alternately, drawn so that the bordure indented looks like the outside portion of a bordure parted bordurewise indented.) This bordure also has rather numerous small indentations (15 up one side), but (unlike most cases which are returned for "too many too small" indentations), the indentations are not too small to be identifiable. The indentations in this emblazon are very prominent and clearly visible. No explicit documentation was provided by the College for this form of bordure, and a number of commenters asked whether this was acceptable for SCA use.

Precedent has noted that period chiefs could be drawn with the indentations "inwards" reaching all the way to the chief line:
The device was blazoned as having three triangles issuant from chief. This style of indentation can be found in period (for example Lowell of Balumbye (Lindsay of the Mount, pl. 107)), but it was blazoned as either indented or three piles. As current scholarship believes that such chiefs were originally indented with deep indentations, we decided to blazon it as indented and leave the depth to artistic license (LoAR July 2000).
In addition, some period bordures indented approached this depiction. The Milanese Stemmario Trivulziano (second half of 15th C) has two coats of arms using bordures indented where the indentations touch the outside of the bordure: the arms of d[i] [L]uino de Barbati and the second and third quarters of Dal Vermo. Each of these emblazons has almost the same number of indentations up one side of the escutcheon as in this emblazon. While we do not have a period blazon for these arms, the modern blazon provided by the editor of the text is indented.

Because the bordure in this emblazon has a clearly identifiable indented line, and the artwork of the indentation is similar to period indented chiefs and at least one period armorial's depiction of an indented bordure, it is an acceptable variant of a bordure indented. Please also advise the submitter that the standard way to draw such a bordure through most times and places in our period would have fewer and larger indentations and would not have the indentations extend all the way to the outside of the shield. If the submitter can find a blazon term to describe this specific sort of bordure, and can show that it was considered distinct from a standard bordure indented in period, he may provide this documentation and make a request for reblazon. [Ulf de Fribois, 10/2002, A-Drachenwald]
Please note that the design of counterchanging a bordure over a pile is considered "a weirdness" in the SCA - a single step from period practice (per the LoAR of July 2001). One such step in armory is acceptable, but more than one such step is considered too far from period practice and reason for return. [Clef of Cividale, 03/2003, R-Calontir]
Please advise the submitter to draw the embattlements on the bordure so that the height of the embattlements matches their width. [Günther von Weißensee, 05/2003, A-Meridies]

CANDELABRA

[a three-armed candelabra vs. a nine-armed menorah] There is a CD between a three-armed candelabra and a nine-armed candelabra. [Uilliam of Bronzehelm, 11/2002, A-Artemisia]
[a three-armed candelabra] This does not conflict with a ... (Fieldless) A trident Or. Both three-armed candelabra and tridents are period heraldic charges. A candelabra much like this one, where the outside arms form a U-shaped arc with the center arm palewise, is found in the arms of von Krage on fol. 151 of Siebmacher. Tridents are found in the same book. A similarly-outlined trident is found in the arms of von der Gabel on fol. 149. A more angularly-outlined trident is found in the arms of von Ebnet on fol. 114. Because the charges appear to be distinct in period, and have some visual difference between them, there is a CD between them. [Uilliam of Bronzehelm, 11/2002, A-Artemisia]

CANTING

[(Fieldless) A saltcellar shedding salt argent] ... given the period canting badge of a daisy (also known as a marguerite) for someone with the given name Marguerite, quite appropriate. (It makes sense that canting badges, which are personal, might refer to the given name, while canting arms, which apply to whole families of people with different given names, apply to the surname.) [Yseulte Trevelyn, 02/2002, A-Atlantia]
[a four-leaved clover saltirewise slipped vert] We have blazoned this quatrefoil as a clover to preserve the cant. [Ærne Clover, 08/2002, A-An Tir]
The sage leaves cant on the submitter's surname, Salviati. We have therefore blazoned them as sage leaves to preserve the cant. [Dianora Salviati , 08/2002, A-East]
[(Fieldless) On an apple gules slipped and leaved vert a Roman capital letter B Or] This is an example of a type of canting badge called a rebus, where the name is phonetically represented by the emblazon. It was especially popular in medieval England: a beacon issuant from a tun was the rebus of Thomas Beckynton in the 15th C. Rebuses often included letters, as in Catherine's badge. A 16th C rebus for John Oxney showed an eagle (the symbol of the evangelist John), an ox, and the letters "ne". The rebus badge of Sir John Peeche was a peach charged with the letter "e". (Examples taken from Parker's A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry under Rebus.) [Catherine Anne Applebey, 07/2003, A-Calontir]

CARD PIQUE

[card pique vs. crabapple leaf] A crab apple leaf (as per this emblazon, and for that matter, the local apple tree) is a standard leaf shape (slim pointed oval) with a finely serrated edge. A crab apple leaf appears to be a non-period charge and thus, under RfS X.4.e, the difference from a card pique must be determined on visual grounds. There is significant difference (a CD) between this leaf shape and a card pique but not substantial (RfS X.2) difference. [Quentin de Rougemont, 11/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[card pique vs. seeblatt] No evidence has been presented, and none has been found, indicating that seeblatter and card piques were interchangeable in period. Prior precedent holds that a seeblatt and a card-pique-shaped leaf inverted are different enough on visual grounds to merit a CD. Per the LoAR of June 2003: "Since an aspen leaf is not a period heraldic charge, the difference between an aspen leaf inverted and a seeblatt must be determined on visual grounds per RfS X.4.e. There is sufficient visual difference between these two charges for a CD. A seeblatt is a heart-shaped leaf with the tip of the leaf to the base of the shield, and with some sort of notch (often, but not always, trefoil-shaped) taken out of the part of the leaf which is to chief. An aspen leaf inverted is also a leaf with the tip of the leaf to the base of the shield, but it has a very distinct stem issuant to chief rather than a notch removed from the leaf." Barring further information, it seems appropriate to rule, analogously, that there should be a CD between a seeblatt inverted and a card pique. [Quentin de Rougemont, 11/2003, R-Ansteorra]

CASTLE and TOWER

There is no difference between a tower and a lighthouse given the varying depictions of towers and similar architecture in period [Dun an Chalaidh, Shire of, 08/2001, R-An Tir]
[Sable, a chess rook argent] This is clear of conflict with ... Sable, a tower argent. There is substantial difference between a tower and a properly drawn chess rook, so RfS X.2 applies.

In the LoAR of October 1996, it was stated that there was "nothing for the difference between a tower and a chess-rook". This precedent is hereby overturned: a tower and a chess rook were considered different charges in period and have substantial visual difference. The period heraldic chess rook is drawn consistently in a form where the top is forked into two prominent curled points. This was a standard depiction for the period chess piece, as illustrated in Caxton's 1474 "Game and Playe of the Chesse". The period heraldic chess rook does not resemble any sort of fortification and cannot be mistaken for a tower. On examining the collated commentary for the October 1996 ruling, it appears that perhaps the commenters mistakenly believed that the particular chess rook in the possible conflict was drawn as a tower, rather than as a period chess rook. [William fitzBubba, 12/2001, A-East]
[a tower argent masoned sable] Architectural charges made of stonework such as towers, castles and walls may be drawn masoned as a matter of artist's license. Therefore, there is no additional tincture difference for adding or removing masoning for these types of charge. [Gemma Meen, 01/2002, R-An Tir]
[Or, on a tower pean a hawk's head erased Or] Conflict with ... Or, on a tower per pale gules and azure, a compass star Or. There is one CD for changing the tincture of the tower but nothing for changing the type only of tertiary charge by RfS X.4.j.ii, because a charged tower will not qualify for this rule. According to X.4.j.ii, "A charge is suitable for the purposes of this rule if (a) it it simple enough in outline to be voided, and (b) it is correctly drawn with an interior substantial enough to display easily recognizable charges." Towers are not simple enough in outline to be voided. [Hawk's Rest, Shire of, 07/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[a castle argent] The castle was originally blazoned as a tollgate. The castle as drawn here is similar to most two-towered castles except that it has a crossbar across the portal. It is thus almost indistinguishable from a standard castle, and may be considered an acceptable artistic variant of a castle.

We might have been willing to blazon this castle as a tollgate, as the submitter desired, had documentation been provided supporting such a blazon. However, no such documentation was provided to Laurel. Such documentation would need to indicate that a period tollgate would have a form that is standard enough to allow recreation of the emblazon from the blazon. The one named example of a period tollgate mentioned in the LoI, the Micklegate Bar in York, is not described as a tollgate by the current City of York. A picture of the Bar and a discussion of its history may be found at http://www.york.gov.uk/walls/1214th/micklegate.html, which is a portion of the Web page discussing the city from the 12th through 14th centuries. The defining crossbar in this emblazon's tollgate is not discussed in this Web site either. It appears that access through the Bar was controlled, as usual for gatehouses, by a portcullis. [Ian Cradoc, 09/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[two walls couped with portals] We have reblazoned the castles as walls, because a castle by default has a tower at each end, and these charges do not have any towers. According to the Pictorial Dictionary, walls are throughout and embattled by default, so it is necessary to blazon these walls as couped. It is also necessary to blazon the portals explicitly. [Hans Schneckenburg, 09/2003, A-Caid]
[a tower argent] The tower was originally blazoned as argent masoned sable. This depiction is acceptable artistic license for a tower argent: as stated in the LoAR of August 1992, "As with all charges of stonework, the masoning is an artistic detail worth no difference." The submitter did not blazon the masoning explicitly on the submission form, so we have removed it from the blazon. [Gemma Meen, 11/2003, A-An Tir]

CHARGE -- Maintained and Sustained

Since the July 1992 LoAR, the term maintaining has been used for grasped or held items which are too small to be worth difference. Sustaining and supporting have been used for a grasped or held item which is of comparable visual weight to the item holding it, and thus worth difference. In cases where other blazon words are used for the act of holding an item, the blazon is ambiguous about whether the held item is significant or not. It is true that the term maintaining literally derives from a Latin phrase for holding in a hand, and thus is not ideal for blazoning an item which is held in the mouth, or by the tail, of an animal. However, it seems preferable to remove the blazon ambiguity and use the word maintaining in these cases. [Godwin Alfricson, 08/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[A lion's jambe erased bendwise argent] A possible conflict was called against the badge of Berhtrad Athalbrand von Strassburg, (Fieldless) A lion's gambe bendwise erased argent, sustaining by the blade a sword bendwise sinister sable. We were asked to check the form to see that the sword was sustained, rather than maintained (which is not worth difference). Berhtrad's form shows that the sword is correctly blazoned as sustained. Recall that the criterion for a sustained charge, unchanged since the introduction of the term sustained into SCA blazon, has been:
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, p. 6)
[Gala Cunningham, 09/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[a sea-lion sustaining a sword bendwise sinister] The sword in this emblazon is as long as the sea-lion is tall. The sea-lion has notably more visual weight than the sword because the sea-lion is many times wider than the sword. This lead some members of the College to question whether the sword should be considered a maintained charge rather than a sustained charge. However, there is precedent indicating that the sword in this emblazon should be considered a sustained charge:
[a bear rampant contourny sustaining a halberd] Regarding the "significance" of the halberd, as Green Crown noted, a charge consisting mostly of a long skinny handle will always have difficulty matching the visual weight of other charges, but here the sizes of the charges are about the same as would be expected if they were in fess a bear and a halberd. That seems to be a reasonable rule of thumb for determining sustained (and qualifying for a CD), as opposed to maintained (and not qualifying for a CD), charges. (LoAR September 1994 p. 9)
In arms with a sea-lion and a sword in fess, the sword would be as long as the sea-lion is tall. Therefore, this sword should be considered a sustained charge. [Atlantia, Kingdom of, 02/2002, A-Atlantia]
[Azure, a camel rampant Or wearing a hat gules and maintaining in its mouth a bottle fesswise reversed vert] The hat (which functions as a maintained charge) and the maintained bottle both have insufficient contrast with the field. This is acceptable for maintained charges, which are not worth difference, as long as the charge in question has some contrast with the field. [Xenos the Butcher, 06/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[Purpure, a wyvern sejant maintaining a sword bendwise and in chief two thistles argent] The sword is drawn in an unrecognizable fashion. While the recognizability of maintained charges is not expected to be as good as the recognizability of primary or secondary charges, here the identifying hilt of the sword lies entirely on the wyvern, which is the same tincture. [William Cormac Britt, 07/2002, R-Meridies]
[a sword proper supporting on its point a pair of scales] Note that the LoAR of July 1992 gives both supporting and sustaining as equivalent terms used to identify co-primary charges: "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." [Conrad Tolbert Regnault, 10/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[in pale a thistle proper issuant from a tower] We have used the blazon phrase in pale to indicate that the thistle and tower are co-primary charges. The blazon A thistle proper issuant from a tower sable implies that the thistle would be a maintained charge. [Derek of Ildhafn, 01/2003, A-Caid]
[an arrow Or sustained by two stags combatant] The arrow is much thinner than the stags, but it is as tall as the stags, and the three charges could easily be blazoned as in fess. Prior precedent indicates that because these charges are about the same size as a group of charges in fess, the arrow is therefore a sustained charge rather than a maintained charge:
[registering Azure, a bear rampant contourny sustaining a halberd between, in chief, two mullets of eight points argent.] Regarding the "significance" of the halberd, as Green Crown noted, a charge consisting mostly of a long skinny handle will always have difficulty matching the visual weight of other charges, but here the sizes of the charges are about the same as would be expected if they were in fess a bear and a halberd. That seems to be a reasonable rule of thumb for determining sustained (and qualifying for a CD), as opposed to maintained (and not qualifying for a CD), charges. (LoAR September 1994)
[Gearoid MacEgan, 08/2003, A-Artemisia]
[Quarterly gules and azure, in bend sinister a Danish axe sustained by a bear rampant contourny argent] This is clear of conflict with the Barony of Bjornsborg, ...(Fieldless) A bear statant erect reguardant contourny supporting a berdiche blade to sinister argent. There is one CD for fieldlessness. There is another CD for arrangement: the Bjornsborg bear and its sustained axe are in the default arrangment for a statant erect beast sustaining a polearm (in fess), while the charges in this submission are in bend sinister. [Leifr Vagnsson, 09/2003, A-Outlands]
This does not conflict with ... (Fieldless) A wyvern erect supporting by its hub a wheel Or. There is one CD for fieldlessness and a second CD for the supported charge. Per the LoAR of July 1992, "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." [Godwin of Edington, 10/2003, A-Ansteorra]
[a talbot passant maintaining a cross of Calatrava] The talbot was originally blazoned as sustaining the cross of Calatrava. Per the Cover Letter to the LoAR of October 1996, "Maintained charges are small and do not count for difference. Sustained charges are large - large enough in fact that if they were not being held that they would be considered a co-primary, and do count for difference." In this case, while the cross of Calatrava is not a miniscule charge, it is not large enough to be considered a co-primary charge. It is smaller than the talbot both vertically and horizontally and has notably less visual weight than the talbot. Because the SCA's only choices for held charges are to consider them to be sustained co-primary charges, or to consider them maintained insignificant charges, and this cross cannot be considered a co-primary charge, it must be considered a maintained charge. [Susannah Griffon, 12/2003, R-Calontir]

CHARGE -- Miscellaneous

The Pictorial Dictionary indicates that a pair of deer's horns conjoined in this fashion may be blazoned as a deer's attires or as a massacre. The former term is closer to the submitted blazon. [Colin de Vire, 09/2001, A-Calontir]
[Sable, three braziers Or enflamed proper] This submission is clear of conflict with Seamus Gillemore, Sable, a brazier argent flaming Or. There is one CD for changing the number of the braziers. In both these armories the brazier pan is half the charge. Therefore, three-fourths of the charge tincture has changed: all of the brazier pan and half the tincture of the flames. Changing half or more of the tincture of the charge group is a second CD. [Sigmund Spelmann, 10/2001, A-Lochac]
[tennis racket] There is a strong pattern of use of constructed artifacts from all walks of life in period heraldry. The type of tennis racket drawn here is late 16th C and, as the defining example in the SCA, is now the default tennis racket. [Bertrand du Beaumanoir, 11/2001, A-Æthelmearc]
The College could not find evidence for round artist's palettes in period heraldry or as a period artifact. Without documentation for a round palette, this charge may not be registered. [Manuela Ponçe, 11/2001, R-Atlantia]
[An open penannular brooch bendwise sinister Or] Conflict with a badge of Brendan Mad, Vert, a round buckle Or. There is one CD for the field. With the best will in the world we could not give a CD between a round buckle and a penannular brooch, when the outlines are so close to identical. Recall that the direction of the pin of the buckle is artistic license. [Bríd uí Chon na Mara, 11/2001, R-Caid]
[an arm embowed and couped above the elbow] The arm as drawn here blurs the distinction between a cubit arm and an arm embowed. A cubit arm is couped just below the elbow, and an arm embowed is couped just below the shoulder. This should be resubmitted with a standard form of arm. [Anne Balfour of Markinch, 12/2001, R-Atlantia]
[a fanged tooth] As noted in the Pictorial Dictionary, "In mundane heraldry, the tooth is normally depicted as a human molar, with the roots extending to base [736]; it is blazoned (somewhat confusingly) as a 'fanged tooth'." [Owein Deykin, 01/2002, A-Meridies]
[a pillar sable surmounted by a horse passant] While the pillar and horse combination were universally found to be evocative of a carousel horse, it does not appear to be so obtrusively modern as to warrant return. Please note a very similar design found in the period arms of v. König, Siebmacher f. 146, Azure a pillar Or surmounted by a horse salient argent. [Micaela Leslie, 02/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[(Fieldless) A saltcellar shedding salt argent] ... given the period canting badge of a daisy (also known as a marguerite) for someone with the given name Marguerite, quite appropriate. (It makes sense that canting badges, which are personal, might refer to the given name, while canting arms, which apply to whole families of people with different given names, apply to the surname.)

According to the Pictorial Dictionary, when a saltcellar is drawn shedding salt, the salt must be explicitly blazoned, and so we have added that information into the blazon. We wish the submitter better luck than we had in clearly enunciating the phrase "Yseulte's saltcellar shedding salt by the seashore". [Yseulte Trevelyn, 02/2002, A-Atlantia]
[tripod pipkins] The charges in chief were blazoned as pots on the LoI, and as pipkins by the submitter. An SCA default pot lacks the prominent side handle and legs on this charge. We have thus reblazoned them as tripod pipkins. Tripod pipkins are small to medium sized pottery vessels used for cooking from the 15th C. They are round vessels with a horizontal handle and three legs in a tripod configuration. The handle is to dexter by default.

For an easily available reference on pipkins, see The Medieval Ceramic Industry of the Severn Valley, Alan Vince, specifically chap. 7 (Pottery forms and Typology, subheading Food Preparation Vessels, Pipkins). This unpublished thesis may be found on-line at http://www.postex.demon.co.uk/thesis/thesis.htm. Also according to this thesis, the same shaped vessel made of metal (rather than of pottery) would be called a tripod skillet by archeologists. A picture of a tripod skillet, which is the same shape as these pipkins, may be found on p. 162 of The Medieval Household, Geoff Egan, Medieval Science from Excavations in London: 6, to describe a vessel of this shape. [Artemisia di Serena, 02/2002, A-Caid]
[Gules, in pall inverted three feathers conjoined at the quill argent] This is also clear of conflict with ... Gules, a feather fan argent, handled Or. There is substantial difference for purposes of RfS X.2 between a feather and a feather fan. [Nakano Zenjirou Tadamasa, 02/2002, A-Calontir]
After due consideration, the visual differences between tankards and mortars and pestles are sufficient for a CD. [Elizabeth Rea, 02/2002, A-Meridies]
[a chaine shot] This depiction of the chaine shot is from the 1611 edition of Guillim's A Display of Heraldrie, which is within our grey area for documentation. The chaine shot was found as a period item before 1600: the term chaine-shot is found in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary (new edition) dated 1581 under the heading chain-shot. This emblazon matches Parker's depiction of the same charge, showing that it became a standard depiction. [Víkingr Járnhauss inn Hárlangi, 02/2002, A-Merdies]
[a coffin] Coffins have only been registered twice in the SCA, the last time in 1985. The coffins in this submission, as in the previous submissions, are six-sided shapes following the outline of the top of a hexagonal coffin palewise. Thus, the basemost side ("foot") is narrower than the chiefmost side ("head") and the wide point separating the other four sides is at shoulder height. A number of commenters asked whether this was a period coffin shape and whether coffins were found in period heraldry.

No evidence was presented, and none could be found, for coffins as charges in period heraldry. Given the wide diversity of constructed items found in period heraldry, a coffin should be an acceptable charge as long as it is drawn so that it would be recognizable to a period viewer as a coffin.

No evidence was presented, and none could be found, that the shape in this submission was a period coffin shape. Some documentation for coffins was found, consisting of pictures of coffins in illuminated manuscripts showing funeral services, pictures of existing funeral palls in embroidery references (used for draping over a coffin), and a description of one existing child's coffin c. 1400. These references all showed coffins with four-sided tops. The tops were mostly rectangular, but some coffins had trapezoidal tops, so that the "head" was wider than the "foot". Without documentation for the shape of coffin in this submission, it may not be registered.

The coffins in illustrations of funeral services were all shown from the side (during the service, or carried by pallbearers). The top-only view of the previous coffin registrations therefore seems somewhat unlikely. Future attempts to register coffins should not only address the shape of a period coffin, but should address how a period coffin would be drawn so that a period viewer would recognize it as a coffin (rather than another sort of box or chest). [Constance MacLeod, 02/2002, R-Ansteorra]
[a pickaxe argent hafted ... proper] The pickaxe, following the proper defined for axes in the Pictorial Dictionary, has a haft of wood proper. [Óláfr Ljótarson af Øy, 02/2002, R-Meridies]
[an aeolipile argent and in base a flame proper] The aeolipile is a primitive steam engine, described (and possibly invented) by Hero of Alexandria in his Pneumatica, written in approximately 150 B.C. This work was translated into Italian by Aleotti in 1547, although the work became best known through a Latin translation by F. Commandine in 1575. An English translation of this work is available at http://www.history.rochester.edu/steam/hero/index.html. Section 50 shows the steam engine and the translator's preface provides useful information about the history of the manuscript.

The aeolipile has a small sphere on the top. The sphere rotates due to jets of steam which issue from two bent tubes on opposite sides of the sphere. The sphere rests on a large closed basin which is heated to produce the steam. The basin is generally drawn in a form resembling a covered footed cauldron. The basin is apparently heated by a fire placed under the basin, between its feet.

In all the illustrations provided in the documentation provided with the submission, and in the excellent citations provided by Eastern Crown, the basin is larger than the sphere. In this submission, the basin is much smaller than the sphere (and would probably not generate enough steam to rotate the sphere). The basin in this emblazon is not only small, but it has an unusual shape: it is shaped like a shallow, wide trapezoid, without any supporting feet. The overall outline of the charge is therefore substantially different from those in the illustrations of the aeolipile, and it cannot be considered an acceptable emblazon of an aeolipile.

The illustrations of aeolipiles in the documentation are consistent enough that a correctly drawn aeolipile should be acceptable for registration. The exact disposition of the steam shooters on the sphere should be left to the artist rather than explicitly blazoned. The flame under the basin is not an integral part of the aeolipile charge: it is present in some illustrations and omitted in others. If present in the armory it should be explicitly blazoned, as was done in this submission. [Ann of Banningham, 04/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
[Sable, a flint between four furisons in saltire steels to center Or] The flint emits small tongues of flame, which are part of the standard depiction of the flint. The exact nature and disposition of the flames is artistic license. The easiest place to find the combination of furisons and flints in period heraldry is in items of Burgundian origin, because the furison and flint combination is a Burgundian badge. See, for example, the picture of a Burgundian Standard from 1476-1477 (although painted in 1616) in Colin Campbell's Medieval Flags, p. 17, where the flint and steel are shown around the picture of S. Thomas at the hoist and incorporated elsewhere on the standard. In that example, as with this armory, the flames emitting from the flint are strewn to quite some distance away from the flint itself. The flint and furison also are used in the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The collar is of linked flints and furisons. Each flint is between the steels of two respectant furisons. Due to the limitations of the metal medium of the collar (which requires that all the pieces be conjoined), the flames are only conjoined to the flint in the livery collar instead of being strewn out to a further distance. One nice portrait showing the collar of the Order is that of Antoine the "Grand bâtard" of Burgundy by Rogier van der Weyden in 1449, which is figure 250 of Lorne Campbell's Renaissance Portraits. [Julianna Neuneker Hirsch von Schutzhundheim, 05/2002, A-Caid]
[a trebuchet at full release] ... please note that the trebuchet drawn here is not the SCA default sort of catapult or in its default posture. As noted in the Pictorial Dictionary:
The type [of catapult] in most common use in medieval times was called a "trebuchet" or "swepe": powered by gravity, it used a long lever arm and a heavy counterweight. This is the most common type in Society heraldry... All types of catapult are depicted by default in their "rest" position, with the arm neither cocked and ready, nor at full release.
The catapult here drawn here does appear to be of the trebuchet variety, but it does not have a "long lever arm". Other catapult research has shown that the Pictorial Dictionary is correct in its statement that trebuchets have long lever arms. The illustration in the Pictorial Dictionary shows a lever arm that is roughly three times longer from the pivot to the basket (for the projectile) than the length from the pivot to the counterweight. The trebuchet in this submission, in contrast, has a short lever arm. The length of the arm from the pivot to the basket is less than than the length from the pivot to the counterweight. This changes the overall visual proportions of the charge (as well as, we strongly suspect, its physics) so substantially that in order to register this emblazon we would need documentation for this form of catapult.

The posture of the catapult is also not the default "rest" position (with the lever arm bendwise sinister, with the counterweight in dexter base and the basket in sinister chief), but at full release (with the lever arm palewise, with the counterweight to base and the basket to chief). We have thus blazoned the posture of the catapult explicitly. [An Tir, Kingdom of, 05/2002, R-An Tir]
A ribbon is not an acceptable heraldic charge. To quote the summary of the September 1994 analysis: "There seems to be no compelling reason to register the ribbon as an heraldic charge" (LoAR 9/94, pp. 15-16). Please see that LoAR for more details about the ribbon as a heraldic charge. [Ophelia Osborne, 05/2002, R-Meridies]
The Pictorial Dictionary notes that a scourge has three lashes and the handle to base by default. This scourge is drawn with the lashes separated widely, so the three lashes and handle form somewhat of a cross, although the tips of all three lashes bend towards the chief. The usual depiction of a scourge (as in the Pictorial Dictionary) shows the lashes closer together, mostly pointing to chief. This seems like a reasonable artistic variant of the default scourge, particularly given the space this charge must fill. [Laura de Givet, 06/2002, A-Atlantia]
[Sable, a valknut inverted argent] The Letter of Intent asked us to rule on whether the valknut should continue to be registered. As noted in the LoAR of September 1993, the valknut is a period artistic motif which was not used in period heraldry. It was incorporated into SCA heraldry and has been registered infrequently but steadily thereafter. The September 1993 argument in favor of the valknut's registration appears to continue to hold true. It is identifiable when inverted, just as a triangle is identifiable when inverted.

Would-be users of the valknut should take note of the fact that its "thin-line" nature can make it difficult to identify. Poor contrast, small size or overlying charges are all likely to render it unidentifiable. Since this device uses the valknut as the only charge on a high contrast field, it maintains its identifiability splendidly. [Esteban de Quesada, 06/2002, A-Lochac]
[bear's paw prints] There were some other concerns about the artwork. Pawprints do not show this degree of disarticulation in nature: generally the 'toes' may be separated from the 'pads' but there is no separation between the joints of the toes in the pawprint. This emblazon shows too many separate pieces of the toes to be a pawprint. Charges should be drawn either in a period heraldic stylization (where available) or in a recognizable naturalistic style. Since pawprints are not found in period heraldry, it is all the more important that they be drawn recognizably. [Dagun Karababagai, 07/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[a hawk's bell] The bell was originally blazoned as a crotal bell. A crotal bell, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "small globular or pear-shaped bell or rattle, the nature and use of which are obscure". The word crotal dates from the 12th C. Because the term crotal bell is not found in most common dictionaries of the English language, and because it is not a standard heraldic term, we have blazoned the bell as a hawk's bell, the standard heraldic term for this charge. [Remus Fletcher, 08/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[Or, a pair of eyeglass frames sable] The defining eyeglasses in the SCA are in the armory for the Order of the Grey Beard (originally registered in Meridies in August 1984, since transferred to Trimaris): Per pale sable and azure, in saltire a crutch Or and a sword inverted proper, in chief a pair of eyeglasses argent, stringed Or. The eyeglasses in that submission have solid argent lenses and Or strings for the earpieces and nosepiece. This indicates that the default SCA eyeglasses have solidly tinctured lenses, rather than transparent lenses. This matches other SCA practices for glass charges, as noted in the following precedent: "The lantern with its transparent 'glass' is not done in a period manner. As was noted in the commentary, the College has a long history of disallowing transparent objects." (LoAR August 1991 p.22).

A pair of eyeglasses blazoned with a single tincture should thus be emblazoned with the lenses and the frames in that single tincture. It is also acceptable to have the frames of eyeglasses in a different tincture than the lenses. A standard SCA blazon for such a design would be (for an example with an Or frame and vert lenses) A pair of eyeglasses Or lensed vert. Note that research on period eyeglasses shows that early eyeglasses invariably had frames: it does not appear that the eyeglasses in the badge for the Order of the Grey Beard, without any frame to rigidly hold the lenses in place, are a period sort of eyeglasses. As a result, a pair of eyeglass frames is also an acceptable charge. In such a charge, there would be no lenses present, and the field would show through where the lenses would ordinarily be.

This submission could either be blazoned as a pair of eyeglasses sable lensed Or or a pair of eyeglass frames sable. Since the submitter also has a fieldless badge using black eyeglass frames and missing (or transparent) lenses, the latter term has been used for both pieces of armory. [Edward Glass, 08/2002, A-East]
[on a chamfron azure a cross patonce argent] Please advise the submitter to draw a more standard chamfron. Chamfrons in heraldry generally have a more distinct "scoop" where the eyes are. Chamfrons in heraldry generally have rounded bottoms to follow the outline of the horse's nose, rather than squared bottoms as in this emblazon.

Most chamfrons in period heraldry do not include pieces covering the horse's ears. While the SCA accepts chamfrons with ear pieces, the ear pieces hamper the identifiability of the charge and should be drawn with care.

In this emblazon, both the chamfron and the charge on it maintain their identifiability. Therefore, this submission may be registered, even though in the past a particular piece of armory was returned because the charge on the chamfron interfered with the identifiability of the underlying chamfron. As a general rule, adding a tertiary charge to an underlying charge should not interfere with the identifiability of the underlying charge, and any such interference may be a reason for return. [Constancia Tattersall, 09/2002, A-An Tir]
[a toy top Or charged with a bar embowed to base purpure] This is the SCA's defining instance of a toy top. It is shaped, roughly, like an inverted onion dome. This shape of top is shown in the Brueghel painting of 1560, "Young Folk at Play (Children's Games)", which can be seen at http://www.ahs.uwaterloo.ca/~museum/Brueghel/tops.html.

The bar on the top was originally blazoned as a "stripe", with a suggestion that it be an artistic detail. Because the stripe is so prominent, much more prominent than the stripes on tigers or other animals for which striping is an acceptable artistic detail, the stripe functions as a tertiary charge and must be blazoned accordingly. [Máire of Skye, 10/2002, A-East]
[an hourglass] The College of Arms generally felt that the hourglass would be more recognizable with vertical posts on the sides of the frame. This hourglass is drawn with the standard top and bottom plate, but without any vertical side posts holding the top and bottom plates together. However, hourglasses without side posts were noted to be a "standard Society depiction" of an hourglass, so this depiction is acceptable: "...with the hourglass drawn in one of its standard Society depictions (i.e., without the posts)" (LoAR 26 November 1989). We encourage the submitter to draw future renditions of the hourglass with the posts to enhance the identifiability of the charge. [Nathaniel Grendel the Red, 11/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[an eye] The eye was drawn with an arc of dots hovering over the top of the eye roughly where one would expect the lashes to end. We know of no way to blazon these dots, but they were so small that they are being treated as an unblazonable artist's detail. [Nadira bint Rashid, 12/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[a two-man cross-cut saw] The saw in this submission is not the default frame saw as shown in the Pictorial Dictionary. This saw has a fesswise blade with teeth at the bottom and a handle at each end extending up over the back of the blade. This sort of saw is illustrated in Hans Sachs and Jost Amman's 1568 Book of Trades for der Zimmerman (the carpenter). In the 1973 Dover edition of this book, the illustration is on p. 95. The Book of Trades does not name this saw; other research suggests that it be termed a two-man cross-cut saw and we have so blazoned it. [Tancred of Tangewood, 12/2002, A-Ealdomere]
The cloud is not drawn in a period manner and is not acceptable: "Additionally, the cloud here is not drawn in a period manner, but is the modern "cotton candy" form of cloud." (LoAR February 1994 p.18). [Mara Fae, 12/2002, R-Outlands]
The nail was originally blazoned as a glazier's nail. The standard SCA term, which matches the term used in the blazon of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, is closing nail. [Alianor atte Red Swanne, 01/2003, A-Atlantia]
[Sable, a lion's tail nowed in a Cavendish knot Or] The College had significant concerns with the identifiability of the lion's tail as drawn here. Lion's tails are mostly identifiable due to the prominent tuft at the end of the tail. This nowed tail does not have a prominent tuft at the end. There is some "feathering" along the rest of the tail, but this is insufficient to allow the charge to be identified as a lion's tail. This needs to be redrawn with an identifiable lion's tail.

The Cavendish knot is a standard knot for a nowed tail, but the exact type of knot is generally artist's license. Because in a tail-only charge the type of knot has significant visual impact, we have blazoned the type of knot explicitly.

This does not conflict with ... Pean, a lion's tail queue-forchee erect Or. There is one CD for changing the field. When the tails are charges by themselves (rather than being attached to a lion), there is CD for the difference between a tail nowed and a tail queue-forché that is not nowed. [Sadb ingen uí Cherbaill, 01/2003, R-Calontir]
No documentation was presented for a piece of paper as a heraldic charge. The charge drawn here is a four-sided charge at an angle between palewise and bendwise sinister. The chiefmost and basemost sides of the charge are slightly embowed-counterembowed, and the other two sides are straight. This therefore cannot easily be reblazoned as a lozenge, billet or other standard heraldic charge. Without documentation for this charge, and because of its intermediate orientation between the standard heraldic orientations, it may not be accepted. [Jacobina of White Moor, 01/2003, R-East]
Baker's peels are wood-colored when proper. [Atlantia, Kingdom of, 02/2003, R-Atlantia]
[two brushes in saltire sable bristled "brown"] The brushes in the Letter of Intent were blazoned as sable handled proper. However, the brushes in the emblazon have sable handles and brown bristles. There is no defined default tincture for an artist's brush. Thus, this is not a reasonable depiction of a proper brush. As the brush cannot otherwise be blazoned accurately, it must be returned. [Dorothea Manuela Ponçe, 02/2003, R-Atlantia]
[a candle fesswise] With the best will in the world, we could not identify the charge in chief as a candle or as any other heraldic charge. This is not acceptable by RfS VII.7.a. A lit candle is much easier to identify, as the flame helps the overall identifiability of the charge. It is possible to draw an unlit candle in an identifiable fashion but this candle is drawn unusually, with spiky shapes at the wick end (possibly meant as wax drippings) that confuse the outline of the charge. Candles are almost always depicted palewise, so the unusual orientation of the charge may also contribute to the difficulty in identifiability. [John Chandler, 02/2003, R-Middle]
[beacons enflamed] The submitter has drawn the beacons with the standard fire-basket on top and the standard supporting poles. The beacons do not include a ladder from the base of the charge to the basket.

The ladder is mentioned as part of the charge in all the period real-world sources we have found that illustrate or describe a beacon, and also in the Pictorial Dictionary. Please advise the submitter to draw the beacons with a ladder.

The submitter has also drawn the beacons with a small flat piece of ground under the legs of the beacon. We were not certain whether this should be an acceptable variant of the charge. None of the sources stated that a beacon should have ground beneath the legs of the tripod. However, Fox-Davies' A Complete Guide to Heraldry depicts the beacons with such a small piece of ground beneath the legs. In addition, Guillim (second edition, 1632) depicts the beacon with a supporting cross-bar beneath the legs. The piece of ground depicted here is not much larger than the reinforcing cross-bar in the Guillim illustration. In SCA registration history, beacons have been registered with the small piece of ground under the legs, as in the arms of Gunnar Eriksson.

While the piece of ground under the legs of the beacon is not standard, and should not be encouraged, the SCA and real-world examples imply that it is a registerable artistic variant of the charge. [Wenyeva atte grene, 03/2003, A-An Tir]
[on a Mongolian yurt argent an owl sable] Please also advise the submitter to be careful when drawing the yurt. Yurts generally have a visible door flap, and do not have such pronounced vertical bar details (which presumably depict seams). The combination of the bird and the depiction of the yurt led some commenters to perceive this emblazon as an owl and a birdcage, rather than an owl and a yurt. [Alfgeirr skytja, 03/2003, A-Calontir]
The charge blazoned by the submitter as a Lombardic griffin was taken from a 7th C shield ornament found in a grave. The term Lombardic griffin was from a museum Web site that described the shield ornament. The charge looks somewhat like a bird close with its head down, its back humped, and an unusually stylized face (more like a sheep's face than a bird's face).

RfS VII.2 states that "Use of an element in period art does not guarantee its acceptability for armory." The College felt strongly that this artistic element from period is not compatible with period heraldic design and is thus not acceptable for SCA armory.

The College also felt that the "Lombardic griffin" charge submitted here could not be considered an acceptable artistic variant of a standard heraldic charge (such as a generic bird close). It certainly is not an acceptable artistic variant of the heraldic griffin, which is a winged quadruped with the back half of a lion, the front half of an eagle (including eagle foreclaws) and mammalian ears (generally, but not always, drawn as pointed ears in period).

As this charge is not a variant of a period heraldic charge, and is not an artistic motif which is compatible with heraldic style, it may not be accepted. [Clef of Cividale, 03/2003, R-Calontir]
[An armored leg erased at the calf argent in a stirrup with leather Or] .... it was difficult to identify the stirrup. Stirrups in heraldry are generally drawn as affronty charges rather than charges in profile as this stirrup is drawn. The stirrup, of course, is forced to be in a profile position because the leg is through the stirrup, and the leg is in profile. Still, please advise the Kingdom to take care to draw the stirrup so that it is clearly identifiable.

Please also advise the Kingdom that the leather through the top of the stirrup would be more identifiable if it were drawn with a clearly visible buckle, or even if it were twisted to show the strap face on rather than from the side. We have explicitly blazoned the leather as, according to the Pictorial Dictionary, the default stirrup in the SCA does not include the leather. [Middle, Kingdom of the, 03/2003, R-Middle]
[a hawk's hood facing to dexter] Some members of the College had concerns about the identifiability of the hawk's hood, and asked if it should be considered an acceptable charge. As noted in the Pictorial Dictionary, "Though a period artifact, the hawk's hood was evidently not used in period armory. It doesn't seem to have a default posture: the illustration. . . shows a hawk's hood facing to dexter." RfS VII.3, "Period Artifacts", states: "Artifacts that were known in the period and domain of the Society may be registered in armory, provided they are depicted in their period forms." As a period artifact, a hawk's hood is an acceptable charge, as long as it is drawn in a period form. The hawk's hood as drawn in this submission (which is very similar to the one in the Pictorial Dictionary) is drawn in a period form, and was quite identifiable to people at the meeting who had some knowledge of falconry (which was a very popular sport of the nobility in period).

The device does not conflict with ... Argent, six hawk's heads erased azure armed Or. There is a CD for changing the number of charges. RfS X.4.e states: "A charge not used in period armory will be considered different in type if its shape in normal depiction is significantly different." As a hawk's hood was not a period charge, we must compare the normal depictions of a hawk's head and a hawk's hood to determine the difference between them. The shape of a hawk's head, with its prominent beak, is significantly different than the shape of a hawk's hood, with no protruding beak. There is thus a CD between a hawk's head and a hawk's hood. [Edmund Wolfe, 07/2003, A-Atlantia]
Please advise the submitter to draw the spear tips so that they are clearly spearpoints, rather than lozenges. Spear tips are drawn with a more pronounced attachment (ferrule) at the bottom of the charge, and are more elongated than the charges drawn here. [Celestine Albret de Morat, 08/2003, A-Meridies]
The triangle inverted voided ployé fleury at the points azure may have been considered a single charge in German armory. However, this single charge is not heraldically distinct from three fleurs-de-lys conjoined in pall azure. We do not give difference between three charges and three conjoined charges when both groups of charges are in in the same orientation and arrangement. This is noted in the following precedent, which specifically treats of charges in annulo: "There is no difference between charges in annulo and charges in annulo which are also conjoined, although the conjoining must be blazoned when present" (LoAR January 2002).

As a result, this only has one CD from ... Or, three fleurs-de-lys in pall bases to center azure. There is one CD for fieldlessness but nothing for conjoining the fleurs-de-lys. [Sonnet Manon, 08/2003, R-An Tir]
[three tanner's bench ends] The SCA has not yet registered a tanner's bench end, and thus if this were registered, it would be the defining instance of this charge in the SCA. No documentation was provided in the LoI for this charge. The College was consistent in stating that it is necessary to document a defining instance of a charge as noted in a number of precedents, for example: "This is being returned for lack of documentation. We can find no indication that a 'muffin cap' has ever been registered before in the SCA. As a consequence, this would be the defining instance of the charge. Previous Laurel Sovereigns of Arms have held new charges to the same standard of documentation and have return them for lacking it, c.f. a winch (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, LoAR 9/92, p. 42), a Mongol helm (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, LoAR 12/92, p. 15), a zalktis (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, LoAR 1/93, p. 28) and a Viking tent arch (Da'ud ibn Auda, LoAR 5/94, p. 17)" (August 1997 LoAR, p. 16).

Although the LoI did not provide documentation for this charge, the submitter's form noted that the tanner's bench end is described in Neubecker's Heraldry, Sources Symbols and Meaning on p. 138. This page depicts two charges on escutcheons, one appearing to be an inversion of the other. The one on the sinister-most escutcheon is the same as the charge submitted here as a tanner's bench end. The caption for these illustrations states, "The heraldic documents which have been handed down to us contain many a secret. Many everyday objects remain unidentified. Often the profession or the name of the bearer of the arms holds their explanation. Though obscure, the two figures on these escutcheons are actually front ends of the special benches on which the tanners stretch their hides to clean them." Neubecker also provides a picture of a tanner's bench.

Unfortunately, Neubecker does not provide a date for these charges, for the illustrations of the charges, or for the tanner's bench. As a result, we cannot use the documentation provided by the submitter to demonstrate that tanner's bench ends were used in period heraldry. Nor can we demonstrate that a tanner's bench is a period artifact, and that the end of the bench would be a reasonable separatable piece of the artifact to use as a heraldic charge. Wreath and her staff did some further research but were unable to document this charge outside of the one citation from Neubecker mentioned above.

We thus do not have sufficient evidence to show that a tanner's bench end is a charge that is compatible with period heraldry. It is certainly quite unfortunate that the Letter of Intent omitted the submitter's documentation from Neubecker, which may have helped the College with its researches, but the College did research this charge and did not find it. While it would not surprise us to learn that this charge was period, without adequate documentation for this charge, this device must be returned. [Ormwyn of Aclei, 09/2003, R-Atlantia]
[two teapots spouts to sinister] This submission would be the defining instance of a teapot in the SCA. Precedent is consistent in indicating that defining instances of charges need to be documented as being appropriate for SCA use: "This is being returned for lack of documentation. We can find no indication that a 'muffin cap' has ever been registered before in the SCA. As a consequence, this would be the defining instance of the charge. Previous Laurel Sovereigns of Arms have held new charges to the same standard of documentation and have return them for lacking it, c.f. a winch (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, LoAR 9/92, p. 42), a Mongol helm (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, LoAR 12/92, p. 15), a zalktis (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, LoAR 1/93, p. 28) and a Viking tent arch (Da'ud ibn Auda, LoAR 5/94, p. 17)" (LoAR August 1997, p. 16).

The provided documentation does not clearly document the "teapot" vessel used in this submission as being appropriate for SCA heraldry:
Until documentation is provided showing that this vessel is a vessel which was known to Western Europeans in period, it may not be registered. The vessel may only be registered under the name "teapot" if documentation is provided showing that this form of vessel would have been identified as a teapot by Western Europeans in period.

Note that we have blazoned the teapots in this submission explicitly as spouts to sinister. Other vessels in period or SCA heraldry (such as ewers or tankards) default to having their handles to sinister and their pouring lip (when present) to dexter. [Auguste of Ben Dunfirth, 09/2003, R-Ealdormere]
[(Fieldless) A cross patonce azure] This does not conflict with Morgana Elisabetta Rosatti, (Fieldless) A cross fleury azure irradiated Or. Irradiated charges, when drawn correctly, are a CD from non-irradiated charges. Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet, defines irradiated as "Surrounded by rays of light. An irradiated charge is usually shown as if it were charged on a sun." The irradiated cross here is drawn appropriately, with very pronounced irradiation. There is thus one CD for fieldlessness, and a second CD for the irradiation. [Brigit Gilbertstoune, 11/2003, R-Atlantia]
There is substantial (RfS X.2) difference between arrows and crampons. [Diethelm Waltorfer, 12/2003, A-Ansteorra]
There is one difference for changing the field but none for changing a double- to a single-horned anvil. [Daniel de Blare, 12/2003, R-West]
[a Thor's hammer inverted vs. a stone hammer] Both the Thor's hammer inverted and the stone hammer have their heads to chief and their handles to base, so there is no change in charge orientation. A stone hammer has a head in the shape of a billet fesswise. Because the Thor's hammer is not a period heraldic charge, its difference from other types of charge must be determined on visual grounds per RfS X.4.e, and there is not sufficient visual difference between a stone hammer and a Thor's hammer inverted to give a CD. [Corwyn de Wemyss, 01/2004, R-An Tir]
[a plow] This is the defining instance of a plow in the SCA. The plow is taken from a depiction in Neubecker's Heraldry: Sources, Symbols and Meaning, p. 139, which illustrates an armorially decorated table of the Tanner's Guild of Solothurn (dated to 1594). Note that the upright handle portion of the plow is palewise and to sinister. The remainder of the plow dips a bit (as is sensible for an item designed to dig into the earth) so its bottom edge is not quite fesswise but is slightly bendwise sinister. Presumably the handle is the charge's reference point, not the digging blades. [Alan the Strong, 03/2004, A-Æthelmearc]

CHARGE -- Overall

[a fret surmounted by a badger statant] An overall charge should lie mostly on the field. Here the badger lies almost entirely on the fret. This is not stylistically acceptable by long-standing precedent. [Muirgheal inghean Raghailligh mhic Seachnasaigh, 08/2001, R-Atenveldt]
[(Fieldless) A comet purpure overall a crescent azure] The crescent has too high a proportion of overlap with the comet to be acceptable. This must be returned as per the cover letter with the November 1992 LoAR, which permitted overall charges in fieldless badges only if the area of overlap is small and all charges identifiable. [Shajar al-Yaasmeen, 09/2001, R-Ansteorra]
[a pole-axe gules overall in pale a wolf statant contourny and a stag trippant] This submission is comprised of a primary charge of an axe with an overall charge group of a wolf statant contourny and a stag trippant. This is not technically "slot machine" heraldry as it does not have a single charge group with more than two types of charge. However, there seem to be no period examples of an overall charge group comprised of two different animals. Since overall charge groups are relatively rare in period, and most of them are ordinaries, this seems to be beyond the bounds of period style. [Eric Martel, 10/2001, R-Meridies]
[a spiderweb argent overall a rose bendwise sinister gules] The overall charge does not have the necessary good contrast with the underlying field, and therefore this must be returned for reasons of contrast. [Toghan Temur, 11/2001, R-Trimaris]
Overall charges may not surmount peripheral charges such as chiefs. "The orle overlying the point violates the rule prohibiting overall charges over peripheral charges." (LoAR October 1999, p. 22). [Miles de Colwell, 12/2001, R-Lochac]
[Argent, two chevronels gules and overall an eagle displayed sable] This does not conflict with ... Argent, two chevronels gules, overall a dragon passant sable, gorged of a crown embattled, dependent therefrom a chain Or. There is one CD for changing the type of the overall charge and another for changing its posture. There is no limit on cumulative differences for changes to an overall charge group: both RfS X.4.e (type) and X.4.h (posture) independently apply to "any group placed directly on the field, including strewn charges or charges overall". While there is no exact posture comparison that can be made between dragons and eagles, these charges can both be affronty (such as displayed), in dexter-facing postures (such as close or passant) and in sinister facing postures (such as rising to sinister or rampant to sinister). There is meaningful difference between an affronty posture and a dexter-facing posture:
[Purpure, a bend sinister between two falcons rising wings addorsed Or] This is clear of ... Purpure, a bend sinister between two glaive heads addorsed Or; there is a CD for the type of secondaries, as well as a CD for orientation. (This CD is granted because both charges have the ability to be addorsed, and the falcons are not.) (LoAR 9/00)
[Ivo Blackhawk, 01/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[Argent, two chevronels gules and overall an eagle displayed sable] ... clear of conflict with Manfred, King of Sicily (important non-SCA arms), Argent, an eagle displayed sable. This possible conflict was mentioned by some commenters for a variety of reasons.

Which is the primary charge group in this device? In current SCA policy, overall charges are not primary charges. Their addition is considered a CD by RfS X.4.c, based on a period pattern of adding overall charges to a coat of arms to indicate cadency. Therefore, this device is clear of Manfred by adding the (underlying) primary charge group by RfS X.1. Should the two chevrons be considered equivalent to a chevronelly field? No evidence was presented, and none could be found, that two chevronels were an artistic variant of chevronelly in period. The two designs seem visually distinct as well. Therefore, the difference in the previous paragraph still applies. Chevronelly argent and gules, an eagle displayed sable would have been in conflict with Manfred.

Is this in visual conflict with Manfred? It is true that this design uses the opposite of the common period method of using overall charges. This design uses a complicated charge to surmount simple ordinaries. The usual period method uses a simple ordinary (often a variant of a bend or bend sinister) to surmount a base coat using more complicated charges. However, this departure from expectation does not obscure the visual realities of this emblazon. The eagle clearly overlies the chevronels, rather than the other way around. [Ivo Blackhawk, 01/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[a fret gules surmounted by a badger statant sable] The fret was difficult to identify under the badger, but was sufficiently identifiable to people at the meeting (including non-heralds) to permit registration. It should be noted that in any case where a complex-outlined charge overlies a fret, there is danger of the fret or the overlying charge becoming unidentifiable. [Muirgheal inghean Raghailligh mhic Seachnasaigh, 03/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[Per pale Or and gules, a roundel counterchanged] Conflict with Vincenzo di Palermo, Per pale Or and gules, a sword bendwise sinister surmounted by a roundel both per pale gules and Or. Because the sword and the roundel are the same tinctures, the only way to tell which charge surmounts the other is to look at the fine internal detail lines. Vincenzo's arms are thus heraldically equivalent to Per pale Or and gules a roundel surmounted by a sword both per pale gules and Or. This armory therefore only has one CD from Vincenzo's for removing the sword, by RfS X.4.c. [Yehuda ben Maimon, 04/2002, R-Middle]
[Sable, a stag's massacre surmounted by a sword inverted argent] Because the tincture of the massacre and the sword on Morgan's device are the same, neither charge is obviously either the surmounting, or surmounted, charge. Morgan's device could equivalently be blazoned as Sable, a sword inverted surmounted by a stag's massacre argent. [Morgan Owain of Staghold, 08/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Sable, a bend sinister gules fimbriated Or and overall a scorpion argent] By previous precedent, "Ermine fimbriation is disallowed (LoAR of 3 Aug 86, p.17), as are overall charges surmounting fimbriated ordinaries (9 March 86, p.12)". This armory uses a fimbriated ordinary surmounted by an overall charge, and thus is not acceptable. [Sophie Davenport, 02/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
[(Fieldless) An anchor fouled of its cable argent enfiling a coronet bendwise sinister Or pearled argent] There is a high degree of overlap between the coronet and the anchor and its cable. This is not acceptable style for overall charges on a fieldless badge for reasons of identifiability and non-period style. The same stylistic constraints which apply to charges surmounted by overall charges also apply to charges enfiled by other charges.

The orientation of the coronet is neither clearly bendwise sinister nor clearly palewise. This is not blazonable and therefore a reason for return under RfS VII.7.b. There are also contrast problems with this emblazon. The argent pearls on the coronet overlap the argent anchor, giving no contrast at those points. [William the Mariner, 04/2003, R-An Tir]
[(Fieldless) An annulet sable overall a dragon segreant argent] The dragon has a high degree of overlap with the underlying annulet, which is not acceptable style for fieldless badges. Moreover, an overall charge should extend significantly past the outlines of the underlying charge, which is not the case in this armory. [Alden Drake, 04/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[Vert, two arrows inverted in saltire Or surmounted by a tower argent] Conflict with ... Vert, two swords in saltire Or surmounted by a stone tower, the top enflamed, proper. Both pieces of armory are effectively a single group (a sheaf) of three charges. The only change to the group of three charges is the change to two-thirds of the type of the charge group (swords to arrows), which is one CD by RfS X.4.e. As an alternate interpretation, if we consider the arrows and swords to be respective primary charge groups, and the overall towers to be respective overall charge groups, armory using an overall charge is not eligible for RfS X.2 because it is not simple: "For purposes of [RfS X.2], simple armory is defined as armory that has no more than two types of charge directly on the field and has no overall charges". Thus, there is one CD for changing the type of primary charges (from arrows to swords) but no further difference. [Nikolai of Trakai, 06/2003, R-Middle]
[(Fieldless) On a ribbon fesswise enarched gules the words "verba volant scripta manet," overall an escallop Or] ... The ribbon in this submission was originally blazoned as a scroll. A scroll is not nearly as long and narrow as a ribbon, and is proportioned more like a billet. Æthelmearc has previously registered a badge using a scroll: Argent, on an open scroll gules an "Æ" Or. The scroll in that submission is drawn correctly and does not resemble this ribbon. Because this charge is not the same charge as the previously registered scroll, the grandfather clause does not apply to this submission.

We note that there would be stylistic difficulties with armory designed with a scroll... and overall an escallop. Due to the shapes of these charges, any such design would have a large amount of overlap between the scroll and the escallop, making the escallop just "barely overall." By previous precedent, "Barely overall charges have been ruled unacceptable for a long time and for fieldless badges overall charges must have very little overlap with the charge it surmounts" (LoAR of September 1999). [Æthelmearc, Kingdom of, 08/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
[Purpure, a chevron couched from dexter interlaced with a chevron couched from sinister Or and overall three arrows inverted in fess argent] Some commenters were concerned about blazoning the arrows as an overall charge group, since only the center arrow actually surmounts the chevrons. An entire charge group may be blazoned as overall without requiring that each one of the charges surmounts the primary charge group. The three identical arrows in a standard arrangement (in fess) are clearly a single charge group. [Ásta Þorvaldsdóttir, 07/2003, A-Atenveldt]
[(Fieldless) A spoon overall four needles conjoined in saltire points to center argent threaded sable] The group of needles has lost its identifiability. The points of the needles are obscured because they surmount a charge with which they have no contrast. In addition, the needles are drawn with very little taper, so that these appear to be some sort of batons rather than needles. This must be returned under RfS VIII.3, which states "Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by ... marginal contrast, ...or by being obscured by other elements of the design."

Some commenters noted that each individual needle only "barely surmounted" the spoon, as each needle lies mostly on the field and only extends partially onto the spoon. We do note that, while each individual needle is only barely surmounting the spoon, the entire group of four needles conjoined at the points does acceptably surmount the spoon: the group extends over the spoon and onto the field in all directions. Such a design is acceptable as long as identifiability of both the underlying and overlying charges is preserved, which is not the case in this emblazon. [Helene Gabrielle du Lac, 08/2003, R-Middle]
[Argent, a fret and a bordure azure] Conflict with ... Argent, fretty azure, a triple-towered castle sable within a bordure azure. ... the castle functions as an overall charge, as noted in the September 1992 Cover Letter: "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." There is thus one CD for removing the overall castle per RfS X.4.c, but no additional difference. [Ellen of York, 10/2003, R-Atlantia]
[two swords inverted in saltire surmounted by a bear's head cabossed] This emblazon is drawn with a very small overall bear's head. As a result, there is a very high degree of overlap between the swords and the bear's head. Because the swords and the small overall bear's head are the same tincture, the high degree of overlap causes the small overall charge to be insufficiently identifiable per RfS VIII.3, which states in pertinent part, "Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by significant reduction in size, marginal contrast, ... or by being obscured by other elements of the design."

In general, it is acceptable to have a (round) bear's head cabossed surmounting (long thin) swords in saltire of the same tincture, as long as the bear's head is drawn large enough to maintain its identifiability. [Gerardus Christopherus de Burgondia, 11/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[on a bend vert four bear pawprints argent and overall a bear statant sable] We were at a loss on how to blazon this armory in a way which would clearly re-create the emblazon and would also be compatible with period armorial style. As blazoned, and based on our knowlege of overall charges in period armory, we would expect the four pawprints to be evenly placed on the bend, and thus, we would expect overall bear to obscure some of the four pawprints on the bend. However, all four pawprints are visible. It is not possible to blazon the bend with a larger number of pawprints, because there is enough of the bend showing in between the bear's limbs to show that there are no pawprints under the bear. [Appolonia Notburgen, 03/2004, R-Calontir]

CHARGE -- Peripheral
see also individual peripheral ordinaries: BASE, BORDURE, CHIEF, and TIERCE and FLAUNCH.
see also MOUNT and MOUNTAIN

[Purpure, a chevron between three grape leaves inverted within an orle Or] It is standard SCA practice for an ordinary within an orle or double tressure to stop at the inside of the surrounding charge, as per the reblazon of Rouland Carre's arms in January 1991:
Rouland Carre. Device. Argent, on a bend cotised azure within an orle gules, in chief a Latin cross argent.

The LoAR blazoned this as "cotised couped", which would not have the bend throughout within the orle.
In the real world, both the "throughout" and the "within and conjoined to" combinations of ordinaries and orles/double tressures may be found, without a clear default. David Lindsay of the Mount's 1542 roll of arms gives five examples of ordinaries combined with double tressures flory counterflory. There is support for both designs in this book: with the ordinary throughout, and with the ordinary within and conjoined to the double tressure flory counterflory. Both designs are specifically found with chevrons. [Inigo Missaglia, 08/2001, A-Caid] [Ed.: The emblazon has the chevron terminated at the orle]
[Argent, a tierce gules] This device is in conflict with ... Argent, a mountain of three peaks issuant from base gules. The SCA currently considers a mountain to be a variant of a mount, which is a peripheral ordinary, as per the following precedents:
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)

[a wolf statant gules atop a mount vert] The wolf appears to be neither on nor atop the mount; a blazon which more accurately reproduces the emblazon is Argent, a mount vert, overall a wolf statant gules. However, we do not register charges that overlap peripheral ordinaries. [Bastian Wolfhart, 11/99, R-Middle]
A tierce is also a peripheral ordinary. Rule X.2 does not apply between these devices, as neither device has a primary charge. Therefore, there is only one CD for difference of type of charge group on the field. We encourage the College to research whether, under some circumstances, mountains and mounts may be considered a primary charge in their own right. After all, unlike a bordure, chief or base, a mount and its variants may be couped and centrally placed on the field. [Charles le Grey, 09/2001, R-Ansteorra]
Overall charges may not surmount peripheral charges such as chiefs. "The orle overlying the point violates the rule prohibiting overall charges over peripheral charges." (LoAR October 1999, p. 22). [Miles de Colwell, 12/2001, R-Lochac]
There is no period evidence for the artwork blazoned here as a double tressure wavy braced. The College was unable to find a blazon which would consistently reproduce this emblazon, which is a reason for return. The charge also strongly resembles an orle of chain, which is a reserved charge. Such a resemblance also is a reason for return.

The double tressure wavy braced is not a parallel situation to a double tressure dancetty braced, which was ruled to be acceptable:
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. (LoAR 1/93)
The double tressure dancetty braced was ruled to be acceptable because it looked very similar to a group of standard heraldic charges in orle and conjoined: mascles or saltorels couped. This charge resembles a group of conjoined misshapen voided ovals with pointed ends, which cannot be alternately described as a group of conjoined heraldic charges. It also resembles a simple form of Celtic knotwork, which has considered non-heraldic style for many years. One can find references to a "long-standing ban on knotwork" in November 1994, and the policies on knotwork have not changed since then. [Eithne Rannach na an tEilan Dubh, 03/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
[Per pale pean and vert, in sinister a bear rampant all within an orle Or] Impaled armory using an orle often cuts off the orle at the line of division, just as impaled armory using a bordure cuts off the bordure at the line of division. One famous example is in the arms of Balliol College, Oxford. The College was founded by Dervorguilla of Galloway, Lady of Balliol. The arms currently used by the College are the arms which she used to seal the Statutes of the College in 1282. These arms shown on her seal are impaled arms, impaling the Galloway arms of Azure, a lion rampant argent and the Balliol arms of Gules, an orle argent. This information is from the Oxford University web site at http://web.balliol.ox.ac.uk/official/history/crest/index.asp. The same coat is discussed in J.P. Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet under impale.

Therefore, just as the addition of a bordure would not remove the appearance of impaled armory (c.f. the LoAR of February 1994), neither does the addition of an orle. The orle, rather than looking like a charge added overall, merely creates the appearance of impaling two devices, each with an orle. This appears to be Pean, an orle Or impaling Vert, a bear rampant within an orle Or, and as such must be returned per RfS XI.3.b [Sáerlaith Beirre, 08/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[... a chief vert and for augmentation, on a canton Or a tower and overall a sword sable] This emblazon does not appear to depict a correct way of combining a canton with a chief. The canton as drawn in this emblazon takes up a bit less than the dexter third of the chief in its horizontal extent and extends exactly to the bottom of the chief in its vertical extent. This seems neither the correct way to charge a chief with a canton, nor the correct way to place a canton so that it surmounts the entire device.

Parker, in A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, states that a canton, when combined with a chief, will overlie the chief. This implies that the canton will extend onto the field. In this armory, since the canton and the field are of the same tincture, this might result in problems with our rules for contrast (RfS VIII.2). Franklyn and Tanner, An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry, p. 59, indicate that a canton can be charged on a chief but they also state that "A canton on a chief ought to be slightly smaller than the chief's width in order not to appear like a chief party per 'side'."

We suggest that, if the submitter resubmits, she include documentation that the form of augmentation that she plans to use is found in period armory. Note that if she attempts to resubmit with the canton lying entirely on the chief, or to otherwise submit with a charged charge on the chief, she should specifically address how such a violation of the "layer limit" (RfS VIII.1.c.ii) would be compatible with period styles of augmentation. [Rachel Wallace, 09/2002, R-Atlantia]
Some commenters asked whether it was necessary to blazon the saltire as "within and conjoined to" the orle. "It is standard SCA practice for an ordinary within an orle or double tressure to stop at the inside of the surrounding charge" (LoAR August 2001). See that LoAR for further details of period practices for orles combined with ordinaries. [Roesia de Blakehall, 11/2002, A-Atlantia]
[a chevron abased] The chevron abased here is too far to base to be acceptable without documentation for such a design in period. Overly enhanced ordinaries have been a reason for return for many years as non-period style: "These bendlets are enhanced so much to chief that the style becomes unacceptably modern" (LoAR January 1992). Overly abased ordinaries suffer from the same problem.

In the particular case of this chevron, this design could also be interpreted as a voided point pointed. Points pointed may not be voided per RfS VIII.3, which states that "Voiding and fimbriation may only be used with simple geometric charges placed in the center of the design." [Muirgius mac Con Mara hui S�gdai, 11/2002, R-Trimaris]
[three points] Previous precedent has held:
Although all three 'points' are mentioned in heraldic tracts, in practice only the base one appears to have been used; and even in the tracts, the dexter and sinister points are described as abatements of honor, to be used separately, and not in conjunction." (Da'ud ibn Auda, LoAR 4/92, p. 19) No documentation was presented to contradict this precedent. As a consequence, the precedent disallowing the use of dexter and/or sinister points remains in place (LoAR December 1993).
We also have not been provided with documentation to support this design as period style and thus continue to uphold the previous precedents. [Shirin al-Adawiya, 12/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Argent, a tierce gules] Conflict with ... Argent, a quarter gules. RfS X.4.a.i and X.4.a.ii lists the quarter as a peripheral charge for purposes of those rules. Peripheral charges may not be considered primary charges, so there is one CD for changing the type of peripheral charge, but not sufficient difference under RfS X.2.

Note that the only listing of peripheral charges in the Rules for Submission is in RfS X.4.a. Previous precedents have used these definitions in a wider sense than for that specific rule. So, even though we are here considering the question of what is a peripheral charge (and therefore not primary) for purposes of RfS X.2 rather than RfS X.4.a, it seems appropriate to be guided by the listing of peripheral charges in RfS X.4.a. [Charles the Grey of Mooneschadowe, 06/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[on a pale ... within a triple tressure] The pale is within and conjoined to the inside of the triple tressure. This is the SCA default for an ordinary within an orle or tressure... [Caroline Marie de Fontenailles, 08/2003, A-Caid]
[(Fieldless) A double tressure triskely argent] RfS VIII.5 states "Since there is no field in such a [fieldless] design, it may not use charges that rely on the edges of the field to define their shape, such as bordures and orles." Because a double tressure, like both the bordure and the orle, relies on the edges of the field to define its shape, it may not be used on a fieldless badge.

The blazon originally used the term tressure, which we have replaced with the term double tressure, although with some trepidation because of confusing artwork in the emblazon. The double tressure in this submission is not drawn with sufficent space between the two strands of the charge: the two appear to be stuck together, and thus, this charge is equivalent to an orle drawn with a line down the middle. If the intent of this armory is to depict a single strand, the confusing line down the middle of the strand should be removed, and the charge should be blazoned as an orle. The term orle should always be used for the single strand, and multiple strands should be blazoned as an explicitly enumerated tressure: double tressure or triple tressure. Take, for example, the ruling concerning the rather similar charge which was returned in the LoAR of June 1988:
The original blazon of the surrounding charge was a "tressure triskele" and it was stated that this was to refer to the submittor's [sic] services to Trimaris in the heraldic sphere since there is an award for heralds in that Kingdom called the Tressure Triskele. It was noted by more than one individual that we do not use single diminutives and so this has to be an orle and also that it is not possible to figure out what this is from the blazon 'triskele' (one person suggested that this could be an orle semy of triskeles). Neither the name nor any armoury for the award alluded to has ever been registered by the College and thus it cannot be considered to be 'grandfathered.'"
The charge in question was eventually registered by this submitter in October 1991 with the blazon an orle surmounted by an orle of triskeles argent. However that blazon could not be used to describe the charge in this submission. In the 1991 registration, the triskeles surmount the orle, while in this emblazon, the triskeles are under the orle/double tressure.

The College had concerns about the identifiability of the triskeles. Some felt that the identifiability of the triskeles was objectionably obscured by the overlap with the same-tinctured double tressure. As a visual note, though it's a matter of internal details, the orle surmounted by an orle of triskeles had better identifiability than the charge in this submission. The College also noted that the double tressure flory-counterflory (a period charge) did not have the same intrinsic identifiability difficulty as this double tressure triskely. Fleurs-de-lys by their nature are easily split into two identifiable halves, which are then placed on opposite sides of the double tressure. Triskeles do not easily split into two identifiable halves. At this time, we decline to rule on the identifiability issues concerning this submission, as the required redrawing to clarify the question of whether an orle or a double tressure is intended will change the artwork substantially. However, we advise the Trimarian College to be aware of this issue on their resubmission.

The College also had some questions about whether it was reasonable to construct a "double tressure triskely." We note that in the LoAR of July 2001, an orle issuing eight acorns (and their leaves) from the outer edge was considered to be non-period style and a reason for return: "The submitter justified the unusual treatment of the orle by citing examples in Spain of crosses terminating in acorns plus an example in Germany of a bend issuing flower. Crosses, however, traditionally have a far greater number of unusual treatments than any other type of charge, and the acorns only issue from the ends of the cross, not from the entire cross. Furthermore, none of the examples cited included the much more complex example of having acorns plus leaves issuing from a charge. Barring additional evidence, we feel that this treatment is not consistent with period style." At this time, we decline to rule on whether a double tressure triskely is too far from period style to be registered, or whether it should be considered a single step from period practice (also known as a "weirdness"), which can be registered if there is only one such single step from period style in the armory, or whether it should be considered compatible with period armorial style. We might have pended this submission for consideration of this issue, but could not do so due to the other reasons for return. We advise the Trimarian College to provide some documentation in support of this design on resubmission. [Trimaris, Kingdom of, 09/2003, R-Trimaris]

CHARGE -- Restricted or Reserved

[Argent, a cat sejant erect guardant azure between two rose branches in chevron inverted conjoined in base sable] This submission was listed in the Letter of Intent as a device and augmentation. However, this is a simple new device registration. The original blazon referred to a wreath of roses around this cat, but a wreath of roses is circular (or nearly so.) The emblazon here shows rose branches, and we have therefore so blazoned them.

The design of two rose branches in a "V" shape is close to many SCA depictions of a rose wreath. Thus the only persons who may use such a design without presumption are those who are entitled to bear a rose wreath. The submitter is a countess and Lady of the Rose and is thus entitled to such a wreath. [Judith Maryse, 10/2001, A-Trimaris]
There is no period evidence for the artwork blazoned here as a double tressure wavy braced. The College was unable to find a blazon which would consistently reproduce this emblazon, which is a reason for return. The charge also strongly resembles an orle of chain, which is a reserved charge. Such a resemblance also is a reason for return. [Eithne Rannach na an tEilan Dubh, 03/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
Please inform the submitter that the caduceus and rod of Aesculapius may be registered by the general populace and are no longer reserved to chirurgeons. [Meredith Stafford, 03/2002, R-Drachenwald]
[a coronet of trefoils and pearls] The commentary from the College showed a strong consensus that this form of coronet visually appeared to use strawberry leaves. By the May 1999 precedent on quadruple mounts, it must therefore be treated as a ducal coronet, and reserved for the use of dukes and duchesses. [Ghislaine d'Auxerre, 04/2002, R-Caid] [Ed.: There was an extensive discussion of this decision. It can be found under CORONET.]
[six annulets interlaced in annulo] The submitter is a knight and thus entitled to use a closed loop of chain. These annulets interlaced in annulo resemble a chain closely enough that they could only be registered to someone able to register the reserved charge of a closed loop of chain. [Ibrahim al-Dimashqi, 03/2003, A-Artemisia]
[Principal herald's seal. (Tinctureless) On a fess wavy between in chief two straight trumpets in saltire and triskeles sans nombre a crown of four points] The Glossary of Terms allows crowns to be used in "Kingdom/Principality armory; personal armory of Society Royal peers." The Glossary does not state that the crown may only be used in some pieces of armory belonging to the kingdom. While most kingdom armory using crowns does belong to the sovereign or the consort, various kingdoms have registered other sorts of armory using crowns, including two Principal Herald's seals, a flag, and various badges (undesignated, designated for a kingdom officer, and designated for an order).

As has been noted before, in real-world armory, the use of a crown on a coat of arms is not linked to the rank of the holder, so any policies restricting the use of crowns in SCA heraldry must be determined from SCA heraldic history and policies. Given the statement in the Glossary of Terms and the registration history, it certainly seems acceptable for Principal Herald's seals to use crowns, since the Principal Herald's seal is registered to a kingdom. We thus explicitly overrule the precedent set in the LoAR of September 1986 (although arguably the wording in the Glossary has already overruled this precedent), which stated that "[A Kingdom badge registration designated for use of a guild] The crown is reserved to the arms of Kingdoms, Principalities and Royal Peers and may not be used, even with royal permission, by other individuals or groups".

It is clear from the SCA registration history that SCA Principal Heralds' seals have not generally followed the rules for fieldless armory. For example, most SCA heralds' seals contain unconjoined charges, and many contain charges which are defined by or end at the edge of the field, such as ordinaries throughout or bordures. SCA herald's seals appear to have the same style restrictions as tinctured armory, not fieldless armory. Thus the design of this seal is acceptable, even though it uses a number of design elements that would not ordinarily be allowed in fieldless armory. [Trimaris, Kingdom of, 03/2003, A-Trimaris]
[Per pale Or and gules, two dragons combattant counterchanged] This is clear under RfS X.2 from both ... Per pale Or and gules, two winged stags combattant counterchanged and ... Per pale Or and Gules, two hippogriffs combatant counterchanged. Per the LoAR of July 2001, "There is a substantial difference between a dragon and a griffin." Dragons are at least as different from winged stags and hippogriffs as they are from griffins. [Murienne Duquette, 01/2004, A-East]

CHARGE GROUP
see also DIFFERENCE -- Groups

It may interest the College to know that examples of a chief charged with a group of charges of dissimilar tincture and type are known from the Tudor period in England. Thomas (Cardinal) Wolsey's arms were Sable on a cross engrailed argent a lion passant guardant gules between three (lion's) faces (azure or sable?) on a chief Or a rose gules between two cocks sable (per p. 80 of Gwynn-Jones and Bedingfield's Heraldry). Another example of a chief using a tertiary group with mixed types and tinctures is on p. 96 of the same book, from Wriothesley's tenure as Garter Principal King of Arms. Designs where a chief or other ordinary was charged with two different types of tertiary (an A between two Bs all in the same tincture) are rather common in Wriothesley's designs. [Liuete Liana da Luna, 08/2001, A-Caid]
[Azure, a cross of four mascles argent within and conjoined to a mascle Or] This armory uses the same type of charge as both a primary and secondary charge. Some commenters felt that this was therefore not acceptable per the following precedent:
[returning a mullet of four points throughout ... between four mullets of four points ...] This is being returned for violating the long-standing precedent of using two different sizes of the same charge on the field. (LoAR 3/98 p. 15)
However, in the cited precedent, there was a reasonable ambiguity as to which mullets were primary charges and which were secondary charges, as the emblazon could appear to be an idiosyncratic rendering of five mullets of four points in saltire. In Francesca's arms, this is not a problem. The surrounding mascle is clearly in a separate charge group from the mascles which constitute a cross. Consider the analogous case of, on a lozenge shaped shield, Azure, a cross of four mascles argent within and conjoined to an orle Or. The orle would have a resemblance to a mascle, but there would be no difficulty in distinguishing the orle from the primary mascle group. [Francesca la Curiosa, 10/2001, A-Atlantia]
[Argent goutty de sang, a laurel wreath vert] The device is clear of conflict with the Barony of Coeur d'Ennui, Argent, a laurel wreath vert within eight boars' heads couped in annulo gules. There is one CD for the type of secondary charges and another for arrangement. This is clearly a group of strewn charges rather than charges in annulo, as can be seen from the gouttes in the middle of the laurel wreath. [Campofiamme, Stronghold of, 10/2001, A-Drachenwald]
It is certainly possible to have more than one secondary charge group on the field. In the hypothetical arms Argent, a bend cotised between a mullet and a crescent all within a bordure gules, the primary charge group is the bend, the cotises are one secondary charge group, the mullet and crescent are, together, a second secondary charge group, and the bordure is a third secondary charge group (of the type often termed peripheral). Changing or removing any one of these charge groups would be a separate CD. Thus, this hypothetical coat of arms has two CDs from Argent, a bend cotised between two mullets and a chief gules. There is one CD for changing the type of half of the secondary group surrounding the cotised bend (a mullet and a crescent to two mullets) and a second CD for changing the type of the peripheral secondary group (bordure to chief). [Admiranda le Daye, 10/2001, A-Meridies]
[... on a pale azure a salmon haurient embowed contourny in chief a compass star argent ...] It is not period style to have two different tertiary groups on the same underlying charge. The difference in scale between the salmon and the compass star makes the compass star appear to be in a subsidiary charge group to the salmon. There is precedent pertaining to this matter:
[returning A mullet Or charged with a fleur-de-lys florency between five daggers points outwards sable] None of the commenters could find a similar motif: a primary charged with a tertiary X and a group of five tertiary Y's. Barring documentation of such an arrangement of tertiary charges, we believe that the motif is not a period one and therefore unregistrable. [The submission was returned for this reason and for conflict.] (Esperanza Razzolini d'Asolo, 10/95 p. 15)
[Uma, Shire of, 10/2001, R-Drachenwald]
[a pole-axe gules overall in pale a wolf statant contourny and a stag trippant] This submission is comprised of a primary charge of an axe with an overall charge group of a wolf statant contourny and a stag trippant. This is not technically "slot machine" heraldry as it does not have a single charge group with more than two types of charge. However, there seem to be no period examples of an overall charge group comprised of two different animals. Since overall charge groups are relatively rare in period, and most of them are ordinaries, this seems to be beyond the bounds of period style. [Eric Martel, 10/2001, R-Meridies]
[Per bend sinister azure and purpure semy of mullets argent, a bend sinister and in canton a mullet argent] Because strewn charges are not always disposed with geometric precision on the field, this design is confusingly close to Per bend sinister azure mullety argent and purpure mullety argent, a bend sinister argent. As a result of this ambiguity, this submission is being returned under the prior precedents against using two different sizes of the same type of charge on the field:
[returning a mullet of four points throughout ... between four mullets of four points ... ] This is being returned for violating the long-standing precedent of using two different sizes of the same charge on the field. (LoAR 3/98 p. 15)
[Catherine Abernathy, 10/2001, R-Trimaris]
[Gules, in dexter chief a fret couped argent] This also does not conflict with ... Per saltire gules and pean, a fret argent. There is one CD for the change to the field and another for the unforced move of the primary charge to dexter chief. This also does not conflict with John Thorn, Gules, a chief embattled argent. The fret here is a primary charge in a non-central position on the field. John's armory has no primary charge. Addition of a primary charge is sufficient difference by X.1. [Ané{zv}ka z Ro{zv}mitála, 11/2001, A-Ansteorra]
[Per fess sable mullety Or and azure, a dance and in base a sun Or] The device does not conflict with ... Per fess gules mullety Or, and vert, a dance and in base a terrestrial sphere Or. There is one CD for the change to the field. There is another CD for the change in type of the charge group in base, which is a different charge group from the semy group in chief. By current precedent, the semy charges must be in a separate group from all other charges (LoAR 7/2001, Giraude Benet). [Wolfgang Dracke, 11/2001, A-Artemisia]
[Per bend sable bezanty and vert, in base a hare rampant reguardant Or] This does not conflict with Cornwall, Sable bezanty (important non-SCA arms). There is one CD for the changing the field. There is a second CD for adding the rabbit, because the rabbit is not in the same charge group as the bezants. By current precedent, the semy charges must be in a separate group from all other charges (LoAR 7/2001, Giraude Benet). [Rilint Neufang, 11/2001, A-West]
[a dragon's head and a donkey's head couped addorsed] If drawn correctly, a charge group consisting of a dragon's head and a donkey's head would be acceptable in the SCA without comment. However, as drawn here, at first they appear to be the same type of charge, and it then takes some time to distinguish what types of charge these might be. There are some internal details that are visible on the black and white mini emblazon which might help somewhat with the identifiability, but they are entirely lost in the colored emblazon. This is not identifiable as drawn and must be returned. [Dubhgall mac Réamoinn, 11/2001, R-Trimaris]
[A holly branch bendwise sinister inverted vert fructed gules enfiling a mullet voided Or] The design of a charge enfiling a voided mullet is a weirdness, but it is not in itself sufficient reason for return. It is a weirdness because of the cumulative effects of the unusual voided charge (the voided mullet), the unusual action of enfiling, and the fact that the overlap implicit in the act of enfiling reduces the identifiability of both charges involved. Charges which in their standard period depiction include a large central hole (such as laurel wreaths, annulets, and mascles) are not considered a weirdness when enfiled. Charges with small central holes (such as spur rowels and rustres), and voided charges where the usual form of the charge is not voided (mullets) will be considered a weirdness when enfiled.

The question of which charge in the heraldic ring-toss is "enfiled" is one of the great heraldic cocktail party discussion topics. The SCA has a precedent on the topic which is being followed in this blazon:
[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.
[Evelyn atte Holye, 12/2001, A-Ealdormere]
[Or, on a billet gules a double cross between six roundels Or and on a chief gules three estoiles of eight rays Or] "It is not period style to have two different tertiary groups on the same underlying charge." (LoAR of October 2001, citing the LoAR of October 1995, p. 15). Here the double cross appears to be a "primary" tertiary charge, with the roundels functioning as "secondary" tertiary charges. [Alexandre Afonso de Almeida, 03/2002, R-Caid]
[in saltire a rose branch vert flowered in chief azure and a branch proper] This armory uses two different types of branch in a single charge group. No evidence has been presented, and none has been found, for two different types of branch in a single charge group in period armory. Just as we have previously disallowed two types of swords, or two types of fish, in the same charge group because it obscures the identifiability of each charge and is not period style, this also may not be accepted without supporting documentation. [Malcolm Aikman, 03/2002, R-Caid]
[Per chevron purpure fretty Or and Or, in base a bunch of grapes purpure leaved within a laurel wreath vert] This device uses three primary charges of three different types in a single charge group: the grapes, the wreath, and the fretty (which is equivalent to a fret). This is not allowable style by RfS VIII.1.a. [Bordescros, Shire of, 03/2002, R-Lochac]
[(Fieldless) A reremouse displayed sable conjoined in chief to a compass star pierced Or] The reremouse is not conjoined to the compass star but overlaps the bottom five points of the star to a greater or lesser degree. This is in itself a reason for return because it cannot clearly be recreated from the blazon. [Argus Caradoc, 03/2002, R-Meridies]
Remember, enfiling is equivalent to threading (as in threading a needle). [Randal Avery of the Mease, 04/2002, A-Artemisia]
[Per fess purpure and sable, a skull and in base an hourglass fesswise argent] There were some questions about the charge placement in this armory and the correct blazon for the armory. The visual interpretation of this emblazon shows that the skull is indeed a primary charge, the only primary in this design. This can be seen by the fact that it is mostly centered on the field and overlies the line of division. The hourglass is clearly secondary because it is in base beneath a charge which is clearly primary.

The primary nature of the skull and secondary nature of the hourglass are apparent from the blazon as well as from the emblazon. The fact that the hourglass is marked by the blazon as in base after a charge which is not explicitly positioned on the field makes it clearly a secondary charge, and the previously named charge a primary charge.

If the blazon were simply Per fess purpure and sable, a skull and an hourglass fesswise argent, then the two charges would be co-primary, with the skull entirely on the top half of the field and the hourglass entirely on the bottom half of the field. If the two charges were both explicitly positioned in chief... and in base..., they would also be co-primary charges and again be placed with the first named charge entirely on the top half of the field and the second named charge entirely on the bottom half of the field. [Soshka Gregor'evich Vilanov, 07/2002, A-Trimaris]
[Argent, two double-bitted battleaxes and a phoenix azure] We have reblazoned the device to show that it consists of a group of equally-sized primary charges arranged two and one. There were some questions in the commentary about the way in which the charges were arranged. Because all three charges are longer vertically than horizontally, it is a reasonable artistic choice to draw them so that the bottom part of the chiefmost charges is alongside the top part of the basemost charge. [Simon von Beckum, 01/2003, A-East]
[Sable, in fess a roundel between two ravens respectant all between two bars couped Or] The College generally felt that this armory appeared to use a single primary charge group consisting of three types of charges. While the two bars surrounding the central charges would certainly be considered a separate secondary group if they were throughout, the fact that they are couped removes that secondary appearance. [Helgi hrafnfæðir, 01/2003, R-Caid]
[in pale a thistle proper issuant from a tower] We have used the blazon phrase in pale to indicate that the thistle and tower are co-primary charges. The blazon A thistle proper issuant from a tower sable implies that the thistle would be a maintained charge. [Derek of Ildhafn, 01/2003, A-Caid]
[a sun ... and on a chief Or three compass stars] It is acceptable for charges on charges to be a close variant of charges on the field. This sort of design does not run afoul of the design strictures colloquially known as the "sword and dagger" problem:
[...on a chevron between three hearts argent three hearts sable] There is no problem with having the same type of charge as both secondaries and tertiaries. Submissions are only returned if the same type of charge is used as primary and secondary charges. (LoAR September 1999.)
[Geneviève de Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, 02/2003, A-Atenveldt]
[on a chief triangular Or in cross a full drop spindle and a needle fesswise sable] The small tertiary charges, which overlap each other and share the same tincture, lose their identifiability. This is reason for return by RfS VIII.3. We also advise the submitter that, as a general rule, a full drop spindle has somewhat less yarn on it and the yarn makes more of a cone shape. On resubmission, she may wish to resubmit with a more standard drop spindle in order to enhance the identifiability of the charge. [Kathleen O'Deay, 03/2003, R-Middle]
[a bezant conjoined to in pale a sinister wing and a sinister wing inverted argent all surmounting two lightning bolts crossed in saltire] This armory consists of a single group of charges (effectively, a sheaf of charges) consisting of three separate types of charge: roundel, wings, and lightning bolts. This is thus overcomplex by RfS VIII.1.a.

The odd arrangement of the wings and the bezant was commented on by a number of College members. Usually a winged object is winged with two displayed wings. Here the rotary nature of the wings' arrangement is unusual, and required a somewhat convoluted blazon as a result. We advise the submitter to consider designing the winged roundel in a more conventional fashion on his resubmission. [Jovinus Meridius, 04/2003, R-Meridies]
Some members of the College of Arms asked if it was acceptable to have a the mullet and the sun in the same charge group, or whether this was a "sword and dagger" problem. A mullet of five points is a heraldically distinct charge from a sun. The two are not possible artistic variants of each other (unlike a sword and a dagger, or a dragon and a wyvern). As a result, there is no problem having a charge group which incorporates both a sun and a mullet of five points. [Elinor Larke le Dauncer, 04/2003, R-Middle]
[On a rose argent barbed vert a cat sejant affronty sable] This does not conflict with the badge of Martin Luther, (Fieldless) A rose argent seeded of a heart gules charged with a Latin cross sable. There is one CD for fieldlessness. There is a second CD for changing the type and tincture of tertiary charge (from a black cat to a red heart). There is no additional difference for removal of the quaternary charge (the black cross on the red heart), as we do not give difference for addition, removal, or changes to quaternary charges. [Laurin of Rosewood, 06/2003, R-An Tir]
Quoting from the LoAR of June 2001, "A sheaf is considered a single charge, therefore there is [... a] CD for changing the type of the secondary charges." Here, we have changed the type but not the number of secondary charges: we have changed two open books to an arrow-sheaf and a tulip-sheaf. [Bjorn Krom Hakenberg, 07/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[on a chief azure in saltire a sword argent and an artist's brush inverted Or] Some commenters raised concerns about whether the sword and brush on the chief lost their identifiability. The concern was due to the fact that tertiary charges are smaller than primary charges and that, in this emblazon, the group of tertiary charges is of two types of charge, rather than the more common group of identical charges. In this submission, the full-sized emblazon showed no identifiability problems whatsoever. One cannot make any sort of general statement concerning the identifiability of a group of two similar but not identical types of tertiary charges: the identifiability must be determined on a case by case basis. [Gwenhwyfar ferch Dafydd, 11/2003, A-Caid]
[Argent, a scorpion fesswise contourny gules and a chief double enarched and on a point pointed sable a sheaf of arrows inverted Or] Combinations of chiefs and bases of any sort are rare in period. The combination of the non-period chief doubly enarched and the vanishingly rare charged point pointed leads to issues of field-ground reversal. It is difficult to determine if the scorpion is placed on some oddly-shaped central argent charge on a sable field, or if the armory consists of a red scorpion on an argent field between an unlikely combination of sable peripheral charges.

The combination of tinctures and types of charge in this device add to eight. RfS VIII.1.a states "As a rule of thumb, the total of the number of tinctures plus the number of types of charges in a design should not exceed eight [or the armory will be considered overly complex]." The College felt strongly that in this armory, the combination of the complexity and the aforementioned style issues pushed the armory past the limits of registerable style. [Geoffroi FitzGeorge, 01/2004, R-An Tir]
[on a bend sinister ... two hearts palewise alternating with two lozenges palewise] It is not uncommon to find a group of three charges on a stripe ordinary such as a bend, where the centermost of the group is of a different type (and sometimes of a different tincture) than the outer two. This design, using four charges of two alternating types, appears to be one step from period practice (also known as "a weirdness") but is not so far from period practice to require return. [Marie Thérèse Normand, 02/2004, A-Atlantia]
[Sable, a chevron cotised argent between three oak leaves Or] This does not conflict with ... Sable, a chevron argent cotised between three compass stars elongated to base Or. There is one CD for changing the tincture of one of the secondary charge groups (the cotises) and a second CD for changing the type of the other secondary charge group (from compass stars to oak leaves.) The cotises are a separate set of secondary charges by a number of precedents:
It is certainly possible to have more than one secondary charge group on the field. In the hypothetical arms Argent, a bend cotised between a mullet and a crescent all within a bordure gules, the primary charge group is the bend, the cotises are one secondary charge group, the mullet and crescent are, together, a second secondary charge group, and the bordure is a third secondary charge group (of the type often termed peripheral). (LoAR of October 2001)

[Argent, on a fess cotised embattled on the outer edges between three leopard's faces sable three crescents argent] This is clear of the flag of Meridies, Argent, on a fess sable, a crown of three points between two mullets argent, with one CD for the removal of the cotises and a second for the removal of the leopard's faces as they are two different charge groups (LoAR of March 2001)

The cotises are clearly a second group of secondary charges so that an additional point of difference can be obtained from adding them (LoAR of 27 November 1988, p.12)
[Melisant Saint-Clair, 02/2004, A-Atlantia]

CHESS PIECE

... and another CD for the change from a horse's head to the default double-headed chess knight. As Palimpsest notes,
... the reason for the conflict of the single-headed chess knight and a horse's head is visual. The double-headed chess knight is a period charge (found in Siebmacher in the arms of Hertzheim) so the visual standard does not apply. Even were it to apply it would clear the conflict, but the applicable standard is whether the charges were considered equivalent by period heralds. There is no reason to believe that this was the case for double-headed chess knights and horse's heads, so this submission is clear.
[Joseph Angus Wilson, 09/2001, A-Calontir]
[Sable, a chess rook argent] This is clear of conflict with ... Sable, a tower argent. There is substantial difference between a tower and a properly drawn chess rook, so RfS X.2 applies.

In the LoAR of October 1996, it was stated that there was "nothing for the difference between a tower and a chess-rook". This precedent is hereby overturned: a tower and a chess rook were considered different charges in period and have substantial visual difference. The period heraldic chess rook is drawn consistently in a form where the top is forked into two prominent curled points. This was a standard depiction for the period chess piece, as illustrated in Caxton's 1474 "Game and Playe of the Chesse". The period heraldic chess rook does not resemble any sort of fortification and cannot be mistaken for a tower. On examining the collated commentary for the October 1996 ruling, it appears that perhaps the commenters mistakenly believed that the particular chess rook in the possible conflict was drawn as a tower, rather than as a period chess rook. [William fitzBubba, 12/2001, A-East]
[a chess bishop] This is the defining case of a chess bishop. It is taken from Publicus' Ars Oratoria from the 15th C, cited from H. J. R. Murray's A History of Chess. The top of the chess piece resembles the top parts of a decrescent and an increscent (or the top portion of a mitre) and issues from a relatively standard chess piece column. [Godefroy Lévêque, 03/2002, A-Atlnatia]
[a horse's head contourny erased Or collared gules] This is clear of conflict with ... Sable, a single headed chess knight contourny Or. There is a CD for changing the field and a second CD for adding the collar. "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." (LoAR 9/93 p.5) [Ceinwen ferch Rhys ap Gawain, 03/2002, A-Caid]

CHEVRON and CHEVRON INVERTED

[Purpure, a chevron between three grape leaves inverted within an orle Or] It is standard SCA practice for an ordinary within an orle or double tressure to stop at the inside of the surrounding charge, as per the reblazon of Rouland Carre's arms in January 1991:
Rouland Carre. Device. Argent, on a bend cotised azure within an orle gules, in chief a Latin cross argent.

The LoAR blazoned this as "cotised couped", which would not have the bend throughout within the orle.
In the real world, both the "throughout" and the "within and conjoined to" combinations of ordinaries and orles/double tressures may be found, without a clear default. David Lindsay of the Mount's 1542 roll of arms gives five examples of ordinaries combined with double tressures flory counterflory. There is support for both designs in this book: with the ordinary throughout, and with the ordinary within and conjoined to the double tressure flory counterflory. Both designs are specifically found with chevrons. [Inigo Missaglia, 08/2001, A-Caid] [Ed.: the emblazon has the chevron terminated at the orle]
[Per chevron inverted] Please advise the submitter to draw the per chevron inverted line deeper, so that it extends farther to base. This is uncomfortably close to an odd sort of chief. However, this cannot be mistaken for a chief triangular or any of the other similar triangular charges or divisions, since it clearly issues from the side of the field rather than the top corners or top of the field. [Elspeth of Glendinning, 10/2001, A-An Tir]
[Chevronelly Or and gules] Conflict with Clare, Earl of Gloucester, Or three chevrons gules (Important non-SCA armory). There is no difference between chevronelly and multiple chevronels. [Ed.: See the11/2001LoAR for an extended discussion on why there is no difference.] [Torfin de Carric, 11/2001, R-Atlantia]
[Per chevron azure and vert, a chevron and in base a cross clechy argent] Conflict with ... Per chevron enhanced azure and vert, a chevronel enhanced and in base a hart statant to sinister at gaze argent. There is one CD for changing the type of the secondary charge in base. However, there is no other difference between the enhanced central chevronel and a chevron in its default central position on the field: this small change in placement on the field is considered an artistic detail. [Áine inghean uú Ghríobhtha, 01/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[a chevron embattled vs. a chevron raguly] There is a second CD for the difference between a chevron raguly (which is raguly both on the top and the bottom by default) and a chevron embattled (on the top edge only, by default.) [Mikhail Dam'ianovich, 02/2002, A-Caid]
[a fess cotised between two chevronels inverted] The cotises are too thin to be acceptable. There are also problems with the placement of the chiefmost chevronel inverted. The chiefmost chevronel inverted should issue from the sides of the shield or, at the highest, from the chiefmost corners of the shield. In this emblazon, the chiefmost chevronel inverted issues entirely from the chief of the shield. The cumulative problems with the art require that it be returned for redrawing. (Note that the placement of the bottommost chevronel inverted is acceptable. It issues from the functional equivalent of the "chiefmost corners" of its part of the shield, namely the intersection between the bottom of the bottommost cotise and the sides of the shield.)

We suggest that, when redrawing, the submitter make the fess somewhat thinner, so that the chevronels inverted and the fess are of roughly equal widths. Drawing the fess thinner will leave more room for the cotises and chevronels inverted, and will be more likely to recreate period heraldic style. We note that in the period examples we have seen of the combination of a fess between two chevronels, the fess and chevronels are of about equal width. (See Bedingfeld and Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry for some examples, one from c. 1280 on p. 8 and one on the back cover from the 15th C). [Ludwig W�rzsteiner, 10/2002, R-Meridies]
[on a chevron ... the phrase "Non Sibi Sed Todo"] Some commenters noted that no documentation had been presented for words on a chevron. Phrases on bordures, including Latin phrases, are rare but not unknown in Spanish and Italian heraldry. Phrases in Arabic are not at all uncommon in Islamic heraldry, particularly on fesses. As a result, putting a Latin phrase on a chevron seems to be at most one step from period practice, and is certainly consistent with SCA armorial practices. [Quintin Wynn, 01/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[a chevron enarched within and conjoined at the point to a chevron] The central conjunction of chevrons was blazoned on the Letter of Intent as a chevron inarched. A standard SCA chevron enarched has each arm embowed outwards (curved in the opposite direction from the arms of a chevron ployé). The SCA chevron enarched is an artistic variant of a standard chevron deriving from attempts to show the curvature of a shield. The combination of chevrons in this submission is found in Legh's 1591 Accedens of Armory, where the combination is blazoned as a chevron enarched. Parker, in his Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, blazons this combination as a chevron inarched. To avoid confusion with the already established SCA definition of a chevron enarched we have blazoned this device using standard SCA blazon terms. If there is any question about what this conjunction of chevrons looks like, we direct the reader to Parker's Glossary under chevron inarched. The book may be found in libraries and there is an on-line version at http://www002.upp.so-net.ne.jp/saitou/parker/jpglossc.htm#Chevron. [Hákon Þorgeirsson, 02/2003, A-Atenveldt]
There is no difference between a single chevronelle and a chevron; at this time we would blazon any single central "chevronelle" as a chevron regardless of how narrowly it was drawn, to be in keeping with period armorial practices. [Aclina of Wyvern Heyghts, 02/2003, R-Caid]
Because chevrons and fesses embattled (with a complex line of partition on the top of the charge and a plain line on the bottom) and embattled counter-embattled (with a complex line of partition on both sides of the charge) are found as distinct treatments in period heraldry, there is a type CD between them. [Robert Blackhawk, 04/2003, A-Outlands]
The chevron inverted issues from the top corners of the shield and only extends about halfway down the field, so that it lies almost entirely in the top half of the field. This is not an acceptable depiction of a chevron inverted. As a general rule, chevrons inverted issue from the sides of the shield. One might posit that it could be acceptable for a chevron inverted to issue from the chief corners of the field, because in some displays of armory using chevrons in period on a square form of display (a banner or a square quarter), the chevron issues from the bottom corners of the field. However, the chevrons in those period examples still effectively bisect the field. The chevron inverted in this submission is too high on the field to bisect the field. This is therefore not an acceptable depiction of a chevron inverted. [Erika Bjornsdottir, 04/2003, R-Trimaris]
[issuant from base three chevronels braced gules sable and azure] The group of chevronels in three different tinctures is considered a step from period practice (also known as a "weirdness"):
Questions were raised regarding having ... three roundels in three different tinctures. While we were unable, in a quick look, to find an example of the same charge in three different tinctures, the Dictionary of British Armory, 2 shows the arms of Milo Fitzwalter of Glouster as Gules, two bends the upper Or and lower argent., making the use of the same charge in three different tinctures only one weirdness. (LoAR February 1998)
Because this armory is only one step from period practice, it may be registered. [Timur al-Badawi, 07/2003, A-Artemisia]
Armorial designs of the form A chevron... and in base a [charge] are often drawn with the chevron higher on the field than normal, to best fill the space: "[Per chevron gules and vert, a chevron and in base a Latin cross parted and fretted Or] Though, as a number of commenters noted, the field division and chevron were drawn higher on the field than normal, in a design like this the chevron will normally be enhanced. It is not necessary to blazon the fact" (LoAR of December 1994). Even given this period tendency, please advise the submitter to draw the chevron lower on the field: it is drawn quite high on the field in this emblazon, even for this sort of armorial design. [Otto von Aken, 01/2004, A-Outlands]
There is no difference between a plain chevron and a chevron ployé... [Isabeau Lia Rossedal, 01/2004, R-Artemisia]
[Argent, three chevronels azure and overall a fleur-de-lys gules] In this emblazon, the three chevronels are crunched together in the center of the shield. We would not expect to find three chevronels so close together in period armory unless the chevronels were forced close together due to the presence of secondary charges (as one might find in the hypothetical armory Argent, three chevronels azure between three fleurs-de-lys gules). In this emblazon, the three chevronels were drawn so close together that this armory could almost be reblazoned as Argent, on a chevron azure two chevronels argent and overall a fleur-de-lys gules. As a general rule, three chevronels will be drawn to fill the field, and are in fact considered interchangeable with the chevronelly field division (see the LoAR of November 2001 for more details about this).

Period armory does admit the possibility of two small diminutives of an ordinary that are close together (rather than filling the shield): a bar gemel (bar "twinned"). The bar gemel is heraldically distinct from two bars: the bar gemel consists of two very thin bars drawn close together, while two bars will fill the space allotted to them. A bar gemel is, in effect, a voided bar. A good period example of this practice can be seen in the Herald's Roll circa 1280 on p. 8 of Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry: a coat using two bars is found in the center coat of the bottom row, whereas armory using two bars gemel is found on the dexter coat of the top row, and on the sinister coat of the middle row. No evidence has been presented, and none has been found for a "triplet" version of a bar gemel. The "gemel" treatment of other ordinaries, such as chevronels, bendlets or pallets, is vanishingly rare in period. Aside from a few examples of bendlets gemel in the 15th C Italian Stemmario Trivulziano, no evidence has been presented or found for gemel charges other than bars. The idea of a triplet version of a chevronel is thus two steps from period practice ("two weirdnesses") and not registerable. Thus, it is not reasonable to interpret this emblazon as using such a hypothetical "triplet chevronel."

Because this emblazon blurs the distinction between three chevronels and a chevron charged with two chevronels, it may not be registered per RfS VII.7.a, "Identification Requirement". [Alessandra da Ferrara, 01/2004, R-Meridies]

CHIEF

It may interest the College to know that examples of a chief charged with a group of charges of dissimilar tincture and type are known from the Tudor period in England. Thomas (Cardinal) Wolsey's arms were Sable on a cross engrailed argent a lion passant guardant gules between three (lion's) faces (azure or sable?) on a chief Or a rose gules between two cocks sable (per p. 80 of Gwynn-Jones and Bedingfield's Heraldry). Another example of a chief using a tertiary group with mixed types and tinctures is on p. 96 of the same book, from Wriothesley's tenure as Garter Principal King of Arms. Designs where a chief or other ordinary was charged with two different types of tertiary (an A between two Bs all in the same tincture) are rather common in Wriothesley's designs. [Liuete Liana da Luna, 08/2001, A-Caid]
Please advise the submitter to draw the chief thicker. The chief should be roughly one-fifth to one-third the height of the shield. [Ceara ingen uí Líadnáin, 10/2001, A-Atlantia]
This is not a pile, because it issues from the top corners of the shield. Nor is it chaussé, because it does not extend all the way to base. Nor is it a chief triangular, because it is much too deep. Nor is it a per chevron inverted field division, because it does not issue from the sides of the field. As a result, this must be returned. [Rickard of Gwyntarian, 10/2001, R-Middle]
Chiefs may not be fimbriated. Voiding and fimbriation may only be used with simple geometric charges placed in the center of the design, by RfS VIII.3. [Gerard du Quartier, 11/2001, R-Ansteorra]
[Per chevron azure and vert, a chevron and in base a cross clechy argent] This also conflicts with ... Per chevron azure and vert, a chevron and a chief embattled argent. There is one CD for changing the type of secondary charge to a cross from a chief. RfS X.4.g only allows difference to be gotten for changes to charge placement or arrangement if the change "is not caused by other changes to the design". The placement change here is caused by the change of type of secondary charge from a chief, which has a mandatory placement. Therefore, there is not a second CD for changing the arrangement. [Áine inghean uí Ghríobhtha, 01/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Argent, ... and a chief barry argent and gules] This was blazoned on the Letter of Intent with three barrulets enhanced rather than a chief barry. The College felt that the proportions of the emblazon would be better preserved with this blazon. [Ii Saburou Katsumari, 03/2002, A-Atlantia]
[a chief doubly enarched] Please advise the submitter to draw the chief doubly enarched properly. The center point should line up with the points where the chief meets the sides of the shield, as if all three points were on the same horizontal line. [Etain O'Fouhy, 04/2002, A-Artemisia]
[a chief invected] The chief is drawn with four invections, which is an acceptable number. However, the invections are much too shallow to be acceptable. Good invections are close to semicircles, about twice as wide as they are deep. These are so shallow that the line of division is not identifiable at any distance. [Jacomus Wyndswift, 04/2002, R-Caid]
[a chief enarched and invected] To quote from the LoAR of June 1997, "While it is true that lines could be enarched and also embattled, engrailed, et cetera, the enarching was basically to show the curvature of the shield". Enarched lines are an exception to the general practice of disallowing the combination of two different complex lines of partition into one line of partition, so this enarched and invected chief may be accepted. [Justinian the Gentle, 05/2002, A-Outlands]
[Per saltire gules and argent, a serpent nowed and a chief sable] The sable chief does not have sufficient contrast with the per saltire gules and argent field, because the sable chief entirely adjoins a low-contrast gules portion of the field.
The problem [of lack of contrast] 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. (LoAR June 1993)
[Þorfinna Grafeldr, 06/2002, R-Ealdormere]
The emblazon blurs the distinction between a chief and a per fess line of division. If this is a charged chief, the line marking the bottom of the chief needs to be higher, and in particular, the bottom points of the rayonny line should not extend as far down as the fess point of the shield. The moon should also be drawn larger as befits a primary charge.

If this is a per fess division, the rayonny line should extend equally over and under the fess line of the shield. In a per fess interpetation the equal visual weight of the lozenges and the moon is appropriate.

As this cannot be accurately blazoned, it must be returned per RfS VII.7. [Lyutsina Manova, 09/2002, R-An Tir]
[Argent, three crosses of Cerdaña sable between a chief and a base azure] This armory is visually equivalent to Azure, a fess argent charged with three crosses of Cerdaña two and one sable. It therefore conflicts with a number of pieces of armory protected by the SCA, including the flag of Honduras (important non-SCA flag), Azure, on a fess argent five mullets in saltire azure, and ... Azure, upon a fess argent, a mole's paw print sable. In each case there is only one CD for the cumulative changes to the group of charges on the fess. [Bianca Sereni, 09/2002, R-Ansteorra]
[... a chief vert and for augmentation, on a canton Or a tower and overall a sword sable] This emblazon does not appear to depict a correct way of combining a canton with a chief. The canton as drawn in this emblazon takes up a bit less than the dexter third of the chief in its horizontal extent and extends exactly to the bottom of the chief in its vertical extent. This seems neither the correct way to charge a chief with a canton, nor the correct way to place a canton so that it surmounts the entire device.

Parker, in A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, states that a canton, when combined with a chief, will overlie the chief. This implies that the canton will extend onto the field. In this armory, since the canton and the field are of the same tincture, this might result in problems with our rules for contrast (RfS VIII.2). Franklyn and Tanner, An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry, p. 59, indicate that a canton can be charged on a chief but they also state that "A canton on a chief ought to be slightly smaller than the chief's width in order not to appear like a chief party per 'side'."

We suggest that, if the submitter resubmits, she include documentation that the form of augmentation that she plans to use is found in period armory. Note that if she attempts to resubmit with the canton lying entirely on the chief, or to otherwise submit with a charged charge on the chief, she should specifically address how such a violation of the "layer limit" (RfS VIII.1.c.ii) would be compatible with period styles of augmentation. [Rachel Wallace, 09/2002, R-Atlantia]
[Per bend embattled ... and a chief indented] In addition, the per bend line is not correctly drawn. The per bend line should bisect the portion of the field which shows beneath the chief. The chiefmost point on the per bend line should be where the bottom of the chief meets the dexter side of the shield. [Eleanor of Orkney, 09/2002, R-Lochac]
[Gules ... on a chief Or a demi-sun issuant from the line of division gules] The demi-sun, where it issues from the line of division of the chief, extends over half way across the line. Since the demi-sun is the same tincture as the field, this obscures the identifiability both of the demi-sun and of the chief. This must therefore be returned under RfS VIII.3. This is an extension of a previous precedent which did not allow this design with the demi-sun throughout on the chief:
A demi-sun throughout on a chief must have good contrast with the charge upon which it lies (the chief). It will automatically by definition have poor contrast with the field which it adjoins (assuming that the field is not neutral). This will be permissible so long as the demi-sun is not of the same tincture as the field." (CL November 30 1990 p.1)
[Nimenefeld, Canton of, 11/2002, R-Atlantia]
The chief indented as drawn here is compatible with period style per the following precedent: "[A chief indented] The device was blazoned as having three triangles issuant from chief. This style of indentation can be found in period (for example Lowell of Balumbye (Lindsay of the Mount, pl. 107)), but it was blazoned as either indented or three piles. As current scholarship believes that such chiefs were originally indented with deep indentations, we decided to blazon it as indented and leave the depth to artistic license" (LoAR of July 2000). [Celia the Fair, 09/2003, A-Lochac]
[Azure, ... a chief vair] The chief in the full-sized emblazon has two rows of identifiable vair bells, but the bottom row of vair bells is azure against the azure field. When drawing a vair chief, the bottom row of vair bells should not be of the same tincture as the field, for contrast reasons. If the bottom row of the vair bells is the same tincture as the field, it is difficult or impossible to tell whether the chief has a plain line of division or if it has a complex line of division (such as wavy or urdy, depending on the depiction of the vair). In this emblazon, an attempt was made to clarify the issue by demarking the chief with a thick black line, but that does not materially help the contrast problem, as the thick black line is almost impossible to see between the blue bottom of the vair bells and the blue field. The thick line also raises the possibility of fimbriation: by long-standing SCA precedent, chiefs may not be fimbriated. [Caitilín ni Killane, 09/2003, R-Trimaris]
[Per saltire sable and vert ... and on a chief Or] Please advise the submitter to draw the per saltire line issuing from the intersection of the bottom of the chief and the side of the field, rather than issuing entirely from the chief. [Fiacc MacDougal, 10/2003, A-Ansteorra]

COLLAR

[a horse's head contourny erased Or collared gules] This is clear of conflict with ... Sable, a single headed chess knight contourny Or. There is a CD for changing the field and a second CD for adding the collar. "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." (LoAR 9/93 p.5) [Ceinwen ferch Rhys ap Gawain, 03/2002, A-Caid]
[stag's head erased gorged of a pearled coronet ... argent] A beast's head gorged of a coronet or collar is treated by the SCA as having a tertiary charge. "When [considering a] creature's head gorged, however, the gorging is much more prominent in proportion --- and treated as a tertiary charge." (LoAR of September 1993). A tertiary charge needs to have good contrast with the underlying charge. This coronet is the same tincture as the underlying head, so it violates our rules for contrast. On a full-sized beast, where a collar is considered an artist's detail rather than a charge in its own right, it would be acceptable to have a no-contrast detail of this nature. [Chrestienne de Waterdene, 04/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
The College was generally in agreement that the addition or deletion of a crown from the head of a (whole) animal should not be worth difference. Some period evidence was presented suggesting that, in armory using a crowned animal, the crown was at times dropped from the emblazon. Such an easily deletable artist's distinction should not be considered to be worth difference.

The College was not able to find period evidence about whether crowned animal's heads could have the crown added or deleted by artistic license. Some commenters suggested that perhaps crowns on animal's heads should be considered analogous to collars on animal's heads. Current precedent gives a CD for collaring an animal's head (as if the collar were a tertiary charge) but does not give a CD for adding a collar to a whole animal. However, these two designs are not truly analogous. A collar on an animal's head does indeed function as a tertiary charge and thus must have good contrast with the head on which it lies. This good contrast enhances the collar's visual prominence. However, a crown on an animal's head does not generally have such good contrast. The crown generally either has poor contrast with the field or with the animal's head. In addition, a crown may be further obscured by some artistic details of the head on which it lies, such as ruffled eagle's feathers or a lion's mane.

Without period evidence to the contrary, and because of the contrast problems inherent in the design of a crown on an animal's head, it does not seem appropriate to give difference for adding a crown to a charge consisting only of an animal's head. [12/2002, CL]
[A domestic cat's head caboshed sable issuant from a collar Or, dependent from the collar a fleur-de-lys azure] When an animal's head is collared, the neck shows above and beneath the collar, and the collar is treated as a tertiary charge. In this armory, the cat's head rests atop a disproportionately wide and deep collar. The cat's neck is not visible beneath the collar. This does not appear to be a period way of depicting a collared animal's head, and the size of the collar raises questions both about period depiction and about charge groups; it is too large to be a small maintained charge, but is too small to be co-primary. Without documentation for this design, it cannot be accepted.

If the submitter redraws this design with the cat's neck showing beneath the collar, the collar will count as a tertiary charge. [Cristal Fleur de la Mer, 02/2003, R-Caid]
Conflict with Enawynne Olwen, Per bend vert and azure, a sword proper surmounted by a horse's head couped argent gorged of a collar Or, chased sable. ... The collar in Enawynne's armory is sable with Or edges, and is at the very bottom of the horse's neck, so that the bottom edge of the collar lies directly on the field (unlike a usual collared head, where the collar lies entirely on the neck, with neck showing above and below the collar). In this emblazon, the gorging functions more like fimbriation of the bottom edge of the horse's neck rather than a tertiary charge on the neck. It also lacks visual significance. This oddly placed collar is thus not worth difference for its addition or removal. [Gareth Marcellus von Köln, 11/2003, R-Caid]

COMET

Some commenters felt that heading a comet of a roundel, rather than a mullet or an estoile, might be an additional problem with this armory. However, given the different period depictions of comets, a comet headed of a roundel is a reasonable variant. [Dagun Karababagai, 07/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[a comet fesswise] The comet was originally blazoned as a mullet of eight points elongated to sinister. Because the elongated point is many times longer than the mullet itself, this charge is not perceived as a mullet with an elongated point. While this charge is not an acceptable depiction of a mullet with an elongated point, it is an acceptable depiction of a comet. Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme's article "Blazoning Comets and Sparks" (1989 Caidan Heraldic Symposium Proceedings) provides a number of different period depictions of comets. Each comet consists of a small, compact head and a long trailing tail, but the specifics of the different heads and tails are quite different. One comet from c. 1301 has a round head charged with a mullet of eight points, and the tail is a long straight point, much like this charge's tail (except with slight fuzzy details). Another comet from c. 1493 has a head consisting of a mullet of eight points. Based on this evidence, this charge is a reasonable variant of a period comet. [Timur al-Badawi, 07/2003, A-Artemisia]
[a comet ... headed of a compass star] Period comets are drawn with a wide variety of head shapes, as noted in Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme's article "Blazoning Comets and Sparks" (1989 Caidan Heraldic Symposium Proceedings). The submitting barony's device has a compass star as its primary charge, so it seemed appropriate to accede to their request to blazon the shape of the head of the comet explicitly. [Highland Foorde, Barony of, 09/2003, A-Atlantia]

COMPASS STAR and SUN
see also MULLET

[Argent, a sun sable charged with a mullet of four points argent] This is in conflict with ... (Fieldless) On a mullet of seven points pommetty sable a sperm whale naiant argent. There is a CD for fieldlessness, but nothing for changing the sun to a multipointed mullet and nothing for type only of tertiary charge on a sun. This badge also conflicts with ... Argent, scaly vert, on a compass star nowed and elongated to base sable, a winged ram salient argent. There is a CD for adding the field treatment, but again, nothing for changing the type of primary charge from a compass star nowy to a sun. A compass star nowy, with its central disk, is even more like a sun than a standard compass star or multipointed mullet. Again, there is no difference for change of type only of tertiary charge on a sun. It also conflicts with ... Potenty gules and argent, a sun sable eclipsed argent charged with a mullet throughout sable. Here, there's one CD for the change of the field, nothing for change of type only of tertiary charge, and nothing for addition of the quaternary charge. [Nathaniel Constantine of Saxony, 09/2001, R-Atenveldt]
... please advise the submitter to resubmit with a more standard drawing of a sun. Period suns are generally multipointed mullets (sometimes with some wavy rays) which fit into a circle. In this case, the "sun" has points elongated to chief, base, dexter, and sinister. [Nathaniel Constantine of Saxony, 09/2001, R-Atenveldt] [Ed.: Returned for conflict]
... estoiles are one CD from compass stars. [Letia Thistelthueyt, 12/2001, A-Atlantia]
... there is no difference between a compass star and a riven star per the LoAR of April 2001. [Iamys of Loch Cairn, 01/2002, R-Meridies]
[(Fieldless) On a mullet of five greater and five lesser points Or a griffin passant contourny sable] "There's ...no difference between suns and multi-pointed mullets --- which includes compass stars" (LoAR June 1993 p.18). Therefore this badge has multiple conflicts. In each case, there is one CD for fieldlessness. In all the cases, there is nothing for change of type only of tertiary charge on a sun or multipointed mullet, as this shape is not simple for purposes of RfS X.4.j.ii. [Burke Kyriell MacDonald, 02/2002, R-Ansteorra]
[a sun vs. a mullet of sevin points] By current precedent there is not a CD between a multi-pointed mullet and sun... [Máire MacPharthláin, 02/2002, R-Calontir]
[(Fieldless) A reremouse displayed sable conjoined in chief to a compass star pierced Or] The compass star was blazoned on the Letter of Intent as pierced sable, but the piercing on the colored emblazon is not black but white. A compass star Or pierced argent would have inadequate contrast, as the piercing is equivalent to a tertiary roundel. A compass star pierced Or (which is to say, a compass star Or with an untinctured hole in the center, through which the field shows) is not acceptable on a fieldless badge per the LoAR of January 2000:
Current precedent is that we only allow the piercing of charges on fieldless badges when those charges were found pierced in period armory (thus disallowing omni-tinctured tertiary charges). While a compass star is closely related to a mullet, it is nevertheless a different charge, one not found in period armory. Therefore we are not inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt and allow it to be pierced as we would a mullet or spur rowel.
[Argus Caradoc, 03/2002, R-Meridies]
We give no type difference for the change between mullets of eight points and compass stars. [Rixa Eriksdottir, 05/2002, R-Meridies]
[Ermine, on a pile gules a demi-sun issuant from base Or] A demi-sun is a semi-circular charge. If a demi-sun is drawn from the bottom of a pile, it should subtend an arc of a circle. This charge subtends an arc of some tall thin oval and is not clearly recognizable as a demi-sun: it's too elongated. (It's so difficult to describe an unusual shape in words. The best I can do here is "an ice cream cone with some small sun rays issuant from the top of the ice cream scoop".) The rays of the charge are too short to allow this charge to be reblazoned as rays of the sun issuant from base (as can be seen in Parker's A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry under Ray). Because this charge cannot be blazoned, it must be returned for redrawing. It is not clear whether a demi-sun can be correctly drawn issuant from base on a charge as narrow at the base as a pile. [Dmitrii Ivanovich Rostovskii, 07/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Per pale Or and gules, a sun in splendor counterchanged] Conflict under RfS X.5, "Visual Test", with Ajax Thermopylokles, Per pale Or and gules, a Gorgon's head cabossed counterchanged. The particular stylization of the gorgon's head in Ajax' armory leads it to be visually very similar to a sun in splendor. The snakes are evenly arrayed radially about the gorgon's face, rather than just issuant from the top of the head as one might expect of a gorgon with snakes for hair. The gorgon's face is also very stylized, more like a mask than a face. Thus the face resembles the disk of a sun more than one might expect of a standard woman's face. Overall the visual similarity is so overwhelming that we have no choice but to call conflict under RfS X.5. In ordinary circumstances we would expect there to be X.2 difference between a variant of a human head and a sun. [Liudmila Vladimirova doch', 09/2002, R-Caid]
... no difference between a demi-sun and a demi-compass star. [Dominica Maquerelle, 09/2002, R-Meridies]
The suns in this emblazon have faces and thus could be blazoned as suns in their splendor. However, this term is not required. The suns were blazoned by the submitter simply as suns, so we have preserved the desired simpler blazon. [Signy Halfdanardottir, 10/2002, A-Drachenwald]
[Gules ... on a chief Or a demi-sun issuant from the line of division gules] The demi-sun, where it issues from the line of division of the chief, extends over half way across the line. Since the demi-sun is the same tincture as the field, this obscures the identifiability both of the demi-sun and of the chief. This must therefore be returned under RfS VIII.3. This is an extension of a previous precedent which did not allow this design with the demi-sun throughout on the chief:
A demi-sun throughout on a chief must have good contrast with the charge upon which it lies (the chief). It will automatically by definition have poor contrast with the field which it adjoins (assuming that the field is not neutral). This will be permissible so long as the demi-sun is not of the same tincture as the field." (CL November 30 1990 p.1)
[Nimenefeld, Canton of, 11/2002, R-Atlantia]
[(Fieldless) A mullet of five greater and five lesser points within and conjoined to an annulet argent] Conflict with ... Azure, a compass rose argent. There's one CD for fieldlessness. Precedent holds that a compass star within an annulet has no difference from a compass rose: "There is no difference given between a compass rose and a compass star within an annulet" (LoAR June 2000). No difference is given between mullets of six or more points, so this submission's mullet of five greater and five lesser points within an annulet is heraldically equivalent to a compass star within an annulet. [Hans Dörrmast von der Wanderlust, 12/2002, R-An Tir]
There is one CD for the difference between a sun and a demi-sun, but there is not substantial difference for purposes of RfS X.2. In addition, there are a number of other conflicting pieces of armory consisting solely of a demi-compass star or demi-mullet of eight or more points on a field. Demi-mullets of many points are not given type difference from a demi-sun, and the submitter should be careful to avoid these conflicts on resubmission. [Atenveldt, Kingdom of, 12/2002, R-Atenveldt]
... RfS X.4.j.ii does not apply to charges on suns because of the complex outline of the sun. Thus, there is no difference for changing the type only of tertiary charge. [Nimenefeld, Canton of, 01/2003, R-Atlantia]
There is no difference between a sun and a mullet of eight points... [Nimenefeld, Canton of, 01/2003, R-Atlantia]
We also advise the submitter that, while a compass star is defined as a mullet of four greater and four lesser points, the lesser points need to be drawn larger, perhaps about half the length of the primary rays of the mullet. Here they are so small that they are very hard to see. [Aclina of Wyvern Heyghts, 02/2003, R-Caid] [Ed.: Returned for conflict.]
[a demi-sun eclipsed issuant from base counterchanged] While the fact that the demi-sun is eclipsed does hamper its identifiability, the overall identifiability of the charge remains acceptable. [Jon the Tall, 04/2003, A-Meridies]
Some members of the College of Arms asked if it was acceptable to have a the mullet and the sun in the same charge group, or whether this was a "sword and dagger" problem. A mullet of five points is a heraldically distinct charge from a sun. The two are not possible artistic variants of each other (unlike a sword and a dagger, or a dragon and a wyvern). As a result, there is no problem having a charge group which incorporates both a sun and a mullet of five points. [Elinor Larke le Dauncer, 04/2003, R-Middle]
[a mullet of four points elongated to base vs. a compass star] There is no difference between a mullet of four points and a compass star per the LoAR of January 2001: "As neither a compass star nor a mullet of four points are period charges, and they differ only by the addition of the lesser points, there is not a CD between a mullet of four points and a compass star." There is also no difference for the slight artistic variant in elongating the bottom point of a mullet. [Catherine Diana de Chambéry, 05/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[(Fieldless) A mullet of eight points gyronny purpure and argent] This does not conflict with ... Ermine, a mullet of four points gyronny argent and purpure. There is one CD for fieldlessness. There is a second CD between a mullet of eight points and a mullet of four points. Note that this is a different case from the comparison of a compass star with a mullet of four points. Because of the unusual, and non-period, design of the compass star, with its four greater and four lesser points, a compass star conflicts both with a mullet of four points and with a mullet of eight points. [Alia Marie de Blois, 07/2003, A-Outlands]
There is no type difference between the compass stars and the mullets of six points. Because of the unusual (and non-period) design of compass stars, with their four greater and four lesser points, they are considered as variants of both mullets of four points and mullets of eight points. There is no type difference between mullets of six points and mullets of eight points and, hence, no difference between mullets of six points and compass stars. [Brian Sigfridsson von Niedersachsen, 07/2003,R-Atenveldt]
There is no difference between a sun and a mullet of eight points per the following precedent: "There is ... nothing for the difference between a sun and a multi-pointed mullet" (LoAR May 1998, p. 28). [Disa blat{o,}nn, 08/2003, R-Caid]
There have been a number of requests in the commentary to modify the gender used in referring to (for example) a sun in its splendor or a moon in her plenitude. We allow suns to be either masculine or neuter, and we allow moons to be either feminine or neuter, and we will retain the submitter's blazon when feasible. [10/2003, CL]
[mullets vs. compass stars] ... a second CD between the default mullets of five points and compass stars. RfS X.4.e states that "A charge not used in period armory will be considered different in type if its shape in normal depiction is significantly different." Compass stars are not used in period armory and thus must be compared with mullets of five points on visual grounds. They have sufficient visual difference to be given a CD. [Asad de Barcelona, 10/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
There is no difference for changing only the type of the tertiary charge on a sun under either the new or old version of RfS X.4.j.ii, since a sun is not a "suitable" charge under that rule. [Fionnghuala inghen ui Chonchobhair, 12/2003, R-Drachenwald]
Both Parker, in A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, and Brooke-Little, in An Heraldic Alphabet, explain that a sun in his glory is the same thing as a sun in his splendor. This information is found under the header "sun". [Caerell mac Domnaill, 02/2004, A-Ansteorra]

COMPLEXITY
see also STYLE

[a pole-axe gules overall in pale a wolf statant contourny and a stag trippant] This submission is comprised of a primary charge of an axe with an overall charge group of a wolf statant contourny and a stag trippant. This is not technically "slot machine" heraldry as it does not have a single charge group with more than two types of charge. However, there seem to be no period examples of an overall charge group comprised of two different animals. Since overall charge groups are relatively rare in period, and most of them are ordinaries, this seems to be beyond the bounds of period style. [Eric Martel, 10/2001, R-Meridies]
[Per chevron purpure fretty Or and Or, in base a bunch of grapes purpure leaved within a laurel wreath vert] This device uses three primary charges of three different types in a single charge group: the grapes, the wreath, and the fretty (which is equivalent to a fret). This is not allowable style by RfS VIII.1.a. [Bordescros, Shire of, 03/2002, R-Lochac]
[adding coronets to a device] This submission exceeds the rule of thumb for complexity in RfS VIII.1.a, as the number of tinctures and the number of types of charge total nine. This rule of thumb may be exceeded in cases where the armory adheres strongly to period armorial design, but that is not the case in this device.

It is important to note that the allowances for overcomplexity when considering augmentations do not apply to simple device changes. Device changes incorporating symbols of rank are not augmentations. Augmentations are a special honor from the crown. [Sara Charmaine of Falkensee, 01/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
[a bezant conjoined to in pale a sinister wing and a sinister wing inverted argent all surmounting two lightning bolts crossed in saltire] This armory consists of a single group of charges (effectively, a sheaf of charges) consisting of three separate types of charge: roundel, wings, and lightning bolts. This is thus overcomplex by RfS VIII.1.a.

The odd arrangement of the wings and the bezant was commented on by a number of College members. Usually a winged object is winged with two displayed wings. Here the rotary nature of the wings' arrangement is unusual, and required a somewhat convoluted blazon as a result. We advise the submitter to consider designing the winged roundel in a more conventional fashion on his resubmission. [Jovinus Meridius, 04/2003, R-Meridies]
[in pale a stag at gaze argent and a bow bendwise sinister, drawn and with arrow nocked Or] The armory is not overly complex "slot machine" heraldry (using more than two types of charge in a single charge group) because prior precedent indicates that a bow and arrow in a standard position are treated as if they were a single charge. A drawn bow and arrow are in a standard position for a bow and arrow.
[considering a strung bow and arrow along with another charge] The question was raised as to whether or not this is considered slot machine since it has three dissimilar charges in one group. While it is true that it has three charges, when a bow and arrow are in their standard, expected position they are considered one charge, just like a sword in a scabbard is considered one charge. It is only when they are separated, or put into non standard positions for their normal use, such as being crossed in saltire, that they become two separate charges. (LoAR April 1999)
[Rotheric Kynith, 06/2003, A-Caid]
[Per chevron sable and Or, three fleurs-de-lis in chevron Or and lying atop a single-horned anvil a smith's hammer sable] RfS VIII.1.a states in part that "Three or more types of charges should not be used in the same group." (Charge groups using three or more types of charge are sometimes colloquially known in the SCA as "slot-machine" heraldry.) Traditionally, maintained charges are not considered when determining whether armory is too complex to comply with this portion of RfS VIII.1.a. In this submission, the smith's hammer is effectively a maintained charge and thus can be disregarded for purposes of this portion of RfS VIII.1.a, leaving only two types of charge in the group: the fleurs-de-lis and the anvil. [Gilbert Valker, 07/2003, A-Lochac]
[Per pale argent and vert, a thistle and a drawn bow reversed and nocked with an arrow counterchanged, on a chief gules three goblets Or] The Letter of Intent noted that this was a complex device. It cited the precedent stating: "[considering a strung bow and arrow along with another charge] The question was raised as to whether or not this is considered slot machine since it has three dissimilar charges in one group. While it is true that it has three charges, when a bow and arrow are in their standard, expected position they are considered one charge, just like a sword in a scabbard is considered one charge. It is only when they are separated, or put into non standard positions for their normal use, such as being crossed in saltire, that they become two separate charges" (April 1999 LoAR, p. 6).

The cited precedent addresses the part of RfS VIII.1, which states "three or more types of charges should not be used in the same group". In this submission, the primary charge group consists of the thistle and the bow and arrow, and by the cited precedent, this primary charge group is considered to have two types of charge for purposes of the "number of types of charge in one group" portion of RfS VIII.1: a thistle, and a "bow and arrow" charge.

The cited precedent does not, however, address the portion of RfS VIII.1, which states "In no case should the number of different tinctures or types of charges be so great as to eliminate the visual impact of any single design element. As a rule of thumb, the total of the number of tinctures plus the number of types of charges in a design should not exceed eight." The visual complexity of this armory is extreme: the design is not visually coherent, the visual impact of the various design elements is minimized, and in general, the design does not appear to be period style. The most complex armory generally found in period was designed in Tudor England, but Tudor armory generally has significantly more symmetry and coherence than this armory. One could legitimately argue that the 1999 precedent cited above about bows and arrows doesn't apply to RfS VIII.1 in general, but just applies to the issue of multiple types of charge in a single charge group. However, because the "complexity count" of types + tinctures is a rule of thumb, rather than a hard and fast rule, it doesn't strictly matter whether we decide that the number of tinctures and charges in the design adds to nine (counting the bow and the arrow separately) or eight (counting the bow and arrow together as a "bow and arrow") charge. Inspection of this armory shows that it has "crossed over the line" for allowable complexity, and must be returned. [Brian McRay, 09/2003, R-Caid]

CONTRAST

[Checky Or and argent, on a fess sable ...] The use of Checky Or and argent is grandfathered to the Kingdom of An Tir. [An Tir, Kingodm of, 09/2001, A-An Tir]
[Purpure ... a ford proper] Please advise the submitter to draw the ford so that an argent stripe is against the purpure field. This is still identifiable as a ford since it has enough stripes, so this does not need to be returned for contrast problems. [Sabine d'Angers, 10/2001, A-An Tir]
[Argent, an angel argent winged and garbed gules crined and cuirassed sable] The device blazon appears at first glance to refer to an argent angel on an argent field. However, given the tinctures of the hair, wings and garb of the angel, there is no argent portion of the angel which rests directly on the field. Thus this has no more of a contrast problem than there is in the arms Argent, a cross argent fimbriated azure. [Sankt Vladimir, College of, 10/2001, A-Atenveldt]
[Gyronny sable and Or, a lozenge within a bordure azure] The Letter of Intent asked whether an azure charge may be identifiable on a partially sable gyronny field. RfS VIII.2.a.ii indicates that this is a legal color combination as long as identifiability is preserved. This emblazon maintains identifiability due to the simple outline of the lozenge. [Brigid of Kincarn, 01/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[Per pale azure and argent, in saltire a pickaxe argent hafted and a sword inverted and in base a rose slipped and leaved all proper all within a bordure Or] ... the contrast of the sword may not be acceptable. Some of the argent blade lies on the no-contrast argent part of the field, and the Or hilt, one of the more identifiable parts of the sword, also lies on the poor-contrast argent part of the field. [Óláfr Ljótarson af Øy, 02/2002, R-Meridies][Ed.: Returned for complexity]
[Quarterly azure and argent, in pale a raven perched atop a decrescent sable] This submission has insufficient contrast. Sable objects technically have good contrast on a quarterly azure and argent field by RfS VIII.2.a.2: "Good contrast exists between ... ii. An element equally divided of a color and a metal, and any other element as long as identifiability is maintained." In this submission, identifiability is not maintained. All the identifying portions of the close bird are on the low contrast portion of the field, as are the more identifiable portions of the decrescent. We were unable to identify either charge accurately without close viewing of the form. This is therefore not identifiable due to marginal contrast by RfS VIII.3, Armorial Identifiability: "Elements must be used in a design so as to preserve their individual identifiability. Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by significant reduction in size, marginal contrast, excessive counterchanging, voiding, or fimbriation, or by being obscured by other elements of the design." [Tristan Ravencrest, 03/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
[Azure, a heart gules winged argent] Many commenters raised questions about contrast concerning this device. Some asked if the charge could be considered to be neutral (an element equally divided of a color and a metal): it might be so considered because the wings are visually half the charge. RfS VIII.2 states "Good contrast exists between: ... ii. An element equally divided of a color and a metal, and any other element as long as identifiability is maintained." However, the winged heart does not have sufficient contrast with the field to maintain identifiability, because the heart is the primary identifying element of the charge, and the whole heart has poor contrast with the field. These cases must be determined on a case by case basis, and the consensus of the College was that the winged heart was not sufficiently identifiable due to contrast. [Mariana de Santiago, 03/2002, R-Atenveldt]
Bordures may be counterchanged over a gyronny field. We have many period examples of bordures compony, which are almost the same in appearance as bordures gyronny. Because the bordure counterchanged has large enough pieces to maintain its identifiability, and it looks like a common multiply divided period bordure, it may be accepted without explicit documentation of a bordure counterchanged on a gyronny field. [Wulfgar Neumann, 03/2002, P-Outlands]
[stag's head erased gorged of a pearled coronet ... argent] A beast's head gorged of a coronet or collar is treated by the SCA as having a tertiary charge. "When [considering a] creature's head gorged, however, the gorging is much more prominent in proportion --- and treated as a tertiary charge." (LoAR of September 1993). A tertiary charge needs to have good contrast with the underlying charge. This coronet is the same tincture as the underlying head, so it violates our rules for contrast. On a full-sized beast, where a collar is considered an artist's detail rather than a charge in its own right, it would be acceptable to have a no-contrast detail of this nature. [Chrestienne de Waterdene, 04/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
[Per fess engrailed azure and vert] The engrailed line of division is drawn well with five engrailings of a reasonable depth, and is not obscured by other elements of the armory. The line is identifiable enough to accept even though azure and vert have some of the poorest contrast of any two-color combination. [Helga Iden dohtir, 04/2002, R-Caid]
[Per pale and per chevron inverted vert and azure] The field has unacceptable contrast. By RfS VIII.2.b.iii and VIII.2.b.iv, the only fields which are divided into four parts and which are acceptable with two low-contrast tinctures are quarterly and per saltire. [Eoin mac Neill mhic Lochlainn, 04/2002, R-East]
[Sable, a Catherine wheel argent charged with a capital letter A gules] As drawn, the letter A lies almost completely on the field because of the spaces between the spokes of the wheel. It therefore needs to have good contrast with the field, and it does not. [Katherine Linnet Holford, 04/2002, R-Outlands]
[Azure, a camel rampant Or wearing a hat gules and maintaining in its mouth a bottle fesswise reversed vert] The hat (which functions as a maintained charge) and the maintained bottle both have insufficient contrast with the field. This is acceptable for maintained charges, which are not worth difference, as long as the charge in question has some contrast with the field. [Xenos the Butcher, 06/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[(Fieldless) A crossbow within and conjoined to an oak chaplet Or] The oak chaplet is surmounted in base by a very small rose, so small that it does not impact the outline of the charge. The rose has no contrast with the chaplet and is not identifiable at other than very close range. It appears to function as a nonblazonable artistic detail rather than an actual heraldic charge, and so we have removed it from the blazon. The alternative was to return it for identifiability problems. On a fieldless badge, it is not acceptable design to have an an overall charge that is of the same tincture as, and virtually completely overlapping, the underlying charge. [West, Kingdom of the, 06/2002, A-West]
[Per saltire gules and argent, a serpent nowed and a chief sable] The sable chief does not have sufficient contrast with the per saltire gules and argent field, because the sable chief entirely adjoins a low-contrast gules portion of the field.
The problem [of lack of contrast] 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. (LoAR June 1993)
[Þorfinna Grafeldr, 06/2002, R-Ealdormere]
[Per bend gules and argent, two rapiers in saltire argent and a caravel proper sailed Or] The ship, like most ships, has sails which are roughly half the charge. The ship, therefore, is equally divided of a color (the dark brown wood proper of the hull) and a metal (the Or of the sails). RfS VIII.2.a.ii provides that "Good contrast exists between ... an element equally divided of a color and a metal, and any other element as long as identifiability is maintained." The ship is acceptably identifiable, and therefore, has good contrast with its underlying field. [Damian of Ered Sûl, 07/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[Purpure, a wyvern sejant maintaining a sword bendwise and in chief two thistles argent] The sword is drawn in an unrecognizable fashion. While the recognizability of maintained charges is not expected to be as good as the recognizability of primary or secondary charges, here the identifying hilt of the sword lies entirely on the wyvern, which is the same tincture. [William Cormac Britt, 07/2002, R-Meridies]
[Per fess dovetailed purpure and sable] Some commenters asked whether a complex line of partition was ever acceptable between sable and purpure, due to the particularly low contrast of these tinctures. Complex lines between low contrast tinctures are rare in period armory. However, a smattering of such designs does occur, and such examples include a variety of low-contrast tincture combinations. As a result, as long as the line of partition remains identifiable and is not obscured by other elements of the design, complex lines between low-contrast tinctures may be allowed between any pair of low-contrast tinctures. The line of partition in this emblazon is not obscured by the tinctures of the field or by overlying charges, and it will be acceptable if its placement is changed to clearly show a per fess division. [Agneszka the Wanderer, 09/2002, R-Meridies]
[Vair, a squirrel passant gules pierced by an arrow bendwise sable] The black charge on the vair field, which lines up with the azure panes of the vair field, is almost invisible and certainly cannot be identified as an arrow. This must be redrawn so that the arrow may be identified in order to be acceptable per RfS VIII.3. As the arrow is currently drawn, it appears to be a shadow on one diagonal row of the vair bells. [Mark of Bergental, 10/2002, R-East]
[natural rainbow proper] The SCA charge of a natural rainbow proper is tinctured (from chief to base) in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The tinctures are reversed in this emblazon, with the violet on the top and the red on the bottom. The reversal of the tinctures makes this an unacceptable variant of the natural rainbow, and is a reason for return.

The natural rainbow is drawn with argent clouds by default, and this rainbow is also drawn with argent clouds. The clouds have no contrast with the argent portion of the field on which the rainbow lies. This may well be a reason for return. However, in some cases it is allowable for a charge to have some small no-contrast details as long as the overall identifiability of the charge is maintained. At this time, we decline to rule on whether it is acceptable to have a natural rainbow with its proper argent clouds on an argent field, as there was no clear College consensus about whether this should be acceptable. It is allowable to have a natural rainbow proper clouded in some specified tincture, and we encourage the submitter to avoid this question by resubmitting with a rainbow where the clouds have some contrast with the underlying field. [Phillida Parker, 12/2002, R-Ealdormere]
[Azure, ... in chief a ducal coronet Or embellished with strawberry leaves vert]The green strawberry leaves have insufficient contrast with the underlying azure field. This is not acceptable per RfS VIII.2. The strawberry leaves are not a minor artistic detail of the coronet: they are a large part of what makes the charge identifiable as a coronet of any sort, and the only thing that allows it to be identifiable as a ducal coronet. [Chrystofer Kensor, 01/2003, R-Calontir]
[Per fess wavy vert and azure, a bucket Or] RfS VIII.3 notes that obscuring a complex low-contrast line of partition may well be grounds for return for unidentifiability. We have such a case here: the bucket covers most of the line of partition. [Jorunn Eydisardottir, 01/2003, R-Calontir]
[Per fess azure and per pale gules and sable] The field has unacceptable contrast. The pertinent rules for submission concerning contrast in divided fields or other armorial elements are:
RfS VIII.2.b.iii: Elements evenly divided into two parts, per saltire, or quarterly may use any two tinctures or furs.

RfS VIII.2.b.iv: Elements evenly divided into multiple parts of two different tinctures must have good contrast between their parts.

RfS VIII.2.b.v: Elements evenly divided in three tinctures must have good contrast between two of their parts.
While the rules for contrast do not explicitly discuss fields which are divided unequally into multiple parts, the overriding principle of the rules for divided fields is that fields must have good contrast between their parts unless they are "evenly divided into two parts, per saltire, or quarterly." Here no portion of the field has good contrast with any other portion of the field, so the overriding principle of the rules for contrast are not met. [Grifon fuiz Guillaume, 02/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
[Sable, a spear bendwise sinister argent hafted of wood and enflamed proper] The spear is mostly a wood-brown charge. This has inadequate contrast with the sable field. The enflaming does not remove the requirement that the charge should have good contrast with the field on which it lies. This is thus in violation of RfS VIII.2.b.i. [Philip Bell, 02/2003, R-Atlantia]
[Per chevron vert and per pale Or and gules, a chevron dovetailed on the upper edge argent between three compass stars Or and a fleur-de-lys florency per pale gules and Or] The original blazon, Per chevron vert and per pale Or and gules, a chevron dovetailed on the upper edge argent between in fess three compass stars and a fleur-de-lys florency counterchanged, was unclear about the tincture of the counterchanged charges on this field, as there is no well-defined behavior for counterchanging charges on a field per chevron and per pale. In particular, the College was unable to ascertain the tincture of the compass stars. This must therefore be pended for further conflict research.

There were some questions about the contrast of this field. We note that the Cover Letter for the LoAR of October 2000 gives substantial discussion of "medium contrast" fields, defined as fields "divided so that half was a solid color and half was evenly divided between color and metal." Such fields are, given the Cover Letter discussion, clearly acceptable as long as the charges on them have acceptable contrast (which is the main topic of discussion in the Cover Letter). By the guidelines in the Cover Letter for the October 2000 LoAR, in this submission, both the field and the charges upon it have acceptable contrast. [Oriana Luisa della Francesca, 02/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[Azure, a pale lozengy argent and vert] Please advise the submitter to draw the pale lozengy so that the parts of the pale which lie against the azure field are the high-contrast argent portions rather than the low-contrast vert portions. [Eíbhlïn inghean Fhearghusa, 04/2003, A-Meridies]
[(Fieldless) An anchor fouled of its cable argent enfiling a coronet bendwise sinister Or pearled argent] There are also contrast problems with this emblazon. The argent pearls on the coronet overlap the argent anchor, giving no contrast at those points. [William the Mariner, 04/2003, R-An Tir]
[Argent, a pile inverted vert issuant from a ford proper] The ford is drawn with the blue stripe to chief, lying entirely against the vert pile inverted. This has insufficient contrast, as the remainder of the ford does not have enough stripes to clearly identify it as a ford. If the ford were drawn with two more stripes, or if the pile issued from the center of the ford (so that the top stripe on the ford laid partially against the field), there would not be a problem with having the blue stripe at the top of the ford.

The College had some questions about the way that the bottom of the ford extends exactly across the bottom of the pile inverted. As a general rule, we would expect a pile inverted to be somewhat thinner and thus issue from the center of the ford, rather than extend all the way across the ford. [Kateryne Segrave, 04/2003, R-East]
[Per chevron ermine and sable, on a chevron gules fimbriated ... Or] The fimbriation on the top half of the chevron is effectively invisible, since it is a very thin Or line against an ermine field. This has inadequate contrast per RfS VIII.2. Note that so far no evidence has been presented where, in period armory, the fimbriation failed to have good contrast with both the charge being fimbriated and the field on which the charge lies. [Ysolt de la Mere, 05/2003, R-Atlantia]
[... argent ... a fountain] It is acceptable to place a fountain on a field or underlying charge that shares one of the tinctures of the fountain as long as the fountain maintains its identifiability as a roundel barry wavy argent and azure (or the other way around.) As drawn in this emblazon, the identifiability of the fountain is not preserved. Because the top and bottom portions of the fountain are both argent, this appears almost as if it were three bars wavy couped on the sail. [Ástríðr in hárfagra, 07/2003, R-Lochac]
[Per pale fleury-counterfleury vert and azure] ... there was some question as to whether the fleury-counterfleury line of division could ever be registerable between low-contrast tinctures. The October 1998 LoAR, p. 12, discussed Continental lines of division that terminate in leaves or similar plant motifs:
The submitter has provided examples from Siedmacher's [sic] 1605 Wappenbuch of armory that could be blazoned Per chevron ployé pointed with a linden leaf argent and gules., and Per bend Or and sable with trefoils counterposed and issuant from the center of the line., thereby showing period evidence for this motif. However, all exemplars provided used difference tincture classes for each half of the field.

This design motif is essentially a divided field with leaves as counterchanged charges. Therefore, this submission violates the Rule of Tincture. Barring period evidence of this motif using two tinctures from the same class, it can only be used in the SCA with tinctures from the different classes.
Fleury-counterfleury is similar in concept to the lines discussed in this precedent. It could be considered analogous to "a divided field with leaves [or, in this case, demi-fleurs-de-lys] as counterchanged charges." If one follows the logic of this precedent, one could decide that fleury-counterfleury is not registerable between low-contrast tinctures unless period documentation is provided for that design. We decline to rule on this issue at this time; we might have pended this submission for consideration of this issue, except that it was necessary to return the submission for the other reasons mentioned. We suggest that this question be addressed in any resubmission that uses fleury-counterfleury between low-contrast tinctures. [Ainbthen inghean Risdeig, 09/2003, R-Trimaris]
[Azure, ... a chief vair] The chief in the full-sized emblazon has two rows of identifiable vair bells, but the bottom row of vair bells is azure against the azure field. When drawing a vair chief, the bottom row of vair bells should not be of the same tincture as the field, for contrast reasons. If the bottom row of the vair bells is the same tincture as the field, it is difficult or impossible to tell whether the chief has a plain line of division or if it has a complex line of division (such as wavy or urdy, depending on the depiction of the vair). In this emblazon, an attempt was made to clarify the issue by demarking the chief with a thick black line, but that does not materially help the contrast problem, as the thick black line is almost impossible to see between the blue bottom of the vair bells and the blue field. The thick line also raises the possibility of fimbriation: by long-standing SCA precedent, chiefs may not be fimbriated. [Caitilín ni Killane, 09/2003, R-Trimaris]
[Argent, a loon naiant contourny sable] The loon was originally blazoned as sable marked argent, but it is predominantly sable on the color emblazon. The depiction of this loon on the mini-emblazon included details that closely resemble the markings of the black and white bird that the Americans call a Common Loon and the British call a Great Northern Diver, but most of the details that would be white in a naturalistic depiction of this species were tinctured sable in the color emblazon. If we blazon this loon as sable marked argent, it would likely be drawn by an artist as a naturalistic loon/diver, and would then have too many argent markings against the argent field to have acceptable contrast. We have thus blazoned the loon as sable. Per the LoAR of March 2000, concerning an orca proper (black and white) on an argent field, "The argent portions of the orca cannot be placed on an argent field." The same constraints apply to a Common Loon in its natural colors. [Helga lómr, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
[Vair en pointe, a bend Or and overall riding on a horse salient gules a nude woman argent crined Or] The woman was blazoned on the LoI as proper, but she is argent. There is insufficient contrast between the half-argent complex field and either an argent complex-outlined charge (as emblazoned), or a Caucasian proper complex-outlined charge (as originally blazoned). [Svana mjóbeina, 11/2003, R-Meridies]
[Per fess nebuly vert and sable] The line of division is drawn with too many and too small repetitions to be registerable, particularly on a low contrast field division. RfS VIII.3 states "Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by significant reduction in size, marginal contrast..." It is acceptable to draw a nebuly line of partition between vert and sable as long as the identifiability is not lost for other reasons. [Raffe Ó Donnabháin, 01/2004, R-An Tir]
[Argent, an arched wooden double door inset into a stone archway proper] The Pictorial Dictionary states that "The door... may be inset into an arch or wall." This submission insets the door into a stone archway proper. Unfortunately the grey of stone proper (as defined in the SCA Glossary of terms) classes as a metal, and has insufficient contrast with the underlying argent field.

Note that the stone surrounding the door is, as drawn in this submission, an intermediate grey which has insufficient contrast with either argent or sable. This adds additional problems to the depiction, in that the stone proper is not drawn as a correct depiction of stone proper (which would class as a metal) but is not dark enough to be considered an artistic variant of sable. [Sudentorre, Canton of, 03/2004, R-Atlantia]

COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK

[three annulets interlaced one and two Or] A question was raised about possible problems with use of the Ballantine's Ale insignia. While we did not find the corporate web site, we did find beer collectors' web sites showing many beer labels of varying ages, and the Ballantine's Ale logo uses the annulets two and one, not one and two. Because this is a simple geometric logo, without any particular nuances of artwork that make these rings an unmistakable allusion to the Ballantine's logo, the inversion of the three rings design does not infringe on the Ballantine's Ale insignia. [Roaring Wastes, Barony of the, 11/2001, R-Middle]
[a brown bear's head cabossed proper] RfS VIII.4.b. Modern Insignia states: Allusions to modern insignia, trademarks, or common designs may not be registered. This rule does not refer to a particular artistic style, such as whether the particular depiction is stylized (such as the Chicago Bulls logo) or naturalistic (such as the Chicago Bears logo), nor does it refer to technical conflict. The issue here is unmistakable allusion to the modern insignia or trademark.

The bear's head here appears to be a photocopy of the Chicago Bears logo as seen on their web site, but flipped on the vertical axis, omitting some details, and colored in a different shade of brown. Because this could reasonably be seen by many viewers as just the same as the bear's head portion of the Bears logo, this is too strong an allusion to a modern trademark to be registered. [Erik the Bear, 11/2001, R-Atlantia]
[(Fieldless) A penguin statant affronty, head to dexter, proper] One commenter raised the question of whether there was some problem due to the Penguin Books logo. That logo would be blazoned in the same manner as this badge. This is not illegal style under RfS VIII.4.b, a subsection of the rules on "Obtrusive Modernity". This rule forbids "Overt illusions to modern insignia, trademarks or common designs". This penguin is clearly a different penguin than the one in the Penguin Books logo. The Penguin Books penguin has a white crescent marking on its face, much more white on its front, and is all black and white. The submission under consideration has different proportions, no crescent marking on its face, and a very prominent red beak and feet.

As a guideline, there generally will not be an obtrusively modern "overt" allusion to a logo when the logo uses a single charge, unless the artwork of the submission matches the artwork of the logo very closely, or unless the charge is in some way unique. There might be an "overt" allusion to a logo without the artwork matching if the charge is unique or if the logo used a very unusual combination of charges. A girl holding an open parasol and strewing salt behind her from a canister might seem obtrusively modern due to the famous Morton Salt logo even if you dressed the girl in a cotehardie. These cases of obtrusive modernity must all be determined on a case by case basis.

As for the matter of conflict, the Administrative handbook says that we protect Copyrighted Images, Trademarks, Military Insignia, etc. "when covered by applicable laws and regulations in the country from which the material derives." Penguin Books is not listed in the US government's trademark database at http://www.uspto.gov/, so the logo does not appear to be a trademark. Even if it were a trademark or copyrighted image, we are unaware of any applicable laws or regulations whereby registration of a different-looking penguin in the SCA's Armorial would in any way violate copyright law or infringe on the business or brand recognition of Penguin Books. [Tylar of Lochmere, 04/2002, A-Atlantia]
[Checky sable and argent, a bull's head cabossed gules] Some commenters inquired whether this armory conflicted with the Chicago Bulls NBA logo, which features a red bull's head cabossed. There are two possible problems which might arise due to resemblance to a modern logo or trademark. One is conflict and the other is obtrusive modernity.

On the matter of conflict, the Administrative Handbook says that we protect Coyprighted Images, Trademarks, Military Insignia, et cetera "when covered by applicable laws and regulations in the country from which the material derives." We are not aware of any pertinent laws by which registration of this badge would infringe on the brand recognizability or business of the Chicago Bulls. Checking the trademark data base at http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm, the trademarked versions of the Chicago Bulls insignia all have the text "Chicago Bulls" written prominently between the horns of the bull. These words are significant by our rules for difference. Under the SCA Rules for Submission, there is no conflict between this badge and the trademark. There is one CD for tincturelessness (of the Bulls trademark) and another CD for removing the words "Chicago Bulls". The words also seem to be integral to the trademark, as all the active registered Chicago Bulls trademarks are of the type "(3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS". This badge omits the words and thus should not infringe on the trademarks. Moreover, the stated uses for the Chicago Bulls trademarks concern very modern goods and services, and do not resemble the uses to which the SCA puts its armory.

The pertinent rule for possible Obtrusive Modernity due to resemblance to a real-world trademark is RfS VIII.4.b. This rule forbids "Overt allusions to modern insignia, trademarks or common designs". As noted in the LoAR of April 2002, "As a guideline, there generally will not be an obtrusively modern 'overt' allusion to a logo when the logo uses a single charge, unless the artwork of the submission matches the artwork of the logo very closely, or unless the charge is in some way unique." In this case, the bull's head in the emblazon does not strongly resemble the artwork of the bull's head found in the Chicago Bulls logo. Nor is a bull's head cabossed a unique charge. Therefore, this is not an obtrusively modern use of a bull's head because of an overt allusion to the Chicago Bulls logo. [Darius of Jaxartes, 05/2002, A-Outlands]
A possible conflict was called with the trademark of Maersk Shipping, described by the commenter calling the conflict as Bleu-celeste a mullet of seven points argent. In searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark database under "Maersk" (at http://www.uspto.gov/), it is not entirely clear whether the argent mullet (on some field) is trademarked on its own, or only when the artwork is in conjunction with the name of the firm. If the argent seven-pointed mullet on a blue field is indeed protected on its own (without the name of the firm), there will be a conflict, with one CD for changing the field, no difference for the change between a seven- and eight-pointed mullet, and no difference (as with the Barony of Rivenstar) for moving the mullet on the field because the change in location is forced. [Starkhafn, Barony of, 06/2003, R-Caid] [Ed.: Returned for conflict with Rivenstar]
[Azure, three triangles conjoined, one and two, Or] One commenter noted that this symbol was frequently found as an item of insignia in artwork associated with some Nintendo games, including the Zelda series of games. However, the symbol is not copyrighted in the USA, and we have received no information that the symbol is copyrighted elsewhere. As a result, it need not be protected against conflict. [Paul O'Flaherty, 07/2003, A-Atenveldt]
[Quarterly azure and argent, a bordure sable semy of escallops argent] Conflict with a trademark of the BMW corporation, Quarterly azure and argent, on a bordure sable in chief the letters B M W argent. There is only one CD for the cumulative changes to the group of charges on the bordure per RfS X.4.j. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows that the blazon given here describes all the colored BMW trademarks registered since 1945. Administrative Handbook, III.B.4. states: "Copyrighted Images, Trademarks, Military Insignia, etc. - Such items may be protected when covered by applicable laws and regulations in the country from which the material derives. Material such as military insignia may be afforded protection on a case-by-case basis even where this is not required by law." [Elspeth Forsythe, 11/2003, R-Meridies]

CORONET and CROWN

[a ducal coronet] Please advise the submitter to draw the ducal coronet in the correct fashion, with sets of strawberry leaves visible at the sides of the coronet as well as in the center. [Alan Youngforest, 12/2001, A-Artemisia]
[a coronet of trefoils and pearls] This submission was pended on the September 2001 LoAR for discussion of whether this sort of coronet should be reserved for any particular rank in the SCA. As a general administrative policy decision concerning reserved charges, the final decision on this matter is Laurel's, not Wreath's. Wreath does support the decision. The submitter is a baroness but is not a royal peer.

The idea that a coronet used in armory (as opposed to an external portion of an achievement) indicates the rank of its owner owes little or nothing to period practice. Woodward's discussion in A Treatise on Heraldry British and Foreign pp. 379-380 mentions a number of families using crowns. While some of these families use crowns in token of some royal association or appointment, others use the crowns to cant, or have no clear rationale for using crowns. There is no association between the type of crown used and the family using the crown. Some of the non-royal arms Woodward mentions as using crowns can be found in period sources: the canting Landskron (from Cologne) in the late 14th C Armorial Bellenville, using an imperial coronet, and Grant (from Scotland), in the 16th C roll of David Lindsay of the Mount, using a crown of demi-fleurs-de-lys or pointed trefoils (it is hard to tell in the artwork). Because our SCA practice of reserved coronets in armory lacks period equivalents, SCA customs and perceptions have more weight in this decision than they would in most College of Arms decisions.

Research into coronets of rank from period sources is difficult because there were no designated heraldic coronets of rank for most of our period. Pastoureau states that crowns in an achievement (atop the helmet and at the base of the crest) are simple decorative elements, not insignia of rank, throughout the Middle Ages. It is not until the 16th C that coronets begin to be reserved for certain categories of people (Traité d'Héraldique, p. 210). Baron Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme has done further research in armorial manuscripts and period funerary monuments specifically concerning ducal coronets. His findings are consistent with Pastoureau's generalization, although he notes that one can find funerary monuments for dukes using what has become a ducal coronet in the latter part of the 15th C.

The Glossary of Terms section on reserved charges does not address this issue well: it is somewhat behind the times (oops) and states that a crown/coronet is reserved to "Kingdom/Principality armory; personal armory of Society royal peers". Use of coronets was extended in the LoAR of May 1999, where Laurel stated that a "court baron/ess may use a coronet in their arms, so long as it does not use the embattlements of county rank, or the strawberry leaves of ducal rank". This coronet clearly does not use the embattlements of county rank. The question therefore is whether it uses the strawberry leaves of ducal rank.

Neither precedent nor the Armorial and Ordinary are completely clear about the reserved regalia for dukes and duchesses. Is the regalia a coronet using exclusively strawberry leaves or a coronet using any strawberry leaves? The regalia registered in the Armorial and Ordinary for dukes and duchesses is, (Tinctureless) A coronet with strawberry leaves. The strict interpretation of both the May 1999 ruling on coronets for barons and the regalia registration, and the consensus of the College of Arms, is that any strawberry leaves on a coronet will indicate ducal rank in SCA armory. There is some period support for this interpretation as well. The 16th C roll of David Lindsay of the Mount gives different types of coronets in the achievements of royalty, dukes and earls, and the ducal coronets alternate strawberry leaves with pearls on points.

This leaves the question of whether the trefoils on the coronet in this submission should be considered equivalent to strawberry leaves. Strawberry leaves found on ducal coronets in period did not always resemble the natural, serrated-edged, strawberry leaf. They were drawn in a variety of trefoil-like shapes, including a trefoil with smooth-edged pointed foils.

The trefoils in this submission are not exactly the same as any of those in the documented period ducal coronets. These trefoils have smooth-edged round foils without points, like the club card suit. Evidence was presented indicating that coronets with similar round-foil trefoils were used in artwork as "generic" crowns for during the time immediately predating the establishment of coronets of rank. One can find 14th and early 15th C illuminations showing sovereigns, dukes, princes and unspecified legendary nobility all wearing crowns with round-foiled trefoils at the end of some of the points. It is not clear whether such crowns continued to be "generic" in artwork of our period after the idea of coronets of rank became established.

However, when considering crowns, it is difficult to draw strong conclusions about heraldic practices from period non-heraldic artwork. Period practices for artwork, apparel and heraldry do not parallel each other closely. In artwork, crowns are generally used to illustrate high-ranking people and are mostly used to illustrate royalty. In period clothing, crowns and coronets were also worn by the lesser nobility and by wealthy commoners, although sumptuary laws were then passed to keep the commoners from wearing coronets (Lightbown, Medieval European Jewellery, chapter 13). In heraldry, as noted above, crowns could be found in the arms of a wide range of people, and types of crown were not distinct in achievements until the 16th C.

Regardless of whether or not there was some distinction drawn in the 16th C between ducal coronets with pointed-foil trefoils and the previously "generic" coronet with round-foil trefoils, this change is not visually sufficient to avoid the appearance of ducal status in the SCA. We have precedent indicating that such presumption is determined based on visual similarity to the reserved charge:
The quadruple mount overwhelmingly resembles a crown, and the submitter is not entitled to display one on her arms. (Laurel had been inclined to allow the charge, but at the Laurel meeting where it was viewed, my staff, who had not seen the LoI, immediately started looking for evidence of her entitlement to use a crown, since they all thought it was one until the blazon was read. This served to change our mind.). The submitter is correct in stating that it is a period charge. However, that is not relevant in matters of presumption. (LoAR 5/99)
The commentary from the College showed a strong consensus that this form of coronet visually appeared to use strawberry leaves. By the May 1999 precedent on quadruple mounts, it must therefore be treated as a ducal coronet, and reserved for the use of dukes and duchesses. As the submitter does not hold this rank, she may not register this form of coronet. [Ghislaine d'Auxerre, 04/2002, R-Caid]
[Per pale gules and vert, three cat's heads cabossed Or] Conflict with Dalmatia, Azure, three lions' heads cabossed crowned Or. When a crown is added to the top of an animal's head, the change is not as visually significant as when one gorges the head with a high-contrast crown (which has been considered addition of a tertiary charge, and worth a CD, since the LoAR of September 1993). A crown on an animal's head generally either has poor contrast with the field, which makes it hard to see, or it has poor contrast with the head, making it appear to be part of the head. In the particular case of crowned lion's heads, a lion's head is often drawn with a jagged outline at the top of the head due to the lion's mane. When the crown on a lion's head is the same tincture as the lion's head, the crown will be very difficult to distinguish visually. There is therefore one CD for changing the field but nothing for removing the near-invisible crowns. [Ástrídr Brandsdóttir, 06/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
The College was generally in agreement that the addition or deletion of a crown from the head of a (whole) animal should not be worth difference. Some period evidence was presented suggesting that, in armory using a crowned animal, the crown was at times dropped from the emblazon. Such an easily deletable artist's distinction should not be considered to be worth difference.

The College was not able to find period evidence about whether crowned animal's heads could have the crown added or deleted by artistic license. Some commenters suggested that perhaps crowns on animal's heads should be considered analogous to collars on animal's heads. Current precedent gives a CD for collaring an animal's head (as if the collar were a tertiary charge) but does not give a CD for adding a collar to a whole animal. However, these two designs are not truly analogous. A collar on an animal's head does indeed function as a tertiary charge and thus must have good contrast with the head on which it lies. This good contrast enhances the collar's visual prominence. However, a crown on an animal's head does not generally have such good contrast. The crown generally either has poor contrast with the field or with the animal's head. In addition, a crown may be further obscured by some artistic details of the head on which it lies, such as ruffled eagle's feathers or a lion's mane.

Without period evidence to the contrary, and because of the contrast problems inherent in the design of a crown on an animal's head, it does not seem appropriate to give difference for adding a crown to a charge consisting only of an animal's head. [12/2002, CL]
[Azure, ... in chief a ducal coronet Or embellished with strawberry leaves vert]The green strawberry leaves have insufficient contrast with the underlying azure field. This is not acceptable per RfS VIII.2. The strawberry leaves are not a minor artistic detail of the coronet: they are a large part of what makes the charge identifiable as a coronet of any sort, and the only thing that allows it to be identifiable as a ducal coronet. [Chrystofer Kensor, 01/2003, R-Calontir]
[Principal herald's seal. (Tinctureless) On a fess wavy between in chief two straight trumpets in saltire and triskeles sans nombre a crown of four points] The Glossary of Terms allows crowns to be used in "Kingdom/Principality armory; personal armory of Society Royal peers." The Glossary does not state that the crown may only be used in some pieces of armory belonging to the kingdom. While most kingdom armory using crowns does belong to the sovereign or the consort, various kingdoms have registered other sorts of armory using crowns, including two Principal Herald's seals, a flag, and various badges (undesignated, designated for a kingdom officer, and designated for an order).

As has been noted before, in real-world armory, the use of a crown on a coat of arms is not linked to the rank of the holder, so any policies restricting the use of crowns in SCA heraldry must be determined from SCA heraldic history and policies. Given the statement in the Glossary of Terms and the registration history, it certainly seems acceptable for Principal Herald's seals to use crowns, since the Principal Herald's seal is registered to a kingdom. We thus explicitly overrule the precedent set in the LoAR of September 1986 (although arguably the wording in the Glossary has already overruled this precedent), which stated that "[A Kingdom badge registration designated for use of a guild] The crown is reserved to the arms of Kingdoms, Principalities and Royal Peers and may not be used, even with royal permission, by other individuals or groups".

It is clear from the SCA registration history that SCA Principal Heralds' seals have not generally followed the rules for fieldless armory. For example, most SCA heralds' seals contain unconjoined charges, and many contain charges which are defined by or end at the edge of the field, such as ordinaries throughout or bordures. SCA herald's seals appear to have the same style restrictions as tinctured armory, not fieldless armory. Thus the design of this seal is acceptable, even though it uses a number of design elements that would not ordinarily be allowed in fieldless armory. [Trimaris, Kingdom of, 03/2003, A-Trimaris]
Questions were raised about the inclusion of a crown in this armory. Kingdom armory of any sort may use a crown, as indicated in the reserved charges portion of the Glossary of Terms. Many kingdoms have registered secondary armory, such as badges, which include a crown or coronet. Having such a crown or coronet in the consort's arms, when one can be sure that the reigning consort is entitled to bear a crown, seems perfectly reasonable. [Atlantia, Kingdom of, 04/2003, R-Atlantia]
[a bull's head cabossed gules, maintaining from the dexter horn a coronet sable] Clarion summarized the issues with the device submission rather well: "I have not seen any period examples of a crown being placed on an animal head this way, and given its unbalanced appearance am not willing to support it without such documentation. Administratively, we do not allow alternates to be considered in submissions, although the primary reason for that restriction (to avoid having to do multiple conflict checks) does not apply in this case."

The stylistic issue with the crown is sufficient reason for return. It is not clearly period style. The crown hanging at an odd angle from the horn is not blazonable (and thus, is not registerable under RfS VII.7.b). [Darius Tigres Jaxarticus, 02/2004, R-Outlands]

COTISES

[Per bend sinister purpure and vert, a bend sinister between a butterfly and three bells one and two Or] This is clear of conflict with Yusuf Ja'baral-Timbuktuwwi, Per bend sinister purpure and vert, a bend sinister cotised between an elephant's head couped close and a decrescent with a mullet suspended between its horns Or. The cotises, in Yusuf's device, form a distinct charge group apart from the group consisting of the elephant's head and decrescent/mullet. "While cotises and other charges on the field would be considered separate charge groups on the same armory, they are still secondary charges and can be compared to other secondary charges. (LoAR 6/98 p. 17)." In other words, Yusuf's device has two secondary charge groups: the cotises, and the other charges around the bend. Comparing Yusuf's device with this submission, there are three CDs: one for the removal of the cotise group and two for changing the type and number of the other secondary group.

It is certainly possible to have more than one secondary charge group on the field. In the hypothetical arms Argent, a bend cotised between a mullet and a crescent all within a bordure gules, the primary charge group is the bend, the cotises are one secondary charge group, the mullet and crescent are, together, a second secondary charge group, and the bordure is a third secondary charge group (of the type often termed peripheral). Changing or removing any one of these charge groups would be a separate CD. Thus, this hypothetical coat of arms has two CDs from Argent, a bend cotised between two mullets and a chief gules. There is one CD for changing the type of half of the secondary group surrounding the cotised bend (a mullet and a crescent to two mullets) and a second CD for changing the type of the peripheral secondary group (bordure to chief). [Admiranda le Daye, 10/2001, A-Meridies]
[a bend abased and cotised argent] No documentation was presented for ordinaries which are both abased and cotised. Abased ordinaries are so rare in period armory that this treatment appears to be too far a departure from period heraldic style to be acceptable without documentation. [Arabella Mackinnon, 06/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[a fess cotised fleury on the outer edge] The submitter documented a piece of armory from 1493, illustrated on p. 188 of Neubecker's Heraldry: Sources, Symbols, and Meaning, which shows a bend cotised on the outer edges with plain points alternating with bottony points. Some members of the College asked whether this single documented example of cotises with a treatment on only the outer edge was sufficient documentation for this design, which used a different complex treatment on the outer edges of its cotises. We were able to find other documentation for such a design in period. The Dictionary of British Arms, vol. 2 (a book containing only period armory), cites the arms of Kelke, Sable a bend cotised fleury on the outer edge argent, and Bromflete, Sable a bend cotised fleury on the outer edge Or, which documents the specific sort of cotising found in this device.

In addition, we note that the SCA has for some time accepted cotises that have complex lines on the outer edges. Cotises that have a complex line on the outer edge (away from the ordinary being cotised) and a plain line on the inner edge (near the ordinary being cotised) are SCA-compatible for all the standard complex lines of partition, and all the standard cotised ordinaries. [Margaret Hepburn of Ardrossan, 08/2003, A-Outlands]
[Sable, a chevron cotised argent between three oak leaves Or] This does not conflict with ... Sable, a chevron argent cotised between three compass stars elongated to base Or. There is one CD for changing the tincture of one of the secondary charge groups (the cotises) and a second CD for changing the type of the other secondary charge group (from compass stars to oak leaves.) The cotises are a separate set of secondary charges by a number of precedents:
It is certainly possible to have more than one secondary charge group on the field. In the hypothetical arms Argent, a bend cotised between a mullet and a crescent all within a bordure gules, the primary charge group is the bend, the cotises are one secondary charge group, the mullet and crescent are, together, a second secondary charge group, and the bordure is a third secondary charge group (of the type often termed peripheral). (LoAR of October 2001)

[Argent, on a fess cotised embattled on the outer edges between three leopard's faces sable three crescents argent] This is clear of the flag of Meridies, Argent, on a fess sable, a crown of three points between two mullets argent, with one CD for the removal of the cotises and a second for the removal of the leopard's faces as they are two different charge groups (LoAR of March 2001)

The cotises are clearly a second group of secondary charges so that an additional point of difference can be obtained from adding them (LoAR of 27 November 1988, p.12)
[Melisant Saint-Clair, 02/2004, A-Atlantia]

COUNTERCHANGING

[Bendy sinister vert and Or, a hawk striking contourny argent a bordure counterchanged] The commentary from the College of Arms overwhelmingly indicated that the combination of bendy sinister and bordure is excessive counterchanging. In general, we would like to see documentation for any charge counterchanged over a multiply divided field, such as barry or gyronny. [Tvorimir Danilov, 08/2001, R-An Tir]
[Or, a bend sinister sable, overall on a delf ployé counterchanged] Current precedent indicates:
The only time we permit a charge to be counterchanged over another is when they are both ordinaries. (Shire of Crystal Crags, 12/98 p. 13)
While a delf is simple, it is not an ordinary. Moreover, a delf ploye is not a simple delf. As far as we can tell it is only used as a period charge in Mameluk heraldry, and is thus somewhat of a weirdness in general Western style. The cumulative problems with the style of this submission are sufficient to require its return. [Tarvin, Shire of, 08/2001, R-Atlantia]
[Quarterly sable and argent, on a cross throughout between four unicorns rampant five mullets of eight points all counterchanged] This is excessively counterchanged. The identifiability of the small mullets is hampered by the counterchanging on this emblazon. The cumulative effect of the counterchanging of the primary, secondary, and tertiary groups, on a field divided of more than two parts, is overwhelming. [Sándor Dósa, 08/2001, R-Meridies]
[Gyronny vert and Or, a saltire counterchanged] The combination of the gyronny field and the saltire is very visually confusing. Each arm of the saltire is counterchanged along its long axis, which generally hampers identifiability. Because each piece of the counterchanged saltire is similar in size to the pieces of the gyronny field which show between the arms of the saltire, it is difficult to distinguish which parts of the emblazon belong to the charge, and which belong to the field. This design also does not appear to be period style. Absent documentation for the design of a cross or saltire, as an ordinary, counterchanged on a gyronny field in period, this must be returned. [Wilhelm von Düsseldorf, 01/2002, R-West]
[Per fess azure and argent, a compass star throughout and a bordure counterchanged] This is clear of conflict with ... Per bend sinister azure and argent a compass star within a bordure counterchanged. There is one CD for changing the field tincture, another CD for changing the tincture of the primary charge (the compass star), and a third CD for changing the tincture of the bordure. There is nothing in the Rules for Submission which calls for considering conflict with a rotated version of the entire armory. Nor is there visual confusion between these two armories when they are displayed in their correct orientations. [Garrett O'Doherty, 02/2002, A-Caid]
[Quarterly azure and argent, five crosses crosslet in saltire counterchanged] Please advise the submitter to draw the arms of the crosses somewhat thicker, to help with the identifiablity of the center cross. Because this armory clearly uses a group of identical charges, and four of the five are very identifiable, the problems with the identifiability of the center charge due to the counterchanging is not sufficient to warrant return. [Daniel of the Outlands, 02/2002, A-Outlands]
[Paly sable and argent, a unicorn rampant counterchanged] This is excessively counterchanged and non-period style. The unicorn is not identifiable when counterchanged over this multiply divided field. No documentation has been presented, nor could any be found, for the counterchanging of a complex-outlined charge over a multiply divided field. [Cynwrig Chwith, 02/2002, R-Atlantia]
[Per bend sinister argent and azure, two cinquefoils counterchanged] This is clear of conflict with Gerelt of Lockeford, Per bend argent and azure, in bend two roses counterchanged. There is one CD for the change to the field. There is also a CD for changing the tincture of the roses. Each rose in Gerelt's arms is half azure and half argent. Each of these roses is a solid tincture. Therefore, half the tincture of each rose has changed. [Katrein Adler, 02/2002, R-Outlands]
[Per pale and per saltire gules and argent, on a roundel counterchanged a spider inverted and a bordure sable] No evidence was presented, and none was found, for counterchanging a central roundel over this field, or the similar gyronny field, in period armory. Such a design will not be acceptable without documentation: "In general, we would like to see documentation for any charge counterchanged over a multiply divided field, such as barry or gyronny" (LoAR 8/2001). [Sabina le Sewester, 03/2002, R-West]
[Per bend argent and sable, a hound rampant and a hound rampant contourny counterchanged] This does not conflict with Matthew de Wolfe, Per bend sinister embattled argent and sable, in bend two wolves rampant combattant counterchanged. To understand why there is no conflict, it is helpful to remove all blazon shortcuts and blazon each of these pieces of armory explicitly. Note that there are two important common blazon shortcuts which are found in both Matheus' and Matthew's current blazons. The first blazon shortcut is that two charges on a divided field are placed on opposite sides of a line of division by default. The other blazon shortcut is the use of the word counterchanged rather than using the tinctures argent and sable.

Thus, when we remove blazon shortcuts, Matheus' arms may be blazoned Per bend argent and sable, in sinister chief a hound rampant sable and in dexter base a hound rampant to sinister argent. Matthew's arms may be blazoned Per bend sinister embattled argent and sable, in dexter chief a wolf rampant to sinister sable and in sinister base a wolf rampant argent.

Precedent has consistently held that "you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict" (stated succinctly in this quote from the LoAR of February 2000, which upheld years of previous precedent). Thus, we must compare these two pieces of armory using the "explicit" blazons. There is one CD for changing the field. There is no difference for changing the type of canine from wolf to hound.

The charges may not lie on a portion of the field with which they have no contrast. Matheus' charges could not be arranged like Matthew's (with the sable charge in dexter chief and the argent charge in sinister base) on a per bend argent and sable field, because each charge would have no contrast with half of the field on which it lies. The charges must change their arrangement. Because this change in arrangement is "caused by other changes to the design" (namely, the changes to the field) it is not worth difference per RfS X.4.g for arrangement changes. (This is often known as a "forced" arrangement change or "forced" position change.)

The second CD comes from the change of posture. Each canine is facing in the opposite direction from the corresponding canine in the other coat. This posture change is a CD by RfS X.4.h.

By this analysis we are expressly overturning the precedent set in January 1994 that stated in pertinent part:
[Per pale and per chevron argent and sable, in chief two <charges> counterchanged vs. Huffam, Per bend sable and argent, two <charges> counterchanged ] Because the charges are counterchanged, they could legitimately be placed anywhere on the field, even over the line(s) of division. As a consequence, the change in position of the <charges> cannot be considered to be "forced" by the field division (though in Huffam they are in the expected position, one on either side of the line of division), thus giving a CD for position on the field
By this precedent, the use of the word counterchanged would remove a conflict which would apply if the tinctures of the charges were explicitly sable and argent, which is contrary to long-standing SCA policy. [Matheus of Coppertree, 02/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[Per chevron vert and per pale Or and gules, a chevron dovetailed on the upper edge argent between three compass stars Or and a fleur-de-lys florency per pale gules and Or] The original blazon, Per chevron vert and per pale Or and gules, a chevron dovetailed on the upper edge argent between in fess three compass stars and a fleur-de-lys florency counterchanged, was unclear about the tincture of the counterchanged charges on this field, as there is no well-defined behavior for counterchanging charges on a field per chevron and per pale. In particular, the College was unable to ascertain the tincture of the compass stars. This must therefore be pended for further conflict research.

There were some questions about the contrast of this field. We note that the Cover Letter for the LoAR of October 2000 gives substantial discussion of "medium contrast" fields, defined as fields "divided so that half was a solid color and half was evenly divided between color and metal." Such fields are, given the Cover Letter discussion, clearly acceptable as long as the charges on them have acceptable contrast (which is the main topic of discussion in the Cover Letter). By the guidelines in the Cover Letter for the October 2000 LoAR, in this submission, both the field and the charges upon it have acceptable contrast. [Oriana Luisa della Francesca, 02/2003, R-Ansteorra]
Please note that the design of counterchanging a bordure over a pile is considered "a weirdness" in the SCA - a single step from period practice (per the LoAR of July 2001). One such step in armory is acceptable, but more than one such step is considered too far from period practice and reason for return. [Clef of Cividale, 03/2003, R-Calontir]
[Paly of four argent and gules, three spur rowels counterchanged sable and argent] This submission also appears to be overly modern "op-art" (or "optical art") style. As noted in RfS VIII.4.d, "Artistic techniques and styles developed after 1600 should not be used in Society armory. Charges may not be used to create abstract or op-art designs." Per the on-line Artcyclopedia (http://www.artcyclopedia.com/), "Optical Art is a mathematically-oriented form of (usually) Abstract art, which uses repetition of simple forms and colors to create vibrating effects, moir� patterns, an exaggerated sense of depth, foreground-background confusion, and other visual effects." This design is reminiscent of op-art and includes visually vibrating effects and foreground-background confusion: one viewer, at first, saw the primary charge as three lozenges conjoined in pall inverted bases to center, because she thought that the shape between the three spur rowels was the primary charge. [Davis de Rowell, 09/2003, R-Atlantia]
[Paly of four sable and argent, three horses statant to sinister counterchanged] Per the LoAR of August 2001, "In general, we would like to see documentation for any charge counterchanged over a multiply divided field, such as barry or gyronny." No documentation was presented with this submission showing a general practice of counterchanging multiple complex-outlined charges (like horses) over a multiply divided field (like paly). Such designs are intrinsically difficult to identify, and do not appear to be period style. Without documentation for this practice, it may not be registered. [Glyn of Chesshire, 11/2003, R-Meridies]
The lily of the valley plant is too tall and thin to be counterchanged along its long axis. The slip, in particular, loses its identifiability. Previous precedent has returned similarly wide charges for similar reasons, for example, "[a mace ... counterchanged] There was discussion as to whether the mace was wide enough to be counterchanged along its long axis. Previous cases have decided that winged swords are not, and that double-bitted axes and comets are. The issue is identifiability such counterchanging was banned precisely because the charge became unidentifiable. After examining the emblazon, we decided that the charge was just barely too narrow to be counterchanged like this" (LoAR of August 2000). [Clare Agatha MacLeod, 03/2004, R-Northshield]

COUPED and ERASED
see also HEAD -- Beast and HEAD -- Bird

The issue of acceptable depictions of couped and erased (for beast heads and other body parts) arose in this month's Wreath meeting concerning the device of Laurenço Affonso. Wreath and staff conducted a post-meeting review of period depictions of beast heads from British and Continental sources. Some of the sources reviewed include the online Zuricher Wappenrolle, Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch, A European Armorial (the Armorial of the Toison d'Or), Armorial Gelre, Armorial Bellenville, Libro de Armeria del Reino de Navarra, the Scots Roll, Laing's facsimile of Sir David Lindsay of the Mount's 1542 Roll of Arms, Stodart's Scottish Arms facsimile, Legh's Accedence of Armory (1597), and Mackenzie of Rosehaugh's Science of Herauldrie (1680), together with modern works containing plates with period pictures of armory.

The most significant difference between couped and erased is that couped was almost universally treated as a smooth line, while erased was marked by the presence of significant and prominent jags. Virtually all heads found in period heraldic artwork are distinctly either couped or erased, without intermediate artistic forms. This is also true of other cases of partial animals, such as jambes and demi-beasts.

The smooth line found on couped heads was found depicted in a number of manners, none of which was so universal to be deemed the only acceptable manner of couping a head. One of these depictions was a straight line, like the traditional modern heraldic understanding of couped. The straight line was generally parallel to the chief (ref. 1), parallel to the side of the shield or part of an underlying ordinary (ref. 2), or, in the case of heads couped close, perpendicular to the chief (ref. 3). Another form of couping showed a slight convexity, as if the head had been cut from the body with a sharp knife, and a slight trian aspect of the neck is seen (ref. 4). Another convex form resembled a shallow T-shirt neck line (ref. 5). Another form of couping showed a smooth shallow concavity (ref. 6). Sometimes there was an extreme concavity, particularly in Continental sources (ref. 7). This concavity appears to be anatomically based on the shoulders of the beast. Any of these forms are acceptable for depictions of couped heads.

The portions of the ruling on Ulvar MacVanis's device in the LoAR of July 2000 which are inconsistent with this evidence are overturned. That ruling said, in part, this particular rendition [of couped] is too far from known period practices...the line [of couping] was very carefully drawn to follow the shoulder line; it is bendwise at the top and palewise at the bottom. Based on the period evidence above, it is acceptable for couping to show such a deep curve that it appears to follow the shoulder of the animal. It is worth noting that the emblazon in Ulvar's submission has a much deeper point in the front neck edge than was found in even the most extreme examples found in the Continental sources examined, so the return for Natural Depiction in Ulvar's case is appropriate.

In some very rare cases of boar's heads couped close, one could find depictions of couping which were not entirely smooth, and appeared to attempt to depict bristles on the boar's head. This deviation from standard practice for boars is not surprising when one considers that a boar's bristles are one of his main heraldic identifiers. This bristly depiction of a boar's head couped resembles neither erasing nor an indented line. See, for example, the Polish arms of Swinka or Scheinichen on p. 149 of A European Armorial, which shows bristle needles sticking out past the back of the couped line. This distinctive coat is very similar to no-doubt related coats from Silesia on f. 61 of Siebmacher, and it interesting to note that Siebmacher's couping is much smoother but does show a bit of bristly detail.

Erased necks were marked by prominent jags. By far the most common number of jags found in the sources, regardless of national origin, was three. However, as many as eight jags were found with some frequency by the end of period. It should be noted that the number of jags does not appear to be the critical factor, but rather the prominence of the jags. The jags generally appear to be approximately one-sixth to one-third of the height of the entire erased head, and the jags were consistently wavy like the rays of an estoile or a rayonny line of division (refs. 8, 9, 10 and 11). In no cases did the erasing appear to resemble an indented line, neither large scale nor in a smaller pinking-shear depiction.

Therefore, for purposes of recreating period armorial style for erasing, the erasing should (1) have between three and eight jags; (2) have jags that are approximately one-sixth to one-third the total height of the charge being erased; and (3) have jags that are not straight but rather are wavy or curved. The predominance of the three-jag erasing is such that it can be recommended throughout our period and across Europe. For purposes of recreating period armorial style for couping, the couping should be a smooth line which is either straight, slightly convex, a shallow concave, or a recognizable extreme concave. A straight line or a shallow curve can be recommended throughout our period and across Europe.

Submissions which contain couped or erased charges that diverge significantly from the guidelines above risk being returned for unidentifiability or non-period style unless they are accompanied by documentation.

References: These examples are chosen from the more commonly available heraldic sources for ease of reference.

Ref. 1: Neubecker's Heraldry: Sources, Symbols and Meaning, p. 35, arms of Hungary, fourth quarter; Gwynn-Jones's The Art of Heraldry p. 67, sinister chief quarter.

Ref. 2: Pastoureau's Heraldry: An Introduction to a Noble Tradition, p. 24, couped fish head on painted chest; Neubecker, op. cit., p. 191; Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones's Heraldry, back dust jacket, fourth row, second from left.

Ref. 3: Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones, op. cit., p. 109, center of top row of Fenwick Roll excerpt.

Ref. 4: Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch, f. 153, v. Kotzaw and v. Helldorf.

Ref. 5: Neubecker, op. cit., p. 153, third from left, Grunenberg Armorial excerpt; Siebmacher, op. cit., f. 177, Die Schlegel.

Ref. 6: Pastoureau, op. cit., p. 12; on-line Manesse Codex (http://www.tempora-nostra.de/manesse/img/060.jpg); Pastoureau, op. cit., p. 60 (also on-line Manesse codex http://www.tempora-nostra.de/manesse/img/105.jpg).

Ref. 7: Neubecker, op. cit., p. 116, unicorn's heads: this is a citation from the Zuricher Wappenrolle, which can be found in an on-line version (http://ladyivanor.knownworldweb.com/zroaen0.htm) on strip 2, front p. 9 (Helmsdorf).

Ref. 8: Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones, op. cit., p. 101 (Robert Cooke arms); Gwynn-Jones, op. cit., p. 37 (Robert Cooke arms).

Ref. 9: Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones, op. cit., p. 91.

Ref. 10: Ibid., p. 109, Fenwick Roll, top row, second from left, and middle row, second from right.

Ref. 11: Siebmacher, op. cit., plate 96, die Teufel v. Pirckensee.

[11/2001, CL]
[An armored leg erased at the calf argent in a stirrup with leather Or] The erasing of the armored leg is too small to be acceptable - what is colloquially known as "pinking shear erasing" in the SCA College of Arms. There is a long discussion in the November 2001 cover letter about how couped and erased charges were drawn in period. The pertinent summary for erased charges states:
For purposes of recreating period armorial style for erasing, the erasing should (1) have between three and eight jags; (2) have jags that are approximately one-sixth to one-third the total height of the charge being erased; and (3) have jags that are not straight but rather are wavy or curved. The predominance of the three-jag erasing is such that it can be recommended throughout our period and across Europe...

Submissions which contain ... erased charges that diverge significantly from the guidelines above risk being returned for unidentifiability or non-period style unless they are accompanied by documentation.
[Middle, Kingdom of the, 03/2003, R-Middle]
[three bear's heads couped] Some members of the College thought that the bear's heads were erased close rather than couped. The full-sized emblazon clearly shows these heads as couped (and couped under the head rather than couped close.) The backs of the bear's heads are somewhat fuzzy, as is appropriate for the charge, and that probably led to the misinterpretation of erased close. [Ásbj{o,}rn kolbrúnarskáld, 08/2003, A-Calontir]
[a horse's head couped] Some commentary suggested that the head be blazoned in some fashion other than the default couped because it was "not couped in the usual horizontal manner." We direct the College to the Cover Letter of the November 2001 LoAR, which discusses period treatments of both couped and erased in some detail. Regarding the form of couped found in this emblazon, the cover letter states that one of the period depictions was "a straight line... [which could be] parallel to the side of the shield." Because Francesca's horse's head is a primary charge, drawn to fill the space, the bottom of the horse's head and neck is near the sinister base portion of the shield. The angle of the side of the shield in sinister base is approximately bendwise sinister, and the couping of the horse's head in this emblazon is roughly parallel to that sinister base portion of the side of the shield. Thus, this is a period form of couping, and it is not necessary to describe it further in blazon. [Francesca Testarossa de' Martini, 11/2003, A-An Tir]

COUPED and THROUGHOUT

[Or semy of apples gules, a Celtic cross vert] This device conflicts with Morgana Swansdottir, Or, a Celtic cross equal armed, quarterly pierced and throughout vert. There is one CD for adding the semy of apples. While we give a CD for a standard cross throughout versus a cross couped, for most crosses (such as crosses fleury) we do not give such difference for couped versus throughout. The quarter piercing in Morgana's cross is very small and the visual distinction it gives is lost with the other piercings in the center of a Celtic cross. Therefore, there is no difference for the type of cross. [Muirgen of Applecross, 02/2002, R-Calontir]
PRECEDENT: As a general rule, ordinaries couped will be given a CD from ordinaries throughout. This general rule does not apply to specific ordinaries for which evidence has been presented that the ordinary and its couped variant were used interchangeably in period. In accordance with RfS X.4.e, if a particular ordinary throughout and its couped variant are both found in period armory, but were not considered to be "separate [charges] in period", no difference will be granted between them. If the ordinary throughout, or its couped variant, were not found in period armory, then it will only "be considered different in type if its shape in normal depiction is significantly different" from the period form of the ordinary. [06/2002, CL]
PRECEDENT: Because of the period evidence presented concerning pall variants and in light of RfS X.4.e, no difference will be given between the following four pall variants: the pall (throughout), the pall couped, the shakefork, and the pallium. Any of these four charges will be given a CD from a pall with a decidedly different end treatment, such as a pall fleury or a pall potent. [06/2002, CL]
[a label dovetailed throughout] A peculiarity of SCA blazon is that the standard label is throughout by default, but the dovetailed label is couped by default. The blazon in this submission label is both dovetailed and throughout, and both these details must be blazoned. [Kharra Unegen, 07/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[Sable, a saltire bretessed argent] This does not conflict with a ... Sable, a saltire formy argent. Contrary to some opinions espoused in the commentary, couping an ordinary is only a significant change (worth a CD) rather than a substantial change (clear by RfS X.2). We would only give a CD between a saltire bretessed and a saltire bretessed and couped. However, just as it seems appropriate to give X.2 (substantial) difference between the very different period charges of a cross formy (which is couped by default and has splayed ends) and a cross bretessed (which is throughout by default and treated with an embattled line), it is also appropriate to give X.2 difference between similarly treated saltires. [Nikolai Toranovich, 01/2003, A-An Tir]
[two walls couped with portals] We have reblazoned the castles as walls, because a castle by default has a tower at each end, and these charges do not have any towers. According to the Pictorial Dictionary, walls are throughout and embattled by default, so it is necessary to blazon these walls as couped. It is also necessary to blazon the portals explicitly. [Hans Schneckenburg, 09/2003, A-Caid]
There is a CD between a default cross (throughout) and a cross formy throughout. We routinely give difference between the couped versions of these crosses (a cross couped versus a cross formy). Nor has evidence been presented or found indicating that a cross throughout would be interchangeable with a cross formy throughout in period. [Jessimond of Greencrosse, 11/2003, A-An Tir]

CRESCENT

There is ... no difference between an increscent and an increscent moon. [Galiena of Lindisfarne, 08/2001, R-Meridies]
The charges on the chief are much too shallow to be identifiable as crescents. They are thus not acceptable by RfS VII.7.a. [Rhiannon Basset, 05/2003, R-East]
[Per bend sinister gules and azure, in fess a roundel between an increscent and a decrescent argent] This device does not conflict with ... Per fess engrailed sable and argent, a roundel between a decrescent and an increscent argent There is a CD for changing the field. There is also a CD for changing the posture of two of the three charges: each of the crescents has been reversed. (Alternately, you can see it as a change of arrangement of the charges, by swapping the outermost two charges.)

Some commenters mentioned that this arrangement of a roundel and crescents is not typical of period armory, and we concur, but this armorial design is registerable as long as the charges maintain their identifiability: "While we will reluctantly register the arrangement of an increscent, roundel and decrescent if they aren't conjoined, the conjoining makes them unidentifiable as well as non-period" (LoAR September 1997 p. 23) [Elizabeth Karlsdotter, 12/2003, A-Drachenwald]
The crescents were blazoned as crescents pendant on the LoI but crescents inverted on the submission form. We have restored the submitter's preferred form. Both terms are acceptable for use in the S.C.A. [Iror of Crystal Mynes, 03/2004, A-Calontir]

CROSS

[a cross fleury vs. cross of Santiago] As of the March 2001 LoAR, "A cross patonce and a cross of Santiago are both considered artistic variants of a cross flory; therefore, there is no CD for a cross patonce versus a cross of Santiago." A cross fleury is even closer in depiction to a cross of Santiago than a cross patonce. [Cristoval Gitano, 08/2001, R-Lochac]
[a cross formy within the loop of an ankh Or] The charge group in base was blazoned on the letter of intent as a Coptic cross. However, it is not a Coptic cross as defined in the SCA. It more closely resembles an ankh with a cross formy within the loop on the top of the cross. However, that does not truly describe the armory because the loop is disproportionately large and round for an ankh. This emblazon cannot be reproduced accurately from blazon with our current heraldic vocabulary. Without documenting this design as a heraldic charge, or group of charges, in period, it must be returned. [Damiana bint al-Katib, 10/2001, R-Outlands]
[two Latin crosses vs. two Latin crosses fitchy] ... nothing for fitching the crosses. [Faílenn inghean Mheanmain of Ulster, 11/2001, R-Atlantia]
[Gules, six Latin crosses formy Or] This is clear of ... Azure, crusily Celtic Or. There is one CD for changing the field and another CD for the difference between a Latin cross formy and a Celtic cross. The annulet portion of the Celtic cross is prominent enough to merit a CD on visual grounds and we are not aware of any period interchangeability of these charges. This is also clear of ... Chequy purpure, crusilly Or and Or. Crusilly is, by default, of crosses crosslet ... There is X.2 difference between Latin crosses formy and crosses crosslet. [Christoff von Rotenburg, 12/2001, A-Meridies]
[Or semy of apples gules, a Celtic cross vert] This device conflicts with Morgana Swansdottir, Or, a Celtic cross equal armed, quarterly pierced and throughout vert. There is one CD for adding the semy of apples. While we give a CD for a standard cross throughout versus a cross couped, for most crosses (such as crosses fleury) we do not give such difference for couped versus throughout. The quarter piercing in Morgana's cross is very small and the visual distinction it gives is lost with the other piercings in the center of a Celtic cross. Therefore, there is no difference for the type of cross. [Muirgen of Applecross, 02/2002, R-Calontir]
There is only one CD for changing the type of cross from bottony to Santiago per existing precedent, when one considers that a cross bottony is an earlier version of, and closely resembles, a cross crosslet: "[three crosses of Santiago Or vs. three crosses crosslet fitchy Or]... there is a CD for type of cross" (LoAR April 2000) [Maridonna Benvenuti, 02/2002, R-Meridies]
[Argent, within a cross moline disjointed vert nine roses in cross gules seeded Or] Crosses moline disjointed have unmistakably forked and curled ends, like the ends of a millrind or a regular cross moline. These curled ends are not apparent on this emblazon. This must be returned for redrawing of the cross moline disjointed.

The SCA allows crosses of all sorts to be charged, and a cross moline disjointed should be no exception. It should be noted that when charges are put on a cross moline disjointed, they obscure the identifiability of the cross somewhat; the tertiary charges contribute to greater visual separation and disassociation of the already separated parts of the cross. Special care should be taken with the artwork to preserve identifiability of all elements of the armory. [Arthur de Beaumont, 04/2002, R-East]
[a cross engrailed argent overall a gurges Or] The model for this armory submission is in Foster's The Dictionary of Heraldry. It depicts the arms of Robert Giffard, from the Dering Roll c. 1275. Foster's blazon is Argent, a cross engrailed sable, over all a gorge azure, and it is drawn much like this submission. The gurges is depicted as concentric annulets, each annulet overlying the "cup" parts of the engrailed cross. The outside annulets are cut off by the sides of the shield so only the corners show.

... In general, it appears that concentric annulets, of which the outermost are cut off by the edges of the shield, are an early form of gurges. Thus, it seems appropriate to give this emblazon the benefit of the doubt, and assume that this is an acceptable period-style combination of a gurges and a cross engrailed. [Gregory of Glencairn, 05/2002, A-Æthelmearc] [Ed.: There was extensive discussion for this decision. It can be found under GURGES.]
Some commenters asked whether the cross of Cerdaña should continue to be allowed in SCA armory, because it is an SCA-invented charge without a strong pattern of SCA use. The cross of Cerdaña is listed in the Pictorial Dictionary as an "SCA invention; it's essentially a square set on one corner, with a semi-circular notch on each side." This description makes the cross sound much less period than it appears. The cross of Cerdaña is a minor artistic variant of a cross clechy, which is a standard period cross. We therefore see no reason to disallow the continued registration of this type of cross. [Ana María de Cerdanya, 07/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[a bordure sable crusilly plain Or] Some commenters suggested that the bordure be blazoned as sable crusilly Or, but such a blazon would be incorrect. The default crusilly is of crosses crosslet. It is therefore necessary to specify that this bordure is crusilly couped or crusilly plain. [Cathal MacLean, 08/2002, A-Atlantia]
"There is not a CD between a cross crosslet fitchy and a cross bottony" (LoAR December 1999).

Because crosses bottony and crosses crosslet were not separate charges in period, and because crosses and crosses fitchy were not separate charges in period, RfS X.4.e gives no type difference between a cross bottony and a cross crosslet fitchy. It is important to recall that the cross bottony and the cross crosslet are both used to represent the same charge throughout our period's heraldry. The bottony form is found predominantly in earlier artwork, and the crosslet form predominantly in later artwork. Good examples of this evolution can be seen in the Beauchamp arms, Gules, a fess between six crosses crosslet Or. It is also important to recall that there is a fair amount of evidence showing that the fitching of crosses in period heraldry may be done as artist's license, particularly when the crosses are in a group of strewn ("semy") charges. [Sean of the South, 08/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[cross barby vs cross formy] With crosses, as with quadrupeds, it is sometimes possible to get "substantial" difference between two distinct charge types; in other cases it is only possible to get "significant" difference, and in others yet, no heraldic difference is given at all. In most cases where substantial difference is given, it is because the charges in question are standard period charges which are definitely not standard period variants of one another and are always visually distinct. A cross barby does not appear to be a standard period cross, and has a standard equal-armed shape like a cross formy. It thus seems appropriate only to give one CD for the difference of type between these charges. [Wulf de Langhemerc, 09/2002, R-Atlantia]
There is one CD for ... for the difference between a cross formy and a Maltese cross. Both crosses were found in period, and they were considered distinct from each other. The shapes of these crosses are too similar to allow substantial (RfS X.2) difference to be given between them. [Hugo van Halle, 10/2002, A-Atlantia]
The cross was originally blazoned as alisée formy. The ends are so slightly rounded that this depiction is merely an unblazonable artistic variant of a cross formy. Crosses alisée formy in their correctly-drawn globular form have been returned in the past as non-period style, under the blazon term "formy convexed" (see the LoAR of December 1998 for more information).

The device conflicts with Ivan the Astronomer, Per fess wavy argent and gules, in canton a cross patty gules. There is one CD for changing the field. The cross patty in Ivan's device is a standard cross formy, so there is no difference for changing the type of the cross. [Michael Silverhand, 10/2002, R-Ansteorra]
There is no difference between a cross formy and a Latin cross formy. [Michael Silverhand, 10/2002, R-Ansteorra]
This armory does not violate the long-standing strictures against registering a single abstract symbol. A tau cross is a standard heraldic charge in its own right. [Timothy Brother, 11/2002, A-Artemisia]
[Azure, a tau cross Or] The device does not conflict with the flag of Sweden (important non-SCA flag), Azure, a cross Or. The two pieces of armory are clear of conflict by RfS X.2 due to the substantial change to the type of the cross. Precedent indicates that "... there is a substantial difference between a patriarchal cross and a plain cross throughout" (LoAR of February 2000). In this precedent, adding a second crossbar to a standard four-armed cross was considered substantial difference. This case seems analogous, as the tau cross omits the visually important chiefmost arm of a cross. While period crosses showed some variety in the way that the bottommost arm was drawn (fitchy or not, for example), this license did not extend to the other three arms of the cross. It was never standard in period to remove any arm of a cross, not even the basemost. Therefore it seems reasonable to consider a tau cross to be substantially different from a default plain cross throughout. [Timothy Brother, 11/2002, A-Artemisia]
[a cross fleury vs. a cross of four ermine spots] There is a CD ... for changing the type of cross. RfS X.4.e states "Types of charges considered to be separate in period, for example a lion and an heraldic tyger, will be considered different." Both crosses fleury and crosses of ermine spots were considered to be separate in period and were drawn so that they could be visually distinguished from each other.

Some commenters noted the following precedent: "We could see no more than a minor point of difference between the cross of conjoined ermine spots and the cross fleury" (LoAR 21 May 89, p. 23). It is important to recall that the criteria of the current Rules for Submissions are not the same as the criteria of the rules which were in effect in May 1989. The current version of the rules relies on historical and visual criteria for difference, while previous versions of the rules relied mostly on visual criteria. Thus, a precedent that a particular change was worth either a major or a minor point of difference under the old rules does not clearly translate into the presence or absence of a CD. [Geffroi de Mosterol, 12/2002, A-Ealdormere]
[Sable, a saltire bretessed argent] This does not conflict with a ... Sable, a saltire formy argent. Contrary to some opinions espoused in the commentary, couping an ordinary is only a significant change (worth a CD) rather than a substantial change (clear by RfS X.2). We would only give a CD between a saltire bretessed and a saltire bretessed and couped. However, just as it seems appropriate to give X.2 (substantial) difference between the very different period charges of a cross formy (which is couped by default and has splayed ends) and a cross bretessed (which is throughout by default and treated with an embattled line), it is also appropriate to give X.2 difference between similarly treated saltires. [Nikolai Toranovich, 01/2003, A-An Tir]
There is a CD ... for the type difference between a cross potent and a cross crosslet. Both types of cross are found throughout the heraldic period and appear to be considered distinct charges. [Marmaduc de Thystelesworthe, 01/2003, A-Atlantia]
A cross crescenty has each arm ending in a crescent with its horns pointing outwards. "While a cross crescenty is not, to the best of our knowledge, a period cross, it follows the pattern of period crosses, and is, therefore, registerable" (LoAR November 1998) [Celestria of Celtenhomme, 01/2003, A-Calontir]
Some commenters asked whether this submission might have "too many weirdnesses" to be acceptable. A "weirdness", according to the Glossary of Terms, is a "break with the usual period style provided that it is not overly obtrusive". While the use of a Celtic cross in heraldry may be an SCA innovation, it is not considered a weirdness, as similarly constructed crosses are found in period heraldry. It is a reasonable extension of practices found in period heraldry rather than a "break with the usual period style." [Aindrea Mac Parthaláin, 01/2003, A-Outlands]
[a cross patonce vs. a cross bottony] A second CD must come from the type difference between a cross bottony and a cross patonce.

SCA precedent has so far consistently held that there is a CD between crosses bottony/crosslet and crosses fleury/flory/patonce. Kraken provided some citations from Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials, taken from the beginning of the section on single crosses. In these examples, we find armory using both crosses bottony/crosslet, and crosses fleury/flory/patonce, belonging to people with the same surname. He therefore rightly raised the question of whether we should continue to consider these types of cross to have been distinct in period (and thus worth a CD for the change in type), or whether we should consider them to have been artistic variants of each other in period (with no CD for the change in type).

In researching this question, we have used Kraken's examples, and added further research from Papworth, as well as Brault's The Rolls of Arms of Edward I ("Aspilogia III"), Cecil Humphery-Smith's Anglo-Norman Armory II, and the Dictionary of British Armorials (henceforth abbreviated DBA). We realize that these sources provide an unfortunately Anglocentric view of heraldry, but the sources at our disposal which allow this sort of research are largely English - and the research is being used to elaborate on some initial information that is also English.

The first, and most important question to ask, is whether changing the type of cross could ever be a change indicating different branches of the family (cadency). A change which could indicate cadency is a change which could be worth a CD. It appears that at least in some cases, the change in the type of cross indicates cadency. One good example is the family of Ward, as seen in the various sources cited above, where different branches of the family are specifically cited as using distinct cross types. As a general rule, type changes are one of the more common types of cadency change in period - much more common than cadency changes in posture and arrangement. So it is unsurprising that changing the type of a cross is, in some cases, a cadency change.

Since changing a cross type may sometimes indicate cadency, we must therefore determine whether the changes in cross type which we have found are indicative of cadency, or if they are indicative of artistic variation. Some ways of demonstrating that two types of charge are artistic variants of each other are:
- Demonstrating a general pattern of interchangeability between the two types of charge: most armory using one sort of charge is also found using the other sort of charge, or there is a temporal trend so that earlier versions of the charge are drawn in one way and later forms are drawn in the other way.

- Demonstrating that the choice of how to draw the charge was most likely due to the artist, because the artist of one roll would draw the charge consistently in one fashion and the artist of another roll would draw the charge consistently in another fashion.

- Demonstrating that there are numerous cases in which a single individual bore variations of the same sort of cross.
In all the cases above, the analysis should consider the source material and remove any erroneous material.

We were unable to demonstrate a general pattern of interchangeability between these two types of cross. It appeared that most of the time, a family used exclusively either crosses bottony/crosslet (henceforth abbreviated "bottony") or crosses patonce/fleury/flory (henceforth abbreviated "patonce"). This was particularly evident in the examination of the better-researched sources; as a general rule, Papworth's research is considered to be less authoritative than Brault's, Humphrey-Smith's, or that of the compilers of the DBA. Note that the DBA does not extend through the "cross" category yet, but DBA includes a fair number of examples of armory using either "bottony" or "patonce" crosses as secondary or tertiary charges in the company of bends, cantons, and chevrons.

We were unable to demonstrate that the choice of how to draw the cross was due to stylistic variations between artists. As Kraken noted, Harleian MS 1407 shows the family of Goldisbrgh/Goldesbry in both "patonce" and "bottony variants". The families of Brerlegh and Aton both are shown as using "patonce" and "bottony" variants in Glover's Ordinary.

We were unable to find any trend where a single individual was noted as using both "bottony" and "patonce" types of cross. We freely admit that we were not able to isolate many cases where we could attribute armory to a specific individual, so our researches in this area were not particularly compelling.

Lastly, it seemed apparent that Papworth's citations from Glover's Ordinary were responsible for a disproportionate number of the cases where one family appeared to use "bottony" and "patonce" crosses. These examples include the families of Aton, Brerlegh, Ward, and Taddington/Tuddington. If Papworth's interpretation of Glover's Ordinary is viewed as suspect, we are left with almost no reason to consider crosses "bottony" and "patonce" to be artistic variants of each other.

Thus, until new evidence is presented, we affirm the following precedent: "...there is still a CD between a cross flory and a cross bottony" (LoAR August 1999). [Miryam æt West Seaxe, 02/2003, A-Caid]
[an ankh with its lower limb surmounted by four bars couped] The submitter provided evidence that the ankh with the four crossbars had a particular hieroglyphic meaning in ancient Egypt. The submitter also provided evidence there was some Egyptian artwork extant in our period which used this design as the head of a staff in representations of the god Ptah. Thus, this design might have been seen by medieval and Renaissance viewers of the ancient Egyptian artwork.

No evidence was presented that hieroglyphs, as a class, are appropriate for heraldic use. They cannot be considered as acceptable charges analogous to letters or other abstract symbols, as their text meaning was not known during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. They may have been known as artistic designs, but as noted in RfS VII.2, "Use of an element in period art does not guarantee its acceptability for armory. Use of the Greek key design, which was common in period decorative art, never carried over into armory."

This charge combination must therefore be accepted, or not, on its own merits as a heraldic design element. An ankh (or crux ansata) is accepted for use in SCA heraldry, even though it is not a period heraldic charge, as it is a straightforward variant of a Latin cross. However, crossing the basemost leg of a crux ansata four times changes the charge so much that it is no longer an acceptable variant of a period cross. The charge is too far from period practice to be accepted as a Compatible Armorial Element under RfS VII.6, given the evidence known to the College at this time. Without documentation showing such a charge used in heraldry, it may not be accepted for registration. [Lucius Alexandrinus, 02/2003, R-Caid]
[a Latin cross formy floretty] The formy portion of this cross is not a standard cross formy. The arms do not spread out all the way to the ends of the cross arm. Instead, the arms spread out through most of their length, but they end in a straight portion of cross arm. The straight portion is set off by a detail line, so it appears to be a 'cap' at the end of the arm. This does not appear to be a standard variant of a cross formy.

In addition, it is not clear that a cross formy floretty is acceptable period style. A cross formy bottony was returned as non-period style in August 2000. Without documentation for this charge, or for similar constructions combining a cross formy with another type of complex cross end, this may not be registered. [Tófa Jóhansdóttir, 03/2003, R-Drachenwald]
[(Fieldless) A cross of Jerusalem purpure] "The Cross of Jerusalem is a defined single charge, though it consists of discrete elements in the same way than an ermine spot does." (LoAR July 1996). As a result, there is no problem having a cross of Jerusalem on a fieldless badge, even though portions of this defined single charge are not conjoined. [Hans Faust der herlat, 04/2003, A-Ansteorra]
[two crosses of Jerusalem each with its center cross a cross crosslet] The charges around the bend are not standard crosses of Jerusalem. Standard crosses of Jerusalem consist of a cross potent between four smaller crosses couped. In these crosses, the center cross is crosslet, not potent. While we are not aware of any standard variants of the cross of Jerusalem in period, it is relatively standard SCA practice to vary the treatment of the end of a simple type of cross (such as a Celtic cross fleury). A cross of Jerusalem is not a simple type of cross, but the variant shown here is visually straightforward and recognizable. Therefore, this variant of a cross of Jerusalem is one step from period practice (a "weirdness"). Armory using only one "weirdness" is stylistically acceptable. [Caranwyn Silveroak, 05/2003, A-East]
Two commenters asked whether the cross gurgity was too close to a swastika (or fylfot) to be registered without causing offense. The cross gurgity in this submission is drawn as it is in the Pictorial Dictionary: each arm curves smoothly to a hook which ends in a point. A swastika is drawn with arms which make a right angle and end bluntly. This seems to be sufficient visual distinction to avoid offense, especially as the commentary on the matter was more in the nature of a question about the charge - neither commenter stated that he or she found it difficult to distinguish this charge from a swastika, or that he or she took offense at the charge. [Uther Schiemann der Hunt, 06/2003, A-West]
... a second CD for the type difference between a cross of lozenges and a cross of mascles. [Arabella Mackinnon, 06/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[Quarterly azure and argent, a cross moline throughout sable between in bend a mullet and a bear's paw print argent] RfS XI.3 states:
Divisions commonly used for marshalling, such as quarterly or per pale, may only be used in contexts that ensure marshalling is not suggested.
The rule continues in subsection (a):
a. Such fields may be used with identical charges over the entire field, or with complex lines of partition or charges overall that were not used for marshalling in period heraldry.
This piece of armory consists of a quarterly field (a division commonly used for marshalling) which does not have "identical charges over the entire field." This raises the question of whether a cross moline throughout should be considered a "charge overall that [was] not used for marshalling in period heraldry." Precedent indicates that "crosses throughout, crosses paty [sic: now called formy] throughout, [and] crosses engrailed throughout were in marshalled arms [as charges overlying the quarterly line of division]" (LoAR March 1994 p.10). Precedent also indicates that crosses couped (LoAR March 1994 p.10) and crosses flory (not throughout) (LoAR June 2000) were not used in marshalled arms as charges overlying the quarterly line of division.

The College generally felt that, based on the previous precedent and the discussion of period marshalling in the commentary, the following precedent should be set:
PRECEDENT: A cross throughout which overlies the line of division on a quarterly field does not remove the appearance of marshalling by quartering, even if the cross throughout is treated with a complex line (such as engrailed) or has complex ends (such as formy or moline.) A cross which is not throughout, or which does not overlie the quarterly line of division (such as a Tau cross), will remove the appearance of marshalling unless evidence is presented that the cross under discussion was used for marshalling in period heraldry.
Because the cross moline in this submission is throughout and overlies the quarterly line of division, it does not remove the appearance of marshalling by quartering in this submission. [Dana the Quarrier, 06/2003, R-Meridies]
[crosses of Santiago] A number of commenters were concerned about the identifiability of the crosses of Santiago. The cross of Santiago is one of the more variable forms of period crosses, as can be seen by inspecting material pertaining to the regalia of the Spanish or Portuguese Orders of Santiago [de la Espada]. The bottom arm of the cross is always fitchy, but in a way that more resembles a sword blade than the usual bottom arm of a cross fitchy. The side arms are an often-flamboyant sort of flory. The top arm ranges from a standard flory, to a subdued form of flory, to a round- or card-pique-shaped "sword hilt" shape. Comparing the crosses in this submission to the relatively standard form in the Pictorial Dictionary, the top and bottom arms of the crosses are almost identical. The side arms of the crosses are, in each case, a flamboyant form of flory, but the side arms in this submission are much flatter than usual. Please advise the submitter to draw the side arms of the cross in a more standard manner. [Gregorio Cristovalez de la Vega, 07/2003, A-An Tir]
There is one CD between a cross throughout and a cross nowy. [Elizabeth de Foxle, 07/2003, A-Lochac]
[Per chevron azure and argent, a Norse sun cross argent] Per previous precedent, this submission consists of a single abstract symbol and thus may not be registered: "The Norse sun cross is also the symbol for Earth, and by precedent symbols cannot be registered as the sole charge. This ruling was applied to Norse sun crosses in April 1994 (pg. 15, s.n. Barony of Bonwicke)" (LoAR September 2000). [Curwinus Trevirensis, 07/2003, R-Atlantia]
The crosses were originally blazoned as Crosses of Cleves, which are Latin crosses flory. When the crosses are made fitchy, the Latin nature of the cross becomes much less apparent, so we have reblazoned these simply as crosses flory fitchy. [Bróccín mac Gille Críst, 10/2003, A-Meridies]
[for augmentation on a canton purpure a cross of Calatrava and a bordure Or] The augmentation conflicts with ... Purpure, a cross moline disjointed, a bordure Or. The augmentation in this submission appears to be a display of the armory Purpure, a cross of Calatrava and a bordure Or, which has one CD ... for changing the type of cross, but does not have the substantial difference required to qualify for RfS X.2. [Edward Cire of Greymoor, 10/2003, R-An Tir]
[Gules, on a cross quarter-pierced Or four eagles sable] Conflict with ... Gules, on a cross Or five ladybugs gules marked sable. Per the LoAR of February 2000, "you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict." A cross quarter-pierced may also be blazoned as a cross charged with a delf throughout. As a result, one can blazon this submission as Gules on a cross Or a delf throughout gules between four eagles sable. RfS X.4.j.i states that "Generally ... changes must affect the whole group of charges to be considered visually significant, since the size of these elements and their visual impact are considerably diminished." In this case, because the change of tincture of four-fifths of the charges, and the change of the type of all the charges is so significant, one CD is allowed for the changes to the tertiary charge group under RfS X.4.j.i. However, a second CD is required. [Orban von Ulm, 10/2003, R-Meridies]
Per the LoAR of July 2003, "There is one CD between a cross throughout and a cross nowy." The same CD applies between a cross throughout and cross nowy quadrate. Note that no evidence has been presented or found indicating that a cross nowy (or a cross nowy quadrate) would be a period artistic variant of a cross throughout. There is certainly unmistakable visual difference between the two types of cross, whether the nowy is the default circular nowy (per the July 2003 ruling) or whether it is the square nowy quadrate. [Jessimond of Greencrosse, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
There is a CD between a default cross (throughout) and a cross formy throughout. We routinely give difference between the couped versions of these crosses (a cross couped versus a cross formy). Nor has evidence been presented or found indicating that a cross throughout would be interchangeable with a cross formy throughout in period. [Jessimond of Greencrosse, 11/2003, A-An Tir]
... no difference given for the type of cross: "A cross patonce and a cross of Santiago are both considered artistic variants of a cross flory; therefore, there is no CD for a cross patonce versus a cross of Santiago" (LoAR March 2001). [Brigit Gilbertstoune, 11/2003, R-Atlantia]
[(Fieldless) A cross patonce azure] This does not conflict with Morgana Elisabetta Rosatti, (Fieldless) A cross fleury azure irradiated Or. Irradiated charges, when drawn correctly, are a CD from non-irradiated charges. Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet, defines irradiated as "Surrounded by rays of light. An irradiated charge is usually shown as if it were charged on a sun." The irradiated cross here is drawn appropriately, with very pronounced irradiation. There is thus one CD for fieldlessness, and a second CD for the irradiation. [Brigit Gilbertstoune, 11/2003, R-Atlantia]
The cross formy floretty may be found in period armory, in the arms of Roger de Swynnerton, Argent, a cross formy flory at the ends sable, as cited (among other places) in The Rolls of Arms of Edward I volume I p.500 by Gerard J. Brault, and cited and illustrated in Foster's The Dictionary of Heraldry p.188 (under the slightly different spelling Roger de Swinnerton.) [Tófa Jóhansdóttir, 12/2003, A-Drachenwald]
[a cross fourchy between the tines of each fork a roundel] This was blazoned in the Letter of Intent (and by the submitter) as a cross Osmorog. The submitter provided some documentation which the submitting herald provided, at least in part, to the College on-line. The Letter of Intent says that the documentation has associated dates in period, but the on-line versions of the documentation did not provide any dates or any associated explanatory text. The provided documentation only showed the emblazon and fringes of the surrounding text, which were cut off when the documentation was originally reproduced or scanned. No other documentation was provided to Wreath from the submitting kingdom.

The College's research noted that the charges surrounding the cross Osmorog (roundels in this emblazon) are not integral parts of the cross Osmorog but need to be blazoned separately. The College's research also resulted in significant doubt about whether the cross in this submission is a correct depiction of a period cross Osmorog. We have thus chosen to blazon this device using standard Western terms.

We considered blazoning this either as a variant of a cross moline or of a cross fourchy. Because the ends of a cross moline are pointed and deeply curved, and the ends of this cross are couped flat and only slightly curved, we have reblazoned these as crosses fourchy. [Zygmunt Nadratowski, 01/2004, A-Middle]
We would like to address one specific misconception which, according to some commenters, derived from an overgeneralization of a conflict table. One conflict table concerning crosses had a category of "cross throughout" (with sub-categories for the particular types of cross throughout, such as equal-armed Celtic quarter-pierced.) As a result of the cursory scan of this category, which generally gave a CD between the "throughout" cross and the cross with which it was compared, more than one College of Arms member incorrectly generalized that all crosses throughout were a CD from all crosses which were not throughout. The precedents listed in the LoAR table explicitly denied that generalization, but one had to look at the cited precedents to see that information. One example of a precedent referenced by the conflict table that denied this generalization:
[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 Mel Doraid, October, 1992, pg. 16)
A relatively recent LoAR also addressed this issue. Clarifying comments have been inserted into the quote in square brackets:
While we give a CD for a standard cross throughout [the ordinary] versus a cross couped, for most crosses (such as crosses fleury) we do not give such difference for couped [not-throughout] versus throughout. (LoAR February 2002).
[03/2004, CL]
[Vert, on a cross flory Or a rose proper] Conflict with ... (Fieldless) On four demi-fleurs conjoined in cross Or a torteau. There is one CD for fieldlessness. There is no difference between the four demi-fleurs conjoined in cross charged with (a tertiary charge) and a cross flory charged with (a tertiary charge): the tertiary charge obscures any significant difference between these two designs.

There is also no difference for changing the type only of the tertiary charge. A cross flory is not a "suitable charge" for RfS X.4.j.ii, which states in pertinent part, "A charge is suitable for the purposes of [RfS X.4.j.ii] if (a) it is simple enough in outline to be voided..." Crosses fleury are analogous to crosses moline for purposes of considering whether they are too complicated to void or to fimbriate. The LoAR of July 1999 stated, "This is being returned for violating the precedent set by Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme as Laurel (January 15, 1993, cover letter) concerning which charges are suitable for fimbriation. A cross moline is too complex to fimbriate."

In the cases of both crosses moline and crosses flory, some period depictions of the cross have ends which are complicated enough that the cross is arguably too complex to void by the criteria of the Cover Letter dated January 15, 1993 (for the November 1992 LoAR), although many other period depictions of these crosses are simple enough to void by the same criteria. While we are not certain whether we would rule, de novo, that crosses moline are too complicated to void, insufficient evidence has been presented to overturn the previous precedent concerning the voidability of crosses moline. [Victoria Anthoinette Sauvignon, 03/2004, R-Calontir]
No documentation was presented, and none was found, for the cross pattée concave in period armory. This cross has ends that are straight throughout most of their length, and flare out only at the very ends of the arm. As far as we are aware, period crosses formy flare out along the entirety of their length.

The term concave, as found in a few previous SCA registrations, appears to apply to a cross that is somewhat nowy lozengy (or nowy of a lozenge). This cross is only slightly nowy of a lozenge. Because the blazon term concave is not well-defined in real-world or SCA armory, it should be avoided in the future. [Gabriel de Morland, 03/2004, R-Outlands]

CROSSBOW and BOW

[in pale a stag at gaze argent and a bow bendwise sinister, drawn and with arrow nocked Or] The armory is not overly complex "slot machine" heraldry (using more than two types of charge in a single charge group) because prior precedent indicates that a bow and arrow in a standard position are treated as if they were a single charge. A drawn bow and arrow are in a standard position for a bow and arrow.
[considering a strung bow and arrow along with another charge] The question was raised as to whether or not this is considered slot machine since it has three dissimilar charges in one group. While it is true that it has three charges, when a bow and arrow are in their standard, expected position they are considered one charge, just like a sword in a scabbard is considered one charge. It is only when they are separated, or put into non standard positions for their normal use, such as being crossed in saltire, that they become two separate charges. (LoAR April 1999)
[Rotheric Kynith, 06/2003, A-Caid]
... they are as different in appearance from each other as a bow and a crossbow (ruled substantially different in the LoAR of November 1996) ... [Diethelm Waltorfer, 12/2003, A-Ansteorra]
While we blazon the distinction between an uncocked crossbow and a default (cocked) crossbow, we do not give difference between them. [Siegfried Sebastian Faust, 03/2004, R-Atlantia]

CUP and CHALICE

After due consideration, the visual differences between tankards and mortars and pestles are sufficient for a CD. [Elizabeth Rea, 02/2002, A-Meridies]
[(Fieldless) A covered cup argent] Conflict with Kathleen Erin-go-Burne-the-Bragh, Vert, a chalice argent containing flames Or. There is a CD for fieldlessness. There is no type difference between a cup and a covered cup. The flame in Kathleen's cup is a maintained charge, and its deletion is not worth difference. [Ysoria de Brai, 08/2002, R-Atlantia]

DEFAULTS

A Wake knot, as per the PicDic, is fesswise by default. [Nottinghill Coill, Barony of, 08/2001, A-Atlantia]
A proper boar is brown by default according to the Glossary of Terms, so this needn't be blazoned as a brown boar. [Áedán of Windhaven, 08/2001, A-Middle]
A lion's paw escallop is, effectively, a default escallop. [Lyondemere, Barony of, 09/2001, A-Caid]
[A loom weight pendant from a hank of yarn] This shape of loom weight is easily recognized by weavers. The identifiability is enhanced by the hank of yarn; loom weights without associated yarn are unlikely to be identifiable as loom weights. Marta Hoffman's The Warp-Weighted Loom indicates that loom weights in period were found in a variety of shapes. This loom weight is an oval disk with a small hole near the top. Other varieties include pyramidal and annular. This form is now the default loom weight for the SCA. Other loom weight shapes will need to be specified in blazon. [Barbara atte Dragon, 10/2001, A-Middle]
[a dragon rampant] Winged quadrupedal monsters have their wings elevated and addorsed by default when rampant. [Feme inghean Donnabháin, 10/2001, A-Trimaris]
Regardless of the botanical propriety of a period orange carrot, there is no one obvious color for a carrot to take in period, and therefore there is no default tincture for a carrot proper. [Randall Carrick, 10/2001, R-Outlands]
[tennis racket] There is a strong pattern of use of constructed artifacts from all walks of life in period heraldry. The type of tennis racket drawn here is late 16th C and, as the defining example in the SCA, is now the default tennis racket. [Bertrand du Beaumanoir, 11/2001, A-Æthelmearc]
The lilies in Ella's device are in the default palewise posture. [Ella de Lille, 12/2001, A-Atlantia]
[in chief three lozenges] The original blazon read, in latter part, ... and in chief three lozenges in fess Or. Three items in chief will also be in fess by default. We do find armory in the SCA with three items in chief, arranged one and two, but this arrangement should always be blazoned. [John de Lochabre, 12/2001, A-Atlantia]
Crusilly is, by default, of crosses crosslet ... [Christoff von Rotenburg, 12/2001, A-Meridies]
The College of Arms should recall that lymphads, by default, have the sails furled and the oars in action. If the sail is unfurled, as here, it must be blazoned. The state of the oars (which are omitted in this emblazon) is too small a detail to require blazoning. [Daniel Tremayne, 01/2002, A-An Tir]
... charges in annulo are clockwise by default... [Isabelle d'Avallon02/2002, A-Atenveldt]
Labels are throughout by default, so this need not be blazoned. [Thomas de Lacy, 02/2002, A-Atenveldt]
... there is no default proper tincture for a camel.. [Aminah of Nithgaard, 03/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[an oak tree couped proper] Some commenters suggested that this tree be blazoned simply as a tree, rather than the oak tree provided in the submitter's blazon. The tree in this submission has a round shape, but it is drawn without acorns and without distinctly shaped leaves. It is not drawn with any features which would identify it as some sort of tree other than an oak (such as maple leaves, or fruit). The default round-shaped tree is an oak tree. Therefore, this is an acceptable emblazon for an oak tree, and it seems reasonable to keep the submitter's preferred blazon term. [Bethoc of Ravenswood, 03/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[a reremouse displayed head to dexter] The reremouse is both displayed and guardant by default. Since this reremouse is displayed but has its head turned to dexter, its posture has been explicitly blazoned for clarity. [Mat of Forth Castle, 03/2002, A-Meridies]
[Per bend Or and vert, an elephant argent] Conflict with Andrew Castlebuilder, Per chevron purpure and Or, overall an elephant [Elephas sp.] trumpeting passant proper, on its back a carpet purpure, fimbriated Or, supporting a tower argent, masoned sable. There is a CD for changing the field but no difference for adding the tower. Towers are commonly found on the back of elephants, and must be blazoned when present. However, such towers are of much less visual weight than the elephant, and are therefore equivalent to maintained charges. The tower in Andrew's arms follows this pattern. [Dionello Cristoforo dei Medici, 03/2002, R-An Tir]
In the course of researching this submission it became apparent that the SCA has had no consistent default arrangement for charges on a pile. Based on Roger Pye's research (A Return to First Principles: I - The Pile, Coat of Arms VII (49) pp. 4 - 6, January 1962), the default for charges on a pile should be in pale. It was not until the reign of Henry VIII that we find a group of charges on a pile arranged other than in pale: specifically, a group of three charges on a pile arranged two and one. [James of Nayland, 03/2002, R-Caid]
This chimera is drawn as the one in Bossewell's 1572 Armorie. It has a lion's body, a lion's head, a goat's head, and a dragon's head regardant. This is the default SCA composition for a chimera. [Maximilian Gartenheit of Heatherwyne, 04/2002, A-Caid]
... squirrels are sejant erect by default and almost always found in that posture in period armory. [Isabel Fosson, 04/2002, A-Middle]
The simurgh has been explicitly blazoned as close, since simurghs have no default posture. [Tavia of Persia, 05/2002, R-Outlands]
After reading the discussion provided by the College, it seems appropriate to rule that the daffodil, like the lotus, has no default posture. The posture of the flower should be blazoned explicitly, such as affronty or bell to chief. Daffodils addorsed are daffodils with the bells facing away from each other.

Daffodils are not slipped and leaved by default. The flower portion of the daffodil may be referred to either as a daffodil or as a daffodil blossom. [06/2002, CL]
We have blazoned the lightning bolt as palewise because neither the Pictorial Dictionary nor the Glossary of Terms gives a default for this SCA-invented charge. [Maddalena de los Angeles, 06/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[a label dovetailed throughout] A peculiarity of SCA blazon is that the standard label is throughout by default, but the dovetailed label is couped by default. The blazon in this submission label is both dovetailed and throughout, and both these details must be blazoned. [Kharra Unegen, 07/2002, A-Atenveldt]
In the SCA, winged objects such as winged swords, and (presumably) winged skulls, have the wings displayed by default. [Delphina the Mad, 07/2002, A-Atlantia]
[a drop spindle inverted] Our textile pals were able to identify the drop spindle on first glance. They also note that some styles of period drop spindle have the whorl to chief, so a spindle with the whorl to chief would not have been intrinsically unrecognizable in a period context. However, the default drop spindle in the SCA has its whorl to base, so we have blazoned these as inverted. [Siobhán NicDhuinnshléibhe, 07/2002, A-Atlantia]
[Per pale vert and sable, six gouttes three two and one argent] It is not clear whether the default for six objects on a per pale field should be three two and one (as on a plain field) or two two and two (so the charges are placed on opposite sides of the line of division.) We have thus blazoned the arrangement of the gouttes explicitly. [Malcolm Makalestyr, 07/2002, A-Outlands]
Herons are close by default, so the posture need not be blazoned. [Herons Reach, Shire of, 08/2002, A-An Tir]
Winged quadrupeds have their wings addorsed by default, so this detail need not be specified in the blazon. [Andreu Recheles, 09/2002, A-An Tir]
Note that the SCA default for six objects on a plain field is three two and one. This matches the default for six objects on a plain field in most of the times and places in which heraldry is found before 1600. [Edward of Hartwell, 09/2002, A-Caid]
Angels are affronty by default and so contourny is not a well defined term: the angel must be r[e]blazoned as statant contourny. Because an angel is a humanoid monster, the term statant is understood to mean "standing as a human does": it is not necessary to blazon an angel as statant erect. (And it is not period heraldic practice, nor is it respectful, to emblazon an angel statant as an animal would be statant, down on all fours.) [Rivenvale, Shire of, 10/2002, R-Middle]
[Vert, a fern frond argent] The default SCA fern frond has a long triangular shape with fine horizontal cuts. The stem of the frond is at the center of the base of the triangle. The charge therefore is very similar in outline to that of a standard heraldic fir or pine tree. Because a fern frond has not been demonstrated to be a period charge, its type difference from other charges is determined, per RfS X.4.e, on solely visual grounds. There is too strong a resemblance between a heraldic fir tree and a fern frond to allow difference on solely visual grounds. Therefore, this conflicts with ... Vert, a fir tree eradicated ermine. There is only one difference, for changing the tincture of the charge. [Mathias ap Morgan, 11/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
[(Fieldless) A bee statant proper] In the SCA, a bee statant has its wings addorsed by default, as in the August 2002 registration of Robert Pine's device.

This badge does not conflict with Aideen the Audacious, (Fieldless) A bumblebee fesswise proper. There is one CD for fieldlessness. Aideen's bumblebee is in its default tergiant posture, and then rotated fesswise. There is a CD between a bee tergiant fesswise and a bee statant. Both postures show the bees with fesswise bodies, but a bee tergiant fesswise has wings visible on both sides of the bee's body, while a bee statant only has wings visible on the chiefmost side of the body. This difference is worth a CD, analogous to the difference between a bird rising wings displayed and a bird rising wings addorsed. [Catríona nic Theàrlaigh, 12/2002, A-An Tir]
The default SCA tai-chi is per fess embowed counter-embowed argent and sable, per the Pictorial Dictionary under roundel. This tai-chi is per pale embowed counterembowed with the sable part to dexter: as a result, this emblazon uses a tai-chi fesswise reversed proper. [Geoffrey Arkwright, 12/2002, A-Atenveldt]
PRECEDENT: The default orientation for a trillium has one petal to base, so the petals are in pall. A trillium inverted has one petal to chief, so the petals are in pall inverted. [01/2003, CL] [Ed.: See FLOWER -- Trillium for the complete discussion]
[Per bend sinister azure and sable, three crosses potent two and one argent] The three crosses are blazoned explicitly as two and one because, on a per bend sinister field, three charges default to having two in the dexter chief portion of the field and one in the sinister base portion. [Marmaduc de Thystelesworthe, 01/2003, A-Atlantia]
[A wild ginger flower] The wild ginger flower in Ginevra's badge has the petals in pall inverted (with one petal to chief). This is the default for wild ginger flowers, which is the opposite of the default for the similarly three-petalled trillium (see the cover letter of the January 2003 LoAR for more details). [Ginevra Rodney, 02/2003, A-Ansteorra]
[two brushes in saltire sable bristled "brown"] The brushes in the Letter of Intent were blazoned as sable handled proper. However, the brushes in the emblazon have sable handles and brown bristles. There is no defined default tincture for an artist's brush. Thus, this is not a reasonable depiction of a proper brush. As the brush cannot otherwise be blazoned accurately, it must be returned. [Dorothea Manuela Ponçe, 02/2003, R-Atlantia]
... the leaf in the emblazon is not the default leaf, and no documentation was presented indicating what type of leaf it is. A default leaf is oval-shaped, possibly with a pointed tip. This leaf has five pointed lobes. We were unable to identify it as any particular sort of leaf, and were thus unable to blazon it correctly. Without the ability to blazon the leaf correctly, this may not be accepted by RfS VII.7.b. [Emma Wolvyne, 02/2003, R-Caid]
[a triple-peaked mountain issuant from base] We note that a mountain is issuant from base by default but are keeping the submitters' requested blazon of issuant from base, which matches their previous badge's blazon. [Mountain Confederation, 02/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
While swans are rousant by default, their barnyard cousins, geese, are close by default. Note, for example, the canting arms of Die Gansen on fol. 150 of Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch, and von Ganse on fol. 182 of the same volume. Each of these canting coats uses a goose close as the sole charge on the armory. [Effie Little, 03/2003, A-An Tir]
A default leaf has an oval shape, possibly with a pointed tip (the leaves in this case have pointed tips). The spiky holly leaf has one CD from a default leaf. [Matilda in the Holis, 03/2003, A-Middle]
Note that a shamrock, in the SCA, is defined as a trefoil with heart-shaped foils. A shamrock with any number of foils other than three must be blazoned explicitly. A default (three-foiled) shamrock is slipped by default, like a trefoil. If there are more than three foils on the shamrock, the charge is not slipped by default (which is also the case with the similar n-foils). [Ærne Clover, 07/2003, A-An Tir]
[a panther sejant head to dexter argent] Table 3 of the Glossary of Terms indicates that the panther (which is to say, the default "English-style" heraldic panther) is guardant by default. As a result we must explicitly state that this panther has its head to dexter. Note that the Continental panther does not have an SCA default posture.

Please note that the discussions of the panther's default posture in the Pictorial Dictionary in the SCA have been superceded by the listing in the Glossary, which has been available for some years. [Katerina McGilledoroughe, 08/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
Most demi-quadrupeds (including winged demi-quadrupeds, such as demi-griffins) are erect in period armory. Erect appears to be the default posture for such charges in the real world. Therefore, erect should be the default posture for demi-quadrupeds in the SCA. [Thomas von Hessen, 08/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[Argent chapé azure, three goblets two and one gules] It is not clear what the default arrangement for three charges on a chapé field should be. The usual default on a plain field (two and one) doesn't fit well on a chapé field, and thus seems an unlikely default for that field. We have thus blazoned the arrangement explicitly. [Waldemar Stanislaw of White Mountain, 09/2003, A-Trimaris]
The charges in this device are the default SCA spur rowel, which is a pierced mullet of six points (as noted in the Pictorial Dictionary). [Davis de Rowell, 09/2003, R-Atlantia]
[Quarterly gules and azure, in bend sinister a Danish axe sustained by a bear rampant contourny argent] This is clear of conflict with the Barony of Bjornsborg, ...(Fieldless) A bear statant erect reguardant contourny supporting a berdiche blade to sinister argent. There is one CD for fieldlessness. There is another CD for arrangement: the Bjornsborg bear and its sustained axe are in the default arrangment for a statant erect beast sustaining a polearm (in fess), while the charges in this submission are in bend sinister. [Leifr Vagnsson, 09/2003, A-Outlands]
[Or, in pale two talbots courant contourny gules] In period armory, one would usually expect two long horizontal charges on a plain field to be in pale. However, the SCA does not have a default arrangement for two charges on a plain field. Armory using two charges on a plain field is so uncommon in both SCA and real-world heraldry that it is best to blazon the arrangement of such charges explicitly rather than define default arrangements. We have therefore explicitly blazoned these talbots as in pale. [Aster Peyton, 10/2003, A-An Tir]
Please recall that the rising posture, according to a number of sources, needs to have the wings explicitly blazoned as either addorsed or displayed. The SCA has at times registered birds rising wings addorsed simply as rising, but this pattern has not yet been so clearly established that we wish to define it as a default at this time. [Erik von Winterthur, 10/2003, A-An Tir]
[Per saltire sable and gules, a dragon segreant Or] ... and another CD for the difference in posture between a dragon segreant and a wyvern passant. The wyvern posture erect is equivalent to the dragon posture segreant. [Godwin of Edington, 10/2003, A-Ansteorra]
...note that wyverns are statant by default... [Godwin of Edington, 10/2003, A-Ansteorra]
By examination of period armory, ducks and geese are close by default - this is by far the most common posture for either of these birds. Ducks and geese do not share the same default posture as the larger and more aggressive swan, which is rousant by default. [Svana ormstunga Vermundardottir, 11/2003, A-Atenveldt]
[three piles palewise wavy] Note that three piles are in point by default, so it is necessary to explicitly blazon the piles as palewise. According to the Pictorial Dictionary, "this [in point] was the medieval default for multiple piles, due to their derivation from pinched pallets. If multiple piles are palewise, instead of in point, this should be explicitly blazoned." [Skári Skey, 11/2003, A-Caid]
Note that, in the SCA, the default sheep does not have horns... [Boddi bjarki Bjarnarson, 11/2003, A-East]

DELF

... a delf ploye is not a simple delf. As far as we can tell it is only used as a period charge in Mameluk heraldry, and is thus somewhat of a weirdness in general Western style. [Tarvin, Shire of, 08/2001, R-Atlantia] [Ed.: Returned for style problems]
[(Fieldless) On a delf gules a lozenge argent] To quote Baron Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, as Laurel, on the subject of fieldless badges:
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. (LoAR 9/93 p.25)
As Palimpsest notes, For any who question the interpretation of a delf as a mode of armorial display, note that in Carlisle Herald's visitation of London in 1530 are found numerous references to defacing or removing 'Skochines, Squares, and Losenges wrongfully eusid'. [Rycharde de Bruce the Fowler, 11/2001, R-Artemisia]
[(Fieldless) A delf azure] As noted in the April 2002 LoAR, "A 'shield shape' which is also a standard heraldic charge will be acceptable as a fieldless badge in a plain tincture, as long as the tincture is not one of the plain tinctures that is protected armory in the SCA". Since Azure is not protected armory in this SCA, a fieldless badge consisting of a delf azure is acceptable, and does not appear to be an independent display of arms. [Trimaris, Kingdom of, 06/2002, A-Trimaris]

DICE

The device is returned for redrawing. The dice in this emblazon are drawn with an edge towards the viewer. "While dice were drawn in perspective, the known period examples depicted them face forward, rather than edge forward. This minimizes the effect of perspective. Therefore, we must return this device for redrawing" (LoAR April 2000). [Talorgen mac Brudi, 06/2003, R-Meridies]
[three dice bendwise sinister] The dice are shown with one face to the viewer (so that the front face is shaped like a delf) but each die is oriented bendwise sinister (so that the front face looks like a delf lozengewise.) Dice are found in this orientation in period, as can be seen in the canting arms of members of the Wurlf family (wurf is German for a die or cube) on folios 24r and 24v of the late 14th/early 15th C Botenbuch der Bruderschaft St. Christoph auf dem Arlberg.

It is acceptable to show dice with some perspective, as long as the perspective is not too deep and one face is oriented directly towards the viewer so that it is shaped like a delf. (It is not acceptable to draw dice with an edge towards the viewer, rather than a face towards the viewer.) Please advise the submitter to draw the perspective of the other sides of the dice more shallowly - while period dice are often drawn with some perspective, they are generally not drawn with such deep perspective. [Anna Francesca Massone, 09/2003, A-Trimaris]
The dice are each shown with one edge facing the viewer, which is not period style. "While dice were shown in perspective, the known period examples depicted them face forward, rather than edge forward. This minimizes the effect of perspective. Therefore, we must return this device for redrawing" (LoAR of April 2000). [Alexander gagarr, 11/2003, R-Atenveldt]

DIFFERENCE -- Substantial
This category lists only rulings where a substantial difference is granted. In cases with extended discussion, the complete ruling can be found in the indicated section.
see also BIRDS and SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE

Roses and fleurs-de-lys are substantially different. [Katarina Kittmann, 08/2001, A-Atlantia]
[a thistle vs. a rose] Thistles and shamrocks were ruled to be substantially different in October 1999; these should be just as distinct visually. No evidence has been produced that a change from a rose to a trefoil [Ed: Should be thistle] as a primary charge was used for period cadency, which also shows that they are substantially different as per rule X.2. [Muirenn inghean Chiaráin, 08/2001, A-Meridies]
There is substantial difference between a cinquefoil and a dandelion. [Emma Dandelion, 11/2001, A-Ansteorra] [see FOIL or FLOWER -- Miscellaneous]
There is substantial difference between a tower and a properly drawn chess rook ... [William fitzBubba, 12/2001, A-East] [see CASTLE or CHESS PIECE]
There is X.2 difference between Latin crosses formy and crosses crosslet. [Christoff von Rotenburg, 12/2001, A-Meridies]
There is substantial difference for purposes of RfS X.2 between a feather and a feather fan. [Nakano Zenjirou Tadamasa, 02/2002, A-Calontir] [see FEATHER or CHARGE -- Miscellaneous]
Party of six pieces is substantially different from checky. [Jeanne Marie Lacroix, 03/2002, R-Caid]
There is substantial difference between a standard heraldic lily (a trumpet shaped flower in profile) and a daisy (a multipetalled disk shaped flower affronty). [Katherine Merivale, 09/2002, A-Caid]
Therefore it seems reasonable to consider a tau cross to be substantially different from a default plain cross throughout. [Timothy Brother, 11/2002, A-Artemisia] [see CROSS]
[a saltire bretessed vs. a saltire formy] However, just as it seems appropriate to give X.2 (substantial) difference between the very different period charges of a cross formy (which is couped by default and has splayed ends) and a cross bretessed (which is throughout by default and treated with an embattled line), it is also appropriate to give X.2 difference between similarly treated saltires. [Nikolai Toranovich, 01/2003, A-An Tir] [see CHARGE -- Miscellaneous]
A correctly drawn goutte, with a long wavy tail, is substantially different from a roundel. [Siobhan inghean ui Dhonnabhain, 01/2003, A-East]
[a dandelion plant vert with three flowers, the centermost in profile, the outer flowers affronty, Or slipped gules] This does not conflict with ... Argent, a pimpernel gules, slipped and leaved, within a bordure vert. A pimpernel is effectively a cinquefoil and there is substantial (X.2) difference between a cinquefoil slipped and leaved and a dandelion plant. [Chardonne de Lyon, 01/2003, R-East]
[a dandelion plant vert with three flowers, the centermost in profile, the outer flowers affronty, Or slipped gules] This does not conflict with ... Argent, a bulrush slipped and leaved within a bordure vert. There is substantial (X.2) difference between these two plants. A bulrush has long thin spiky leaves and a cylindrical "cattail" head. A dandelion plant has long wide serrated/spiky leaves and round flowers. The two are very visually distinct. [Chardonne de Lyon, 01/2003, R-East]
There is thus substantial difference between "poultry-shaped" European quails in a period posture (the default close posture) and "regular-shaped" owls in a period posture (the default close guardant posture). [Megge de Northwode, 11/2003, A-Atlantia] [see BIRD -- Owl or BIRD -- Quail]
There is substantial (RfS X.2) difference between arrows and crampons. [Diethelm Waltorfer, 12/2003, A-Ansteorra]

DIFFERENCE -- Groups
see also CHARGE GROUP

[Per bend sinister purpure and vert, a bend sinister between a butterfly and three bells one and two Or] This is clear of conflict with Yusuf Ja'baral-Timbuktuwwi, Per bend sinister purpure and vert, a bend sinister cotised between an elephant's head couped close and a decrescent with a mullet suspended between its horns Or. The cotises, in Yusuf's device, form a distinct charge group apart from the group consisting of the elephant's head and decrescent/mullet. "While cotises and other charges on the field would be considered separate charge groups on the same armory, they are still secondary charges and can be compared to other secondary charges. (LoAR 6/98 p. 17)." In other words, Yusuf's device has two secondary charge groups: the cotises, and the other charges around the bend. Comparing Yusuf's device with this submission, there are three CDs: one for the removal of the cotise group and two for changing the type and number of the other secondary group.

It is certainly possible to have more than one secondary charge group on the field. In the hypothetical arms Argent, a bend cotised between a mullet and a crescent all within a bordure gules, the primary charge group is the bend, the cotises are one secondary charge group, the mullet and crescent are, together, a second secondary charge group, and the bordure is a third secondary charge group (of the type often termed peripheral). Changing or removing any one of these charge groups would be a separate CD. Thus, this hypothetical coat of arms has two CDs from Argent, a bend cotised between two mullets and a chief gules. There is one CD for changing the type of half of the secondary group surrounding the cotised bend (a mullet and a crescent to two mullets) and a second CD for changing the type of the peripheral secondary group (bordure to chief). [Admiranda le Daye, 10/2001, A-Meridies]
[Per fess sable mullety Or and azure, a dance and in base a sun Or] The device does not conflict with ... Per fess gules mullety Or, and vert, a dance and in base a terrestrial sphere Or. There is one CD for the change to the field. There is another CD for the change in type of the charge group in base, which is a different charge group from the semy group in chief. By current precedent, the semy charges must be in a separate group from all other charges (LoAR 7/2001, Giraude Benet). [Wolfgang Dracke, 11/2001, A-Artemisia]
[Per bend sable bezanty and vert, in base a hare rampant reguardant Or] This does not conflict with Cornwall, Sable bezanty (important non-SCA arms). There is one CD for the changing the field. There is a second CD for adding the rabbit, because the rabbit is not in the same charge group as the bezants. By current precedent, the semy charges must be in a separate group from all other charges (LoAR 7/2001, Giraude Benet). [Rilint Neufang, 11/2001, A-West]
There is a second CD for changing the tincture of the charge in base, as the basemost of a group of charges two and one is considered to be half the group:
After much thought and discussion, it has been decided, for purposes of X.4.d, e and h of the Rules for Submission, that the bottommost of three charges, either on the field alone or around an ordinary, is defined as one-half of the group...multiple changes to the basemost of three charges under this definition will be granted a maximum of one CVD. (CL 9/6/90 p.2)
[Letia Thistelthueyt, 12/2001, A-Atlantia]
[Azure, three crescents one and two horns to center Or] Conflict with ... Sable, three crescents one and two conjoined at the horns Or. There is one CD for changing the field. There is not a CD between a given group of charges conjoined and another group of charges in the same arrangement which are not conjoined. [Selim ibn Murad, 12/2001, R-Atenveldt]
[Azure, a fess argent between a violin fesswise reversed Or and a phoenix argent issuing from flames proper] Conflict with ... Azure, a fess argent between two crosses gurgity Or. There is a CD for changing the type of the secondary group. However, over half the charge group is Or in Jacquelinne's arms, since the violin is Or and one quarter of the phoenix is also Or. By RfS X.4.d, "Changing the tinctures or division of any group of charges placed directly on the field, including strewn charges or charges overall, is one clear difference. Changing the tincture of at least half of the charges in a group is one clear difference". Therefore, since less than half of the tincture of the secondary "group of charges placed directly on the field" has changed, there is not a second CD for tincture changes. [Jacquelinne Sauvageon, 02/2002, R-Meridies]
[Per bend azure and argent, a mullet argent and a tulip bendwise azure, slipped and leaved vert] The device does not conflict with ... Per bend azure and argent, a bear statant and a mullet of six points counterchanged. The devices are clear of conflict because (quoting RfS X.2) "the type of every primary charge has substantially changed", and the armory has "no more than two types of charge directly on the field". Note that even though both charge groups use a mullet, the type of every primary charge has substantially changed. By the following precedent this is therefore clear by RfS X.2:
[Per chevron argent and sable, two towers and a horse rampant counterchanged.] Clear of ... Argent, upon a pile inverted throughout between two ravens sable a tower argent, because the type of each charge in the group has been substantially changed, even though each group contains a tower. RfS X.2. states that: "Simple armory does not conflict with other simple armory if the type of every primary charge is substantially changed." Laurel takes this to mean that the type of each charge must be substantially changed from its corresponding charge in the armory being compared, not that the type of every charge must be substantially changed from the type of every charge in the other armory. (There is no CD for the field, since we treat per chevron and a pile inverted as equivalent for purposes of difference.) (LoAR December 1995)
The 1995 precedent stated above was upheld in an analogous ruling in the LoAR of October 1998. [Tangwystl Angharad verch Rhys, 08/2002, A-Outlands]
[Two arrows in saltire surmounted by a double-bitted axe Or] Conflict with the device of Michael of York, Gules, a sheaf of three arrows bound by a serpent coiled to sinister guardant, all Or. ... The arrangement of the charges has not changed: a sheaf of three arrows consists of two arrows in saltire surmounted by a third arrow. RfS X.4.e only gives a CD for changing the type of a group of charges when at least half the group has changed in type. Here only one-third of the group has changed in type. The serpent binding the sheaf in Michael's arms is effectively a maintained charge, and its addition or deletion is not worth difference. [Conall of Twin Moons, 08/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Vert, three piles in point argent each charged in chief with a flame azure] Conflict with ... Azure, three piles in point argent each charged in chief with a key palewise wards to base azure. There is a CD for changing the tincture of the field. RfS X.4.j.ii.a states that "armory that has a group of identical charges on an ordinary or other suitable charge alone on the field is a simple case." No clause of RfS X.4.j.ii considers armory using multiple charged primary charges to be a simple case. Therefore there is no difference for changing the type only of tertiary charge by X.4.j.ii.

The outer piles issue mostly from the chief, but slightly from the sides of the shield as well. This is a standard period depiction of three piles in point, and is acceptable. [Mary Dedwydd verch Gwallter, 09/2002, R-Caid]
[Per fess dovetailed azure and argent, three mullets argent and a wolf's head erased sable] The device does not conflict with a ... Per fess embattled azure and argent, two mullets of four points and a comet fesswise, head to sinister, counterchanged. There is one CD for changing the number of the charges in the group. There is a second CD for changing the type and tincture of the primary charge(s) on one side of the line of division, even though that portion of the primary group is only one quarter of the group, per the following precedent from the November 1995 LoAR:
There is ... a CD for the change to the field and another for changing the type and tincture of the primary charge group on one side of the line of division, even though numerically this is not "one half" of the primary charge group. For a fuller discussion of this precedent granting a CD for two changes to charges on one side of a line of division even when less than half the charge group is affected, see the December 21, 1991 Cover Letter (with the November 1991 LoAR).
This situation arises very rarely aside from the well-known situation concerning the bottommost of a group of three charges two and one, which has its own different set of controlling precedents. The cited precedent appears to have remained in force; the registration history shows that this precedent has neither been overruled nor passively ignored. [Cassandra of Standing Stones, 01/2003, A-Calontir]
[Per bend argent and sable, a hound rampant and a hound rampant contourny counterchanged] This does not conflict with Matthew de Wolfe, Per bend sinister embattled argent and sable, in bend two wolves rampant combattant counterchanged. To understand why there is no conflict, it is helpful to remove all blazon shortcuts and blazon each of these pieces of armory explicitly. Note that there are two important common blazon shortcuts which are found in both Matheus' and Matthew's current blazons. The first blazon shortcut is that two charges on a divided field are placed on opposite sides of a line of division by default. The other blazon shortcut is the use of the word counterchanged rather than using the tinctures argent and sable.

Thus, when we remove blazon shortcuts, Matheus' arms may be blazoned Per bend argent and sable, in sinister chief a hound rampant sable and in dexter base a hound rampant to sinister argent. Matthew's arms may be blazoned Per bend sinister embattled argent and sable, in dexter chief a wolf rampant to sinister sable and in sinister base a wolf rampant argent.

Precedent has consistently held that "you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict" (stated succinctly in this quote from the LoAR of February 2000, which upheld years of previous precedent). Thus, we must compare these two pieces of armory using the "explicit" blazons. There is one CD for changing the field. There is no difference for changing the type of canine from wolf to hound.

The charges may not lie on a portion of the field with which they have no contrast. Matheus' charges could not be arranged like Matthew's (with the sable charge in dexter chief and the argent charge in sinister base) on a per bend argent and sable field, because each charge would have no contrast with half of the field on which it lies. The charges must change their arrangement. Because this change in arrangement is "caused by other changes to the design" (namely, the changes to the field) it is not worth difference per RfS X.4.g for arrangement changes. (This is often known as a "forced" arrangement change or "forced" position change.)

The second CD comes from the change of posture. Each canine is facing in the opposite direction from the corresponding canine in the other coat. This posture change is a CD by RfS X.4.h.

By this analysis we are expressly overturning the precedent set in January 1994 that stated in pertinent part:
[Per pale and per chevron argent and sable, in chief two <charges> counterchanged vs. Huffam, Per bend sable and argent, two <charges> counterchanged ] Because the charges are counterchanged, they could legitimately be placed anywhere on the field, even over the line(s) of division. As a consequence, the change in position of the <charges> cannot be considered to be "forced" by the field division (though in Huffam they are in the expected position, one on either side of the line of division), thus giving a CD for position on the field
By this precedent, the use of the word counterchanged would remove a conflict which would apply if the tinctures of the charges were explicitly sable and argent, which is contrary to long-standing SCA policy. [Matheus of Coppertree, 02/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[Or, in pale a wyvern passant sable and another gules] This is not in conflict with Drachenwald's Company of Archers, Or, in pale a dragon passant coward sable and two arrows in saltire gules. There is one CD for changing half the type of the primary charge group. There are three charges in Drachenwald's armory: one dragon and two arrows. Thus, there is a second CD for changing the number of primary charges from three to two. [Robert MacMahon, 04/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[On a rose argent barbed vert a cat sejant affronty sable] This does not conflict with the badge of Martin Luther, (Fieldless) A rose argent seeded of a heart gules charged with a Latin cross sable. There is one CD for fieldlessness. There is a second CD for changing the type and tincture of tertiary charge (from a black cat to a red heart). There is no additional difference for removal of the quaternary charge (the black cross on the red heart), as we do not give difference for addition, removal, or changes to quaternary charges. [Laurin of Rosewood, 06/2003, R-An Tir]
[Vert, two arrows inverted in saltire Or surmounted by a tower argent] Conflict with ... Vert, two swords in saltire Or surmounted by a stone tower, the top enflamed, proper. Both pieces of armory are effectively a single group (a sheaf) of three charges. The only change to the group of three charges is the change to two-thirds of the type of the charge group (swords to arrows), which is one CD by RfS X.4.e. As an alternate interpretation, if we consider the arrows and swords to be respective primary charge groups, and the overall towers to be respective overall charge groups, armory using an overall charge is not eligible for RfS X.2 because it is not simple: "For purposes of [RfS X.2], simple armory is defined as armory that has no more than two types of charge directly on the field and has no overall charges". Thus, there is one CD for changing the type of primary charges (from arrows to swords) but no further difference. [Nikolai of Trakai, 06/2003, R-Middle]
Quoting from the LoAR of June 2001, "A sheaf is considered a single charge, therefore there is [... a] CD for changing the type of the secondary charges." Here, we have changed the type but not the number of secondary charges: we have changed two open books to an arrow-sheaf and a tulip-sheaf. [Bjorn Krom Hakenberg, 07/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[Per chevron inverted azure and sable, a cinquefoil Or and two arrows inverted in chevron inverted argent] This is clear of conflict with ... Per chevron inverted ployé throughout argent and azure, a mullet of eight points and two arrows inverted in pile counterchanged. There is no difference between two arrows inverted in chevron inverted and two arrows inverted in pile. Per the November 1995 LoAR, "There is ... a CD for the change to the field and another for changing the type and tincture of the primary charge group on one side of the line of division, even though numerically this is not 'one half' of the primary charge group. For a fuller discussion of this precedent granting a CD for two changes to charges on one side of a line of division even when less than half the charge group is affected, see the December 21, 1991 Cover Letter (with the November 1991 LoAR)." There is thus one CD for changing the field, and a second CD for changing the type and tincture of the portion of the primary group that lies on the chiefmost side of the line of division (from a mullet of eight points azure to a cinquefoil Or).

Note that the precedent quoted above refers to fields that are split into two pieces by a single line of division. Thus, that precedent pertains to this armorial comparison, where both fields are split in two by a single, per chevron inverted, line of division. However, the 1995 precedent does not apply to field divisions that split the field into more than two pieces, such as quarterly, per saltire, or per pall. The submitting kingdom quoted a precedent in the Letter of Intent from September 1999. Because the 1999 ruling addresses a per pall field, which is not addressed by the 1995 precedent, the 1999 precedent neither supports nor overturns the 1995 precedent cited above: "[Per pall sable, vert and argent, in pale two swords crossed in saltire argent and a cat's paw print counterchanged.] Conflict with ... Per fess embattled vert and argent, in pale two swords in saltire and a compass star counterchanged. There is one CD for the changes to the field, but none for change in type and tincture for only one of three of the primary charges (as they are not arranged two and one)" (LoAR September 1999). [Adelheidis Spätauf, 09/2003, A-Æthelmearc]
[Quarterly argent and azure, two lymphads sails unfurled azure] Conflict with ... Quarterly argent and azure, four dhows reversed counterchanged. As noted in the LoAR of July 2001, "There is ... nothing for the change in the type of ship, [or] for reversing a ship." There is one CD for removing the two argent ships, but no other difference may be obtained from this change. One cannot argue, as was done on the Letter of Intent, that "there is a CD for the number of charges, and a CD for changing color of half the primary charges." That is equivalent to saying that there is a CD for removing two of the charges, and another CD for the changing the tincture of the charges that have just been removed. The rules have been interpreted consistently for years, and the following discussion from the LoAR of July 1992 still applies:
One cannot get a CD for adding charges, then another CD for changing the charges just added. This has been an underlying principle of the last three sets of Rules: see the LoAR of 25 Aug 85, p.14, for a full discussion. The difference obtained for adding, say, a bordure engrailed ermine, is exactly the same as for adding a bordure Or. (One does not get a CD for adding the bordure, then a CD for changing its tincture, then another CD for making it engrailed.....)
[Jan van Antwerpen, 10/2003, R-East]
[Gules, on a cross quarter-pierced Or four eagles sable] Conflict with ... Gules, on a cross Or five ladybugs gules marked sable. Per the LoAR of February 2000, "you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict." A cross quarter-pierced may also be blazoned as a cross charged with a delf throughout. As a result, one can blazon this submission as Gules on a cross Or a delf throughout gules between four eagles sable. RfS X.4.j.i states that "Generally ... changes must affect the whole group of charges to be considered visually significant, since the size of these elements and their visual impact are considerably diminished." In this case, because the change of tincture of four-fifths of the charges, and the change of the type of all the charges is so significant, one CD is allowed for the changes to the tertiary charge group under RfS X.4.j.i. However, a second CD is required. [Orban von Ulm, 10/2003, R-Meridies]
... no difference for changing the type or tincture of the centermost of three co-primary charges in fess. [Zoe Amaranta, 12/2003, R-Artemisia]
[Azure, a bend argent cotised between a lion rampant and a castle Or] The device submission is an appeal of the return of the device also in the February 2003 LoAR, which explained:
The device conflicts with the important non-SCA arms of Bohun, Earl of Hereford, Constable of England, Azure, a bend argent cotised between six lions rampant Or. There is no difference for changing the type of one of a group of six lions, leaving only one CD for changing the number of secondary charges.
The appeal of the device return is based on interpretation of RfS X.4.e (types) and X.4.f (number) of secondaries. The appeal incorrectly considered the secondaries and changes to the make up of the charge groups. During the commentary on this appeal, it became evident that some misconceptions concerning how to determine secondary charge groups and what changes to these groups apply.

The appeal did not consider the cotises in the discussion of the secondary charge groups. There was confusion and disagreement in the commentary regarding whether the cotises are a separate charge group giving two secondary charge groups, or are included with the lion and castle and thus a single group of secondary charges. The cotises are a separate secondary group as is explained well in the following precedent from October 2001:
[Per bend sinister purpure and vert, a bend sinister between a butterfly and three bells one and two Or] This is clear of conflict with Yusuf Ja'baral-Timbuktuwwi, Per bend sinister purpure and vert, a bend sinister cotised between an elephant's head couped close and a decrescent with a mullet suspended between its horns Or. The cotises, in Yusuf's device, form a distinct charge group apart from the group consisting of the elephant's head and decrescent/mullet. "While cotises and other charges on the field would be considered separate charge groups on the same armory, they are still secondary charges and can be compared to other secondary charges. (LoAR 6/98 p. 17)." In other words, Yusuf's device has two secondary charge groups: the cotises, and the other charges around the bend. Comparing Yusuf's device with this submission, there are three CDs: one for the removal of the cotise group and two for changing the type and number of the other secondary group.
It is certainly possible to have more than one secondary charge group on the field. In the hypothetical arms Argent, a bend cotised between a mullet and a crescent all within a bordure gules, the primary charge group is the bend, the cotises are one secondary charge group, the mullet and crescent are, together, a second secondary charge group, and the bordure is a third secondary charge group (of the type often termed peripheral). Changing or removing any one of these charge groups would be a separate CD. Thus, this hypothetical coat of arms has two CDs from Argent, a bend cotised between two mullets and a chief gules. There is one CD for changing the type of half of the secondary group surrounding the cotised bend (a mullet and a crescent to two mullets) and a second CD for changing the type of the peripheral secondary group (bordure to chief).

With the clarification on cotises we now compare the appeal with the existing (already protected) armory: Bohun, Earl of Hereford, Constable of England, Azure, a bend argent cotised between six lions rampant Or, which is composed of a field azure and three charge groups: primary (the bend argent), secondary group 1 (set of cotises Or), secondary group 2 (six lions rampant Or).

The new armory under submission (Siridean): Azure, a bend argent cotised between a lion rampant and a castle Or is composed of a field azure and three charge groups: primary (the bend argent), secondary group 1 (set of cotises Or), secondary group 2 (a lion rampant and a castle Or).

The two devices have in common the field, the primary, and one of the secondary charge groups (the cotises). The only change between these two pieces of armory involves secondary group 2. Siridean's device compared to the Bohun armory has changed from a group of six lions rampant Or to a group of a lion rampant and a castle Or. Therefore, the only differences between the Bohun arms and Siridean's device is in the type and number of charges in this secondary charge group.

The rules that apply to the changing of the type and number of secondary charge group 2 are RfS X.4.e (type) and X.4.f (number). X.4.e states "Type Changes - Significantly changing the type of any group of charges placed directly on the field, including strewn charges or charges overall, is one clear difference... Changing the type of at least half of the charges in a group is one clear difference." X.4.f provides "Significantly changing the number of charges in any group placed directly on the field or overall is one clear difference." This rule does not have any restriction on "half" the group such as is found in X.4.e.

The SCA has always had difficulty dealing with the situation when both the number and the type of a single charge group change. For a classic example, consider the hypothetical arms Azure, a lion Or and a unicorn argent combattant versus Azure, a unicorn argent. In both cases, you have a blue field with a white rampant unicorn. In the first, the unicorn is also accompanied by a gold lion rampant to sinister. The traditional SCA view is to give only one CD for removing the lion so that the two arms are in conflict. However, occasionally, someone tries to argue from a different perspective, namely, that we should give one CD for changing the number of the group (from two to one charge), another CD for changing the type of the group (from half unicorn, half lion to all unicorn), a third CD for changing the tincture of the group (from half Or, half argent, to all argent), and a fourth for changing the posture of the group (from half facing dexter and half facing sinister, to all facing dexter). This, of course, would make the arms well clear of conflict. This interpretation has been disallowed fairly consistently in precedent, although the issue continues to be raised occasionally. The most recent time this issue was addressed was in the LoAR of October 2003, which stated:
Jan van Antwerpen. Device. Quarterly argent and azure, two lymphads sails unfurled azure Conflict with Lee Sharpeyes, Quarterly argent and azure, four dhows reversed counterchanged. As noted in the LoAR of July 2001, "There is ... nothing for the change in the type of ship, [or] for reversing a ship." There is one CD for removing the two argent ships, but no other difference may be obtained from this change. One cannot argue, as was done on the Letter of Intent, that "there is a CD for the number of charges, and a CD for changing color of half the primary charges." That is equivalent to saying that there is a CD for removing two of the charges, and another CD for the changing the tincture of the charges that have just been removed. The rules have been interpreted consistently for years, and the following discussion from the LoAR of July 1992 still applies:
One cannot get a CD for adding charges, then another CD for changing the charges just added. This has been an underlying principle of the last three sets of Rules: see the LoAR of 25 Aug 85, p.14, for a full discussion. The difference obtained for adding, say, a bordure engrailed ermine, is exactly the same as for adding a bordure Or. (One does not get a CD for adding the bordure, then a CD for changing its tincture, then another CD for making it engrailed.....)
In the 1985 LoAR cited in this return, Laurel noted:
We have held previously that the addition of a modified charge (such as a roundel engrailed ermine) contributes no more difference than adding an unmodified charge (e.g. a roundel gules). This gets us away from absurdities such as the following: to "Azure, a fleurdelys [sic] Or" we add two bars Or and a bordure argent. We engrail the bordure, change the bars from Or to argent, and then delete the bordure. Depending on how creative you are at counting, you could get anywhere from two to five points for the addition of a pair of silver stripes. Not bad for a couple of minutes' work ...
In addition, it should be recalled that the SCA protects REGISTERED armory. Because of this, the SCA considers changes to have been made from the registered armory to the armory currently under submission, and has interpreted the Rules for Submission in the manner that gives the greatest protection to the registered armory, and allows the fewest possible differences for a change to armory. This implies a certain lack of symmetry to the ruling, because the interpretation of a change from "registered" to "considered" does not necessarily match the change from "considered" to "registered". The February 2003 ruling on Siridean's device applied type first (no type difference) and then number (removing four lions). If we were going from "considered" to "registered", we could arguably give a CD for changing from a lion and a castle to two lions (half the group has changed, and is entitled to a CD) and then give a CD for adding four lions, giving two CDs. But this is not the situation under consideration in this appeal.

In Siridean's case, the submitter is changing one of the lions into a castle, which leaves us with a charge group consisting of five lions and one castle. This change is to less than half of the charges in that group, so there is no CD under RfS X.4.e.

After the change of the type (a lion into a castle), we apply the change to the number by removing all but one of the lions and the castle. Of six charges, we remove four of the lions, leaving a total of two charges in the group, which is a change from six to two. RfS X.4.f notes that two and six are signficantly different, and therefore, entitled to a CD.

After applying the change of type and then the change in number, the submitted armory has but a single CD from Bohun, Earl of Hereford, Constable of England, Azure, a bend argent cotised between six lions rampant Or. The device appeal is denied. [Siridean MacLachlan, 12/2003,R-Calontir]
[Sable, a chevron cotised argent between three oak leaves Or] This does not conflict with ... Sable, a chevron argent cotised between three compass stars elongated to base Or. There is one CD for changing the tincture of one of the secondary charge groups (the cotises) and a second CD for changing the type of the other secondary charge group (from compass stars to oak leaves.) The cotises are a separate set of secondary charges by a number of precedents:
It is certainly possible to have more than one secondary charge group on the field. In the hypothetical arms Argent, a bend cotised between a mullet and a crescent all within a bordure gules, the primary charge group is the bend, the cotises are one secondary charge group, the mullet and crescent are, together, a second secondary charge group, and the bordure is a third secondary charge group (of the type often termed peripheral). (LoAR of October 2001)

[Argent, on a fess cotised embattled on the outer edges between three leopard's faces sable three crescents argent] This is clear of the flag of Meridies, Argent, on a fess sable, a crown of three points between two mullets argent, with one CD for the removal of the cotises and a second for the removal of the leopard's faces as they are two different charge groups (LoAR of March 2001)

The cotises are clearly a second group of secondary charges so that an additional point of difference can be obtained from adding them (LoAR of 27 November 1988, p.12)
[Melisant Saint-Clair, 02/2004, A-Atlantia]
[Gules, in fess a tassel Or between a decrescent and an increscent argent] Conflict with a badge of Conrad von Regensburg, Gules semy of decrescents argent. In Conrad's arms, there is a single group of primary charges consisting of (six or more) evenly strewn argent decrescents. In Dyan's arms, there is a single group of primary charges consisting of one argent decrescent, an Or tassel, and an argent increscent. The LoAR of December 2003 gave a lengthy analysis of the way to count difference in a similar situation, where the charge group changed from a registered group of charges on the field consisting of six lions Or, to an in-submission charge group consisting of a lion and a tower Or. That analysis summarized the change as follows:
It should be recalled that the SCA protects REGISTERED armory. Because of this, the SCA considers changes to have been made from the registered armory to the armory currently under submission, and has interpreted the Rules for Submission in the manner that gives the greatest protection to the registered armory, and allows the fewest possible differences for a change to armory. This implies a certain lack of symmetry to the ruling, because the interpretation of a change from "registered" to "considered" does not necessarily match the change from "considered" to "registered"...

In [this] case, the submitter is changing one of the lions into a castle, which leaves us with a charge group consisting of five lions and one castle. This change is to less than half of the charges in that group, so there is no CD under RfS X.4.e.

After the change of the type (a lion into a castle), we apply the change to the number by removing all but one of the lions and the castle. Of six charges, we remove four of the lions, leaving a total of two charges in the group, which is a change from six to two. RfS X.4.f notes that two and six are signficantly different, and therefore, entitled to a CD.
In this case, we have changed the charge group on the field from [semy of] decrescents argent to a decrescent argent, an increscent argent, and a tassel Or. The strewn ("semy") charges are considered to be equivalent to any charge group with six or more charges for purposes of the rule for difference in the number of charges on the field (RfS X.4.f).

Thus, when changing Conrad's badge to Dyan's, we are changing one of the (six or more) argent decrescents into an argent increscent, and one of the (six or more) argent decrescents into an Or tassel, and leaving (four or more) of the argent decrescents as argent decrescents. The change in type of two of six (or more) charges (the single tassel and the single increscent) is a change to less than half of the charges in the group, so there is no CD under RfS X.4.e. The change in tincture to one in six (or more) charges (the tassel) is also a change to less than half the charges in the group, so there is no CD under RfS X.4.d.

After the changes to type and tincture (six or more decrescents argent into four or more decrescents argent, one increscent argent, and one tassel Or), we then remove (three or more) of the decrescents, leaving a total of three charges, which is a change from six (or more) charges to three charges. RfS X.4.f notes that three and six are significantly different, and therefore entitled to a CD.

As a result, there is only one CD between these two pieces of armory, and they are therefore in conflict. [Dyan du Lac des Calandres, 03/2004, R-Ansteorra]

DOCUMENTATION
See individual charges for instances when Wreath required additional documentation for defining instances of charges or accepted such documentation.

The Laurel office requires that each copy of a submission form have its own separate copy of the documentation that goes with it. A form + its associated documentation is an indivisible set. For a name, that's the long-standing practice: the Laurel office receives one name form and one set of documentation. An armory submission has two colored copies of the submission form, so if it requires any documentation, we will require two copies of the documentation as well. ... In particular, in SCA branch submissions which require petitions, please include one copy of the petition for each name or armory form sent to Laurel. (So, for a branch name and device, that's three copies of the petition). This ensures that there's a form for each decision-making sovereign of arms, and for the files, while being a simple rule to remember. [08/2001, CL]
One must be careful about relying too heavily on Foster's redrawn emblazons. A design found only in Foster's artwork will generally not be considered sufficient documentation to be accepted in the SCA, as noted in the return of Séamus Ó Cuileáin's device in the LoAR of December 1998. [Gregory of Glencairn, 05/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
From Laurel: Laurel Does Not Know It All
We have all seen instances when a submission was returned that was documented from a previously accepted submission - the old standard phrase is "Past registration does not ensure future registration." We are hopefully continuing to learn and this moving target can sometimes cause a name or device to be returned even just a month after a similar submission was accepted. A few weeks ago there was a discussion concerning the reply to a "But Laurel said ..." argument. The best summary of the situation comes from Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn:
One should always read any decision by Laurel as being prefixed by "Based on the available knowledge, research, and analysis available to us at this time, it is our understanding that ..."

Many heralds (on all levels of the hierarchy) often forget this and word statements of current knowledge as if they were Absolute Truth, but there's still an onus on the listener as well to insert the disclaimer.
We require your help to know "the truth". The current knowledge is extended by the research of the College of Arms, the College of Heralds, and the submitters. Any documentation provided on a submission, whether it is from the submitter, the Kingdom College of Heralds, or the College of Arms commenters, goes a long way to helping us all learn. If you provide "the truth" in your commentary and submissions work, that leads to better recreation and we all benefit from the latest best attempt at determining "the truth". [04/2003, CL]

DOCUMENTED EXCEPTION

[Azure, a cubit arm proper maintaining a crescent argent issuant from a comital coronet Or jewelled gules, all issuant from a trimount vert and all between two crescents argent] This submission uses a vert trimount on an azure field, which violates RfS VIII.2 on armorial contrast. The submission was sent to Laurel under RfS VIII.6.a, the "Documented Exceptions" subclause concerning "General Exceptions". See this month's submission for Kathws Rusa, also in the Outlands, for more discussion concerning the precedent and requirements for such a documented exception to be acceptable. [Ed.: See next entry] The summary paragraph of the pertinent ruling from the cover letter of the first December 1993 LoAR is as follows:
In other words, any future submission requesting an exception to any of the Rules for Submission must be documented (1) by multiple period examples, (2) from a number of heraldic jurisdictions, (3) in the exact form of the proposed armory, (4) of comparable simplicity and style as the proposed armory, (5) which apply only to that submission. We do not believe these restrictions to be too onerous, and hope that, if anything, they will stimulate our submitters to do some research on their own.
As documentation for this submission, we have been provided with an article "Materials in support of the case for the trimount", assembled by Erasimierz Waspanieski as documentation for the December 1993 submission.

The provided documentation supports some, but not all, of the design elements present in this submission. On resubmission, if the submitter wishes to continue to pursue the documented exception, the submitter should be careful to preserve the elements which are compatible with the poor-contrast trimount, and should not introduce elements which are not compatible with the poor-contrast trimount.

The general design of a vert trimount on an azure field is acceptable as long as the rest of the armory is "of comparable simplicity and style" as "multiple period examples" of armory using a vert trimount on an azure field.

The general concept of an arm issuant from the trimount is compatible with the presented designs. The majority of the designs have some charge or charges issuant from the trimount, and some examples explicitly use an arm as a charge. While we do not have many examples of items issuing from crowns in the examples provided in the documentation, more examples were adduced by the College of Arms, and it appears to be a relatively standard practice.

Some of the provided examples show arms holding an item in conjunction with a crown issuant from the trimount, although the examples so presented have a notably different design. The arm is fesswise and embowed, so that its elbow issues from the crown. In this submission, the base of the cubit arm issues from the crown. The design in the period examples helps the identifiability of the crown, as at least half the crown rests against the (high-contrast) field. In the current design there is significant overlap between the crown and the (low-contrast) arm. The College was uncertain whether this design of a cubit arm, holding an object, issuant from a crown, which was itself issuant from a trimount, with contrast difficulties between the crown and the arm as well as between the trimount and the field, was compatible with period style. Documentation for this particular design should be provided if it continues to be used in a resubmission.

The College also had some concerns about the fact that the charge grasped by the arm appeared to be in the same charge group as the surrounding charges, as the grasped charge shares type, tincture and size with the surrounding charges. No documentation was provided for this design, so we also request that documentation for this particular design should be provided if it continues to be used in a resubmission. [Ileana Welgy, 11/2002, R-Outlands]
[Azure, two arrows inverted in saltire argent between three bezants one and two and a trimount vert] This submission uses a vert trimount on an azure field, which violates RfS VIII.2 on armorial contrast. The submission is sent up under RfS VIII.6.a, the "Documented Exceptions" subclause concerning "General Exceptions". The particular case of a vert trimount on an azure field was considered in the first December 1993 LoAR (there were two December meetings that year). The device, Azure, a demi-wolf contourny argent, issuant from a trimount proper, vorant a vol Or, was accepted. The Cover Letter to that LoAR stated:
I believe the standards proposed by Master Bruce in his thoughts on this submission are the ones to be applied to submissions requesting an exception to any of our Rules in the future.
The documentation must consist of multiple examples, not two or three but at least a dozen, and not limited to a single heraldic regime, but be from across Europe. The examples must be of the exact form used in the submission: if the submitter wants a green trimount on blue, that's what must be documented -- and that documentation cannot then be used as an argument for, say, a green fess on blue. The examples must be of comparable simplicity and style as the submission. And finally, even if the evidence is accepted, it only applies to the item at hand.
In other words, any future submission requesting an exception to any of the Rules for Submission must be documented (1) by multiple period examples, (2) from a number of heraldic jurisdictions, (3) in the exact form of the proposed armory, (4) of comparable simplicity and style as the proposed armory, (5) which apply only to that submission. We do not believe these restrictions to be too onerous, and hope that, if anything, they will stimulate our submitters to do some research on their own.
As documentation for this submission, we have been provided with an article "Materials in support of the case for the trimount", assembled by Erasimierz Waspanieski as documentation for the December 1993 submission.

The documentation presented adduces 47 possible examples of poor contrast mounts or trimounts in period armory across Europe. The poor contrast was either on the entire coat or on a separable quarter or half of a marshalled coat. (There were 48 examples in the article, but one was not on a poor contrast field: the field was per pale argent and azure.)

The provided documentation does a good job of documenting the specific practice of a green trimount on an azure field, so that the exception is indeed "in the exact form of the proposed armory". The particular color combination of green mount or trimount on blue is found in almost half of the examples. Most of those examples explicitly used trimounts.

However, the documentation does not demonstrate that this armory is or "of comparable simplicity and style as the proposed armory." In the 47 examples in the article, 42 of the examples showed at least one of the charges on the armory issuing from or resting atop the poor-contrast trimount. This is a very strong stylistic trend. This trend may be due to the fact that such a design helps lessen the visual problems of a poor-contrast peripheral charge. Having one or more other charges resting atop or issuant from the poor-contrast peripheral charge helps attract attention to the fact that the peripheral charge is present on the armory. The trend may also be due to the fact that the documentation was originally assembled to support a submission where the primary charge issued from a trimount. Unfortunately, the Laurel office does not have the resources to research whether the provided documentation is representative of all poor-contrast trimounts, or if the documentation is skewed towards supporting the original submission. While the Laurel office does as much research as it can, the burden of providing demonstrating supporting materials is primarily on the submitter.

Of the five examples in the documentation in which the charges on the armory were all disconnected from the poor-contrast trimount, four were not "of comparable simplicity and style as the proposed armory." Two examples included a fess, and this submission does not use an ordinary. Two examples used only a single primary charge with the trimount, and this submission has a primary charge group and a surrounding secondary charge group with the trimount. There is explicit precedent stating that designs using ordinaries may not be used as support for a documented exception which does not use an ordinary, and that designs using a single primary charge may not be used as support for a documented exception which uses a primary charge surrounded by secondary charges:
[Gules, a bear passant sable between three mullets of six points Or] The submitter asked that this be registered under RfS VIII.6, Documented Exceptions. She included numerous examples of sable charges on gules from different areas of Europe. While there was enough evidence given to support Gules, a bear passant sable ... the only examples the submitter presented of a low contrast charge between high contrast secondaries the central charge was an ordinary. As ordinaries have a different level of complexity from an animate charge, we cannot consider their examples as sufficient. None of the examples present showed the case Gules, <an animate charge> sable between <charges> Or (or argent). The Documented Exceptions rule is by nature very conservative; one needs multiple examples of very similar patterns to allow extrapolations. Therefore, we must return the device. (LoAR of March 2000)
This left only one example which is arguably of "comparable simplicity and style as the proposed armory", which was the family of Bentivoglia (in Venice), Azure, an arrow between two others in chevron all inverted argent, between in chief a delf gules, and a trimount proper. This single example is not sufficient to support the documented exception. [Kathws Rusa, 11/2002, R-Outlands]
[Azure, an equal-armed Celtic cross formy Or issuant from a mount vert] This submission uses a vert mount on an azure field, which violates RfS VIII.2 on armorial contrast. The submission was sent to Laurel under RfS VIII.6.a, the "Documented Exceptions" subclause concerning "General Exceptions". See the November 2002 LoAR for Kathws Rusa and Ileana Welgy, both in the Outlands returns section, for more discussion concerning requirements for such a documented exception to be acceptable. [Ed.: The returns are included above, in this section.]

As documentation for this submission, we have been provided with an article "Materials in support of the case for the trimount", assembled by Erasimierz Waspanieski as documentation for a December 1993 submission. The documentation does a good job of documenting the specific practice of a green mount on an azure field, so that the exception is indeed "in the exact form of the proposed armory". The particular color combination of green mount or trimount on blue is found in almost half of the examples. While most of the examples are of trimounts, there are enough mounts to demonstrate this exact form.

As for overall armorial design, this piece of armory follows a general design of armory using a green mount or trimount on a color field, with a single charge atop or issuing from the mount or trimount, and no other charges in the armory. The documentation does a good job of demonstrating that this design is found throughout Europe in period. The article provides thirteen examples with this design. The thirteen examples include many types of charge atop/issuing from the trimount: animate charges, constructed artifact charges (like a crown), and abstract heraldic charges like crosses and mullets. Two examples specifically use crosses. This is sufficient evidence to support this submission's design as compatible with a documented exception.

Some commenters asked whether this submission might have "too many weirdnesses" to be acceptable. A "weirdness", according to the Glossary of Terms, is a "break with the usual period style provided that it is not overly obtrusive". While the use of a Celtic cross in heraldry may be an SCA innovation, it is not considered a weirdness, as similarly constructed crosses are found in period heraldry. It is a reasonable extension of practices found in period heraldry rather than a "break with the usual period style." Any documented exception, by definition, is a period practice, otherwise it could not have been documented. Hence, this submission has no weirdnesses. [Aindrea Mac Parthaláin, 01/2003, A-Outlands]
[Per pale paly of four Or and sable, and Or, in sinister a dragon gules] This has the appearance of marshalled armory, impaling the coat Paly of four Or and sable and Or a dragon gules. RfS XI.3 states, "Armory that appears to marshall independent arms is considered presumptuous" (emphasis added). The appearance of marshalling is so strong in this design that it would be considered presumptuous, even if a few examples of armory of this design were found that could clearly be demonstrated not to be marshalled.

The submitter provided documentation showing some pieces of German heraldry that the submitter felt showed analogous heraldic designs without the implication of marshalling. However, three of the six pieces of armory in the documentation used bars on the upper or lower part of the field, rather than pallets on the dexter or sinister side of the field. Marshalling by impalement (with two coats of arms side by side) is not uncommon in period heraldry, but marshalling by "imfessment" (with one coat of arms over the other) is not common enough for the SCA to consider such a design to give the appearance of marshalling. So the examples using bars are not analogous to this submission, as they do not give an appearance of marshalling by impalement. One of the six examples showed a pale counterchanged in the center of the field (overlying a per pale line of division) between two unlike charges. This design also does not resemble two coats of arms set side by side, and thus does not have a possible appearance of marshalling by impalement.

The final two pieces of armory provided by the submitter are analogous to this submission in their design. However, the documentation did not demonstrate that these German coats were not themselves marshalled arms. Some similarly designed armory in Germany is known to depict marshalled arms. According to Jiri Louda's European Civic Coats of Arms, the arms of the city of Leipzig (unchanged since 1470), which have Or a lion rampant sable to dexter and Or, two pallets azure to sinister, "bear the Lion of Meissen and Landsberg pallets." The arms of the city of Dresden, identical to those of Leipzig except with sable pallets, are described in the same source as follows: "The early 14th century arms show a black lion, the armorial device of Meissen; the black pallets were originally blue Landsberg pallets later altered to the colours of Saxony." These civic arms show that in some cases of German arms with this design, two coats of arms were indeed combined side by side to make the resultant coat. [Ludwig Grün, 05/2003, R-Meridies]

EMBLAZON
see also EMBLAZON -- Coloring Problems

[concerning internal detailing] Over the last months, we have seen an increasing number of submissions where a complex charge (such as an animal) is drawn without any internal details. The members of the College have been quick to point out that this can lead to difficulties in identifying the charge. They are, of course, correct, and it is probably for this reason that most period depictions of complex charges have some internal details. However, not all period heraldic art has internal details, and such silhouette depictions are acceptable in the SCA as long as identifiability is preserved.

The most identifiable postures for animals are those which are commonly used for the animal being depicted, and which show the distinguishing aspects of the animal to their best advantage. A rampant lion has the profile of the head, all four limbs, and the tail all laying directly on the field. A displayed eagle has the profile of the head, both wings, both legs, and the tail all lying directly on the field. Because we are accustomed to seeing rampant quadrupeds and displayed eagles, and because almost every part of these animals is outlined against the field, these animals can generally be identified with little or no internal details.

Any posture that obscures some limbs (such as sejant), or which does not show the profile of the head (such as guardant) should generally be drawn with some internal details. So should any charge in an uncommon or confusing posture, like a lion sejant erect affronty, or an escallop fesswise. Any charge whose outline identifiability is compromised by some other portion of the design, such as a partially low-contrast field or an overall charge, will benefit from some internal details.

While on this topic, I would also like to remind people that a charge can also suffer from too many internal details. In some cases, we receive artwork that is based on a photo-enlargement of a heavily shaded or cross-hatched black and white original. In these cases, the black details can almost overpower the real tincture of the charge. In other cases, we have a charge with a complicated tincture (such as ermine or checky), or which is charged with a tertiary charge. In these cases, the internal details can interfere with the identifiability of the complicated tincture or tertiary, and should be used with restraint. [08/2001, CL]
[three mice dormant] This is a good example of identifiable dormant, since the mouse heads with their identifying ears are largely against the high contrast field, rather than the low contrast mouse bodies. [Gwenddolynn ni hAilleachaín, 10/2001, A-Meridies]
... a correctly drawn gusset (as per the PicDic) issues from the top corner of the shield (just under the chief). A properly drawn gusset also does not extend all the way to the bottom of the field. It should be possible to have a dexter and a sinister gusset on one shield and see some field between them. [Cáemgen mac Olcain, 08/2001, A-West]
Please advise the submitter to draw the flaunches issuing from the top corners of the shield rather than from the chief. We have seen an increasing number of flaunches drawn as issuant from chief in the last few years. Please help educate your submitters and heralds on how to correctly draw flaunches�or educate your always-learning Laurel staff by providing period examples of this artistic variant of flaunches. [Gaspar del Hoyo, 09/2001, A-Æthelmearc]
[two pallets wavy] The wavy would be more classic and easier to identify if it were drawn with deeper waves. However, except in the beginning of the armorial period, wavy is a fairly shallow line compared to all the others. A shallow wavy line is much more acceptable than a shallow embattled, engrailed, or indented line. [Keran Roslin, 09/2001, A-Æthelmearc]
On the forms, the dragon is clearly tinctured as erminois. This was less obvious on the mini-emblazon on the letter of intent. This is one case where fewer internal details in the dragon would have been a wiser artistic choice, to avoid the possibility of obscuring the ermine spots. [Armand Dragonetti, 09/2001, A-Ansteorra]
Some commenters questioned the internal detail lines on these mullets of eight points, which make them each look like a mullet of four point saltirewise surmounted by a mullet of four points. This is an acceptable artistic variant of a mullet of eight points. [Colin de Vire, 09/2001, A-Calontir]
... please advise the submitter to resubmit with a more standard drawing of a sun. Period suns are generally multipointed mullets (sometimes with some wavy rays) which fit into a circle. In this case, the "sun" has points elongated to chief, base, dexter, and sinister. [Nathaniel Constantine of Saxony, 09/2001, R-Atenveldt] [Ed.: Returned for conflict]
[a bat-winged tyger sejant affronty head to dexter] This tyger's identity is completely lost due to the uncommon posture of the tyger, the particular rendition with the head obscured by the wing, and the uncommon bat-winged charge variant. This appears to be a dragon under any but the closest scrutiny. The identifying nose tusk of the tyger is laid against the no-contrast wing, the ears of the tyger are much like a dragon's, and any other details of the body are obscured by the sejant affronty position. This must be returned for unidentifiability. In a different posture, with all the body parts clearly visible, the bat-winged tyger should be identifiable. [Angus Sturmisbroke, 09/2001, R-Caid]
[Per chevron inverted azure and gules] The line of division is too high up for a proper per chevron inverted line. On a round form, one cannot say that a line of division issues from the chief or from the sides of the escutcheon, as there are no corners to distinguish these portions of the round form. However, the proportions of this emblazon are such that the per chevron inverted line would issue from the chief or from the top corners of the shield if this were a standard heater shape. A per chevron inverted line must issue from the sides of the shield.

This artwork cannot represent any of the other myriad "inverted triangle" armorial designs for various reasons: chiefs triangular can't be overlain by an overall charge, piles extend much farther to base and issue from the chief, and chaussé extends all the way to base. Therefore this must be returned for redrawing. [Agnes de Lanvallei, 09/2001, R-Calontir]
[Gules, on a fess rayonny argent fimbriated sable ...] The device form shows a fess rayonny argent fimbriated sable. While varying degrees of outline thickness may be allowed due to artistic license, this artwork cannot reasonably be interpreted any other way, since the outlines of all the other charges are a normal, much thinner, line. We do not allow charges argent fimbriated sable on a gules field. This must be returned for redrawing. [Roise inghean ui Ruaidhri 09/2001, R-Calontir]
[Per chevron inverted] Please advise the submitter to draw the per chevron inverted line deeper, so that it extends farther to base. This is uncomfortably close to an odd sort of chief. However, this cannot be mistaken for a chief triangular or any of the other similar triangular charges or divisions, since it clearly issues from the side of the field rather than the top corners or top of the field. [Elspeth of Glendinning, 10/2001, A-An Tir]
[Purpure ... a ford proper] Please advise the submitter to draw the ford so that an argent stripe is against the purpure field. This is still identifiable as a ford since it has enough stripes, so this does not need to be returned for contrast problems. [Sabine d'Angers, 10/2001, A-An Tir] Please advise the submitter to draw the chief thicker. The chief should be roughly one-fifth to one-third the height of the shield. [Ceara ingen uí Líadnáin, 10/2001, A-Atlantia]
[a griffin segreant Or winged argent maintaining an acorn Or] Conflict with ... Sable, a griffin segreant within an annulet Or. There is one CD for removing the annulet. There is no difference for adding the small maintained acorn. Under normal circumstances, the wings of a griffin are considered half the charge for purposes of tincture changes. However, this griffin is drawn with abnormally small wings. We register the emblazon, not the blazon, so we cannot give a CD for changing the tincture of wing color only unless the griffin is drawn with normal proportions. In a winged quadruped monster such as a griffin, a normal depiction has the wings one-third to one-half of the visual weight of the charge. If the griffin were drawn this way, neither this conflict, nor the other conflicts listed here, would apply. ... [Alana Griffin , 10/2001, R-Æthelmearc]
[Per saltire azure and sable, two curved swords addorsed inverted argent overall a rose Or]The emblazon here is confusing. It is impossible to tell whether these inverted swords are palewise in fess or in saltire. This is a combination of the fact that the center of the swords is obscured by the overall rose, and the fact that the swords are curved. One also cannot tell whether these are scimitars, seaxes, or possibly falchions. Because of the identifiability problem, this must be returned. [Hurrem bint Rashid, 10/2001, R-Ansteorra]
[A bear passant bendwise sable] Conflict with the City of Berlin, Argent, a bear rampant sable. There is one CD for the change of field. Rampant animals often have a bendwise body posture, so rampant may often look much like passant bendwise. There seems to be no period pattern of use of passant bendwise animals other than those animals which lay on a bend. Therefore this bear cannot be given difference for posture from a bear rampant. [Tirloch of Tallaght, 10/2001, R-Atlantia]
The bordure here is much too thin to be acceptable. Each side of a bordure is usually as thick as one-eighth to one-tenth of the shield width, and this bordure is less than one-twentieth of the shield width. Part of the problem is that the bordure was drawn with a very thick black outline compared to the outlines on the dragon's head. This outline cut into the white part of the bordure and also had somewhat of an appearance of fimbriation.

Please advise the submitter to be careful on future submissions to avoid outlines so thick that they appear to be fimbriation. My staff advises me that, in many cases, the problem with thick outlines that appear to be fimbriation is due to use of the computer program "Blazons". As a general rule, heraldic art from that program is flawed, and we encourage the College to educate their submitters not to use this program to generate the artwork used on their forms. [Magy McTerlach, 10/2001, R-Meridies]
The submission must be returned because the pale is drawn so wide that it is not period style. A redrawing would solve this problem. To quote al-Jamal, "While an ordinary will normally widen or narrow depending upon whether it is charged and/or surrounded by charges, the width here seems a bit excessive, covering more than half the field and thus being wider than even the modern Canadian pale." [Maura McCrery, 10/2001, R-Meridies]
The seals are not in a recognizable posture. They are neither erect nor sejant nor naiant and cannot accurately be blazoned. Charges must be reproducible from the blazon in order to be acceptable. [Séighín inghean Giolla Eáin, 10/2001, R-Meridies]
This is not a pile, because it issues from the top corners of the shield. Nor is it chaussé, because it does not extend all the way to base. Nor is it a chief triangular, because it is much too deep. Nor is it a per chevron inverted field division, because it does not issue from the sides of the field. As a result, this must be returned. [Rickard of Gwyntarian, 10/2001, R-Middle]
It is also important to note that the Crayola-marker orange used to tincture this charge classes as a color rather than a metal. It thus cannot be used as a charge on a purple chief. [Randall Carrick, 10/2001, R-Outlands]
[a base engrailed] The engrailing is too small and shallow to be acceptable. There are ten cups in the engrailing, which would be a fairly large number on a fess. Here the width across the base is much smaller than the width of a fess. [Derdriu de Duglas, 10/2001, R-Trimaris]
[Manx cat rampant] The College could not identify this animal as a cat, generally believing it appeared to be some sort of dog, or perhaps a bear. While period heraldic art was by no means always realistic, it had unmistakable cues to the identity of the type of animal, especially in stylized artwork. Because the Manx cat has no tail, one of these cues was lost, making it all the more important that the remainder of the animal be drawn recognizably as a cat. Since this drawing was not identifiable, the armory must be returned. [Zachary Strangeman, 11/2001, R-Meridies]
These are not lightning bolts, as they lack the arrowheads at the end. They are neither bendlets bretessed nor embattled-counterembattled and are not defined charges in heraldry. This is a sufficient reason for return. [Calum Nickeson, 11/2001, R-Trimaris]
[a ducal coronet] Please advise the submitter to draw the ducal coronet in the correct fashion, with sets of strawberry leaves visible at the sides of the coronet as well as in the center. [Alan Youngforest, 12/2001, A-Artemisia]
[Per chevron throughout purpure and argent, two estoiles argent and a dragonfly vert] In this emblazon, the charge in base is larger than the charges in chief. In period, a group of charges two and one often had the basemost charge drawn larger than the chiefmost charges, in order to best fill the space. While that tendency is unusually exaggerated in this submission, it does not require reblazon or reinterpretation. [Letia Thistelthueyt, 12/2001, A-Atlantia]
[on a fess embattled argent two wildcats salient respectant guardant] These wildcats are as identifiable as any two salient respectant animals can be in the limited vertical space provided by a fess. They have distinctive cat's ears and a wildcat's stubbed tail. Therefore, they are recognizable enough to accept. [Ulrich von Retelsdorf, 01/2002, A-Caid]
[a bend sinister ermine] ... if a bend ermine is drawn with palewise spots, we will blazon it simply as ermine and instruct the submitter to draw the fur in a more period fashion. However, if a bend is charged with palewise charges, they will continue to be explicitly blazoned as palewise. [Artemisia da Quieto d'Arzenta, 01/2002, A-Lochac] [Ed.: See under Fur for the complete discussion.]
[in fess a horse's head couped close a horse's head caboshed and a horse's head couped close contourny all conjoined] The armory needs to be redrawn or redesigned. The central cabossed head is not recognizable as a horse's head because it is much too wide. The other horse's heads' identifiability is compromised by the very close conjoining with the central head. [Philip of Crescent Moon, 02/2002, R-Calontir]
[Per chevron gules semy of compass stars argent and ermine, a wolf and a bear combattant argent] Only one of the strewn compass stars is clearly identifiable: the rest of the strewn charges are obscured significantly by other elements of the design. This is a reason for return under RfS VIII.3, Armorial Identifiability: "Elements must be used in a design so as to preserve their individual identifiability. Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by significant reduction in size, marginal contrast, excessive counterchanging, voiding, or fimbriation, or by being obscured by other elements of the design." [Sergei Bolotnikov, 03/2002, R-Æthelmearc] [A cross of Santiago erminois] The ermine spots are too numerous and small to be identified. There are over 40 full or partial spots on this thin-limbed cross. It is difficult to imagine the spots being large enough to identify unless there were fewer than half as many on the cross. [William le Fendur, 03/2002, R-Caid]
Remember, enfiling is equivalent to threading (as in threading a needle). [Randal Avery of the Mease, 04/2002, A-Artemisia]
[A dragon sejant contourny barry engrailed vert and Or] There were some concerns in the College that the engrailing would not be identifiable due to the complex outline of the charge and the internal details. The full-sized colored emblazon shows that the engrailing is very obvious. This barry engrailed monster is at most one step from period practice, since animate charges in multiply divided tinctures were found in period armory. One of the most famous examples is that of the arms of Hesse, Azure, a lion rampant queue-forchy barruly argent and gules crowned Or. Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch gives a number of other examples, including Truchess von Wellerswalde, Azure, an eagle displayed barry argent and gules (f. 161), Schirau, Azure, a unicorn rampant bendy gules and argent (f. 69) and Badendorf, Azure, a lion lozengy argent and gules crowned Or (f. 179). [Killian M'Cahall, 04/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[a chief invected] The chief is drawn with four invections, which is an acceptable number. However, the invections are much too shallow to be acceptable. Good invections are close to semicircles, about twice as wide as they are deep. These are so shallow that the line of division is not identifiable at any distance. [Jacomus Wyndswift, 04/2002, R-Caid]
[Argent, on a fess indented gules a wolf rampant contourny between the halves of a broken chain issuant from the flanks argent] The armory was originally blazoned as Gules, a wolf rampant contourny between issuant from sinister and dexter two broken chains fesswise, a chief indented and a base indented argent. However, the visual realities clearly indicate that this should be a fess indented. Very little period armory combines both a chief and a base, so the visual interpretation of the fess here is even more striking when considered against the background of period heraldic design. [Gunnarr skáld Þorvaldsson, 06/2002, Ealdormere]
... in period, ermine spots on a bend generally tilt to follow the bend. We would expect ermine spots on a bend sinister to follow the bend sinister, instead of being drawn palewise as with this submission. [Rhys Ravenscroft, 07/2002, A-Atenveldt]
[Or goutty de sang] The gouttes are too numerous and too small to be identifiable. There was a significant discrepancy between the emblazon on the forms and the mini-emblazon on the Letter of Intent. There are approximately 130 gouttes on the form, and approximately 40 gouttes on the mini-emblazon. Forty charges is a large number to have on the field compared to the standard period depiction of a group of strewn charges (which often has as few as ten charges on the field). As long as the charges in a group of strewn charges maintain their identifiability, they are acceptable regardless of the exact number of charges in the emblazon. [Steffan von Hessen, 07/2002, R-Atenveldt]
We would like to note that it is acceptable for a wyvern to have two hind legs as drawn here. Some commenters thought that wyverns had to be drawn with two forelegs rather than two hind legs. Both sorts of emblazon may be found in period armory. For examples of wyverns which appear to have hind legs (they are proportioned more or less like a long-tailed bird), see Dennys' Heraldic Imagination p.189, illustration of the attributed arms of Uther Pendragon. See also the Grand Armorial Équestre de la Toison d'Or (aka the European Armorial in the Pinches/Wood edition), Holy Roman Empire section, families of Mesze and Neidecker. For examples where the wyverns appear to have forelegs (proportioned like a winged reptile without hind legs) see Siebmacher's Wappenbuch, f. 144 Die Wormb and f. 130 Breidenstein. For wyverns whose two legs are not clearly identifiable either as forelegs or hind legs, see Burgave de Drachenfels found in Armorial Bellenville f. 18r and in Gelre f. 28v. [William Cormac Britt, 07/2002, R-Meridies]
Please advise the submitter to draw the barry with six or more traits. [Antonia di Battista, 08/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
The bendy sinister field should also be redrawn. Presently all sections of the field are drawn at a very shallow angle very close to the horizontal lines of barry. Bendy sinister should be at approximately 45 degrees from the horizontal. In addition, when redrawing, the submitter should draw all the traits of the field at the same angle, rather than the varying angles presently used. [Gunnv{o,}r Vikarrsdóttir, 08/2002, R-Artemisia]
The emblazon blurs the distinction between a chief and a per fess line of division. If this is a charged chief, the line marking the bottom of the chief needs to be higher, and in particular, the bottom points of the rayonny line should not extend as far down as the fess point of the shield. The moon should also be drawn larger as befits a primary charge.

If this is a per fess division, the rayonny line should extend equally over and under the fess line of the shield. In a per fess interpetation the equal visual weight of the lozenges and the moon is appropriate.

As this cannot be accurately blazoned, it must be returned per RfS VII.7. [Lyutsina Manova, 09/2002, R-An Tir]
[Per bend embattled vert and purpure, a compass star and a chief indented argent] ... the per bend line is not correctly drawn. The per bend line should bisect the portion of the field which shows beneath the chief. The chiefmost point on the per bend line should be where the bottom of the chief meets the dexter side of the shield. [Eleanor of Orkney, 09/2002, R-Lochac]
[Argent, two double-bitted battleaxes and a phoenix azure] We have reblazoned the device to show that it consists of a group of equally-sized primary charges arranged two and one. There were some questions in the commentary about the way in which the charges were arranged. Because all three charges are longer vertically than horizontally, it is a reasonable artistic choice to draw them so that the bottom part of the chiefmost charges is alongside the top part of the basemost charge. [Simon von Beckum, 01/2003, A-East]
[a pegasus passant reguardant contourny] Please advise the submitter to draw the pegasus so that the head does not overlap the wing. [Geneviève Ravencrest, 02/2003, Æthelmearc]
[a swan naiant affronty wings displayed head to sinister] The swan was originally blazoned as displayed, which would show the legs and tail of the swan and would show the breast of the swan straight towards the viewer. This emblazon shows a swan swimming in a posture halfway between affronty and to sinister. As a result, it is in trian aspect and it is not acceptable, because it cannot be blazoned accurately. [Alianor atte Red Swanne, 02/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[a sea serpent erect] Please advise the submitters to draw the serpent erect correctly. Its tail should be to base, rather than twisting upwards and overlapping the serpent's body. The current rendition obscures the identifiability of the serpent's posture, although it does not obscure it so much that it may not be registered. [Krakafjord, Shire of, 04/2003, A-An Tir]
The charges on the chief are much too shallow to be identifiable as crescents. They are thus not acceptable by RfS VII.7.a. [Rhiannon Basset, 05/2003, R-East]
[ermine field] The ermine spots in the full-sized emblazon had identifiability problems. The spots were very numerous and small, and many of the spots were hampered further in their identifiability by being partially obscured by the chevron engrailed and the Maltese crosses. This lack of identifiability can be a reason for return under RfS VIII.3, which states in pertinent part "Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by significant reduction in size ... or by being obscured by other elements of the design."

Unfortunately, because there was a significant discrepancy between the artwork in the full-sized emblazon and the mini-emblazon provided to the College of Arms in the Letter of Intent, we were unable to get the College's input on this armorial style problem. The mini-emblazon illustrated the ermine field with 20 ermine spots, none of which were obscured by other charges in the armory. The full-sized emblazon shows 60 full or partially obscured ermine spots, each of which was much smaller proportionally than the ermine spots on the mini-emblazon. Usually we would rely heavily on the College's input to determine whether the ermine spots were in fact too unidentifiable to be registered under RfS VIII.3, or whether the submission's identifiability was sufficient to enable it to be registered, with an artistic note to the submitter to draw fewer, larger, and less obscured ermine spots. [Genevieve de Calais, 06/2003, R-West]
[Per chevron gules and argent, two thistles Or and a bear rampant sable] Please advise the submitter to draw the per chevron line somewhat lower on the field, allowing the thistles and the bear to be more similar in size. While it is not uncommon for the bottom charge of a group of three charges arranged two and one to be larger than the top two charges, this bear (and the space on which it lies) is disproportionately large. [Robert Crosar, 07/2003, A-Caid]
[a chief embattled ermine] On the first viewing of the submission form, the Wreath meeting attendees had a lively discussion about whether the ermine spots were too small to be identified. While there were strong adherents to both sides of this question, the consensus was that the ermine spots were sufficiently identifiable, especially because, for the most part, the ermine spots were neither obscuring, nor obscured by, other elements of the design.

We were suprised at the lack of commentary on the identifiability issue, and (on inspection of the Letter of Intent) found that there was a notable discrepancy between the depiction of the ermine chief in the full-sized emblazon and in the mini-emblazon. The mini-emblazon drew the embattled chief with two rows of five ermine spots each, with the lower line "offset" so that each ermine spot is centered in the space between the two ermine spots above it. However, the full-sized emblazon had twice as many rows and almost twice as many ermine spots per row (except for the bottom row, which had just as many spots, as it only had one spot per embattlement). It was no surprise that the issue with the identifiability of the ermine spots was not raised in the commentary - the identifiability issue did not even begin to arise on the mini-emblazon.

As a period artistic note, the depiction in the mini-emblazon is very much in keeping with period armorial depictions both of ermine chiefs and of the portion of an ermine field showing over the top of a fess. The majority of depictions which Wreath staff was able to find on a short research mission show two rows of (offset) ermine spots with 4-7 spots per row. We were not able to find (nor were we were presented with evidence for) a depiction of a period ermine chief with more than three rows of ermine spots on it. We will note that ermine spots are often packed more densely on some other types of armorial elements, such as ermine beasts and ermine fretty (where the complex outline of the beast and the narrow lathes of the fretty encourage the depiction of small and numerous ermine spots). [Jean de Leedes, 07/2003, A-West]
[Azure semy of compass stars, on a flame Or a crescent azure] Please advise the submitter to have less overlap between the compass stars and the flames. In period armory, primary charges do at times overlap the surrounding strewn charges. However, because of the complex outline of this (period style) flame, and the fact that it is tinctured identically to the strewn charges which it overlaps, the overlap compromises the identfiability of both charge groups. [Finbarr Mathgamain mac Conchobair and Aífe Fael ingen Brénainn, 08/2003, A-Atenveldt]
[a chief embattled] The chief is drawn with the minimum acceptable number of embattlements. There are three embattlements pointing out from the chief, and the two outermost embattlements touch the side of the shield, so there are three "down" and two "up", and the outside edges of the two outside "down" embattlements touch the sides of the shield. This would also be acceptable if there were three "up" and two "down." Usually, however, an embattled chief would be drawn with two more embattlements (so, for example, three "down" and four "up"). [Éamonn mac Rioghbhardáin, 09/2003, A-Atlantia]
[on a rose argent a sword inverted sable] As drawn in this submission, the tertiary sword is barely visible on the argent rose. The problem is with this particular rendition, not with the general design of a rose argent charged with a sword sable. In this depiction, the rose is drawn with such prominent and complicated sable details that the sable sword is visually lost. RfS VIII.3 states, in pertinent part, "Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by ... being obscured by other elements of the design." [Eóin Ó hEochaidh, 09/2003, R-Atlantia]
[a wolf statant argent] The cumulative problems with the artwork call for redrawing. The wolf is not clearly identifiable as a wolf. It does not have a wolf's long bushy tail, nor does it have a wolf's erect pointed ears. The head and neck are slightly in trian aspect, which causes the neck to effectively disappear, which also hampers the identifiability of the animal. Only about half the people who commented on this submission or who viewed this submission at the Wreath meeting were able to clearly identify this charge as a canine, and few of them believed it to be a wolf. [Randolf Garard, 10/2003, R-Atlantia]

EMBLAZON -- Coloring Problems

From Wreath: Coloring Problems
We remind the College that we rule on an emblazon's acceptability based on the appearance of the emblazon on the form at the Wreath meeting. This includes determining whether all the tinctures on the form are acceptable heraldic tinctures. We have multiple people at the meeting looking at the forms and helping to make this decision. This policy is in accordance with previous practices: We want to remind the College that we register what is submitted, and not the blazon. We are getting more and more submissions that were done using color copiers or color printers. While we have nothing against using modern technology (Laurel has been known to use it now and then), the colors must be identifiable. If the copier/printer can not produce recognizable tinctures, it shouldn't be used. If it is used, the submission may be returned. (Cover Letter June 1997) We also note that Laurel (at this time, via Wreath) may, at any time, be called on to reblazon old armory based on the appearance of the old forms in the file. Certain sorts of pigment tend to change or fade so that they are very difficult to make out correctly in old forms. If the pigments used in old forms have changed drastically from their original state while sitting in the files, this may result in an incorrect reblazon.

We have seen quite a few problems in the last year with a particular color which is blazoned as purpure, but (when viewed at the Wreath meeting) is instead some shade between purple, fuchsia, and bright pink. The culprit for the particular problem appears to be some standard variety of color printer ink, which is very fugitive and may change its tincture within a few weeks of printing. Computer printer inks also seem to be responsible for a dark tincture which is somewhere between purpure and azure, which seems to be generally meant as azure. It is not yet clear to us whether this latter confused tincture is due to the inks changing color after the forms were mailed, or whether the color was always ambiguous.

We have no intention of mandating the particular techniques used to color in the forms. However, it is certainly in the best interest of each kingdom to discourage submitters from using pigments that will be likely to result in a return at Laurel, or an incorrect later reblazon. Discouraged coloring methods include:
Color Computer Printers: the colors may change even in the few months between the time the forms leave the kingdom and when they are ruled on by Wreath. Computer printer colors sometimes continue to change while the forms are in the files.

Metallic Markers and Paints: These tend to oxidize over time, so that what began as gold or silver ends up as dull brown or dark grey. If the marker or paints are used to detail an underlying dark charge, this oxidation may cause the details to be almost invisible when the form is viewed in later years.

Colored Pencils: The pale shades of color pencil cause difficulties in identifying tinctures and charges on the forms. Colored pencil is the only standard medium in which a 'light grey' (and thus argent) tincture is often difficult to distinguish from a 'black' (and thus sable) tincture. The pale shades also make it hard to get good identifiability of charges due to the low contrast between tinctures when viewing the form. We try hard at the Wreath meetings to keep any emblazon's medium from interfering with our decisions about identifiability and visual difference, but it is best to choose a pigment that avoids the problem.

Wax Crayons, Oil Paints, Oil Pastels, Other Sticky Pigments: These pigments can cement paperwork together in the files. It is hard to do a visual comparison with a form which is stuck ineradicably to the paper in front of it, or has had half its pigment peel off onto the paper in front of it.
We continue to support, without any commercial incentive to do so, the humble yet effective Crayola(R) Classic Colors Markers. While Crayola markers are not waterproof, they have good intense heraldic colors that keep "true" as long as the forms are in the files and out of direct sunlight. Note that there are other types of Crayola marker than the "Classic Colors" markers, and these are not recommended. ("Crayola" is a registered trademark of Binney & Smith.) [09/2002, CL]
The coronet and chain were blazoned as sable on the Letter of Intent but they are argent. This sort of difficulty derives from using colored pencils on the forms. On inspection under strong light, the coronet and chain are metallic silver and the tail and mane of the horse are black, but on a cursory inspection in dim light they both look like "dark grey pencil", hence (presumably) the confusion leading to the misblazon. Because the addition or tincture change of a collar and chain on an entire animal is not worth difference, it is not necessary to pend this device for further conflict research due to the misblazon. However, if this degree of confusion were present in the tincture of a more significant charge, the armory may have been returned for inability to determine the tinctures in the armory. [Betha of Bedford, 11/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
The submission was originally blazoned with sable rather than with argent. However, the coloring of the emblazon used the palest of grey to depict the sable. Very pale grey is argent, not sable. While we do give allowances for the fact that colored pencil, the medium used to color this emblazon, is often a light shade of the represented tincture, this emblazon is unacceptable in any medium. The Cover Letter for the LoAR of June 1997 color letter stated:
We want to remind the College that we register what is submitted, and not the blazon... If the copier/printer [or other medium] can not produce recognizable tinctures, it shouldn't be used. If it is used, the submission may be returned.
[Douglas Henry, 02/2003, R-East]

ENFILE

[A holly branch bendwise sinister inverted vert fructed gules enfiling a mullet voided Or] The design of a charge enfiling a voided mullet is a weirdness, but it is not in itself sufficient reason for return. It is a weirdness because of the cumulative effects of the unusual voided charge (the voided mullet), the unusual action of enfiling, and the fact that the overlap implicit in the act of enfiling reduces the identifiability of both charges involved. Charges which in their standard period depiction include a large central hole (such as laurel wreaths, annulets, and mascles) are not considered a weirdness when enfiled. Charges with small central holes (such as spur rowels and rustres), and voided charges where the usual form of the charge is not voided (mullets) will be considered a weirdness when enfiled.

The question of which charge in the heraldic ring-toss is "enfiled" is one of the great heraldic cocktail party discussion topics. The SCA has a precedent on the topic which is being followed in this blazon:
[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.
[Evelyn atte Holye, 12/2001, A-Ealdormere]
[(Fieldless) An anchor fouled of its cable argent enfiling a coronet bendwise sinister Or pearled argent] There is a high degree of overlap between the coronet and the anchor and its cable. This is not acceptable style for overall charges on a fieldless badge for reasons of identifiability and non-period style. The same stylistic constraints which apply to charges surmounted by overall charges also apply to charges enfiled by other charges.

The orientation of the coronet is neither clearly bendwise sinister nor clearly palewise. This is not blazonable and therefore a reason for return under RfS VII.7.b. There are also contrast problems with this emblazon. The argent pearls on the coronet overlap the argent anchor, giving no contrast at those points. [William the Mariner, 04/2003, R-An Tir]

ERMINE SPOT
see also FUR

[Per saltire azure and sable, an escarbuncle within an orle of ermine spots argent] The ermine spots are identifiable here as charges in orle rather than an ermined field. Having a bit more field showing between the escarbuncle and the spots would help avoid the possible confusion between these designs. Because this is an orle of ermine spots, rather than an unusual field, this is clear of conflict with the badge ... Purpure, an escarbuncle argent. There is one CD for the field and another for adding the orle of ermine spots. [Aidan Macpherson, 08/2001, A-Caid]
[Azure, four ermine spots in cross bases to center argent each charged with a roundel azure] This does not conflict with Darya Kazakova, (Fieldless) A cross of four ermine spots conjoined argent. There is a CD for fieldlessness, and another for the orientation of the ermine spots.

Crosses of ermine spots are drawn with the tops of the ermine spots conjoined in the center, rather than the bases of the ermine spots conjoined in the center. A question was raised in commentary about whether it was reasonable to give an orientation CD for inverting an ermine spot. The vast majority of ermine spots, and all the ermine spots which use a three-roundel "clasp" artistic motif (as with this submission), are not symmetrical about the horizontal axis. (In many renditions of ermine spots, the three roundels, or voided billet, at the top of the spot represent a stylized clasp, as would have been used to hold an ermine tail or skin to an underlying garment or less expensive fur.) As a result, there is a CD for posture between an ermine spot and an ermine spot inverted.

Another question was raised about whether the roundels at the base of the ermine spots should be worth difference, as addition of tertiaries, or should be considered artistic detailing. Given the wide diversity in the shape of the bottom of ermine spots, the small roundels seemed more like artistic details than genuine addition of tertiary charges. [Constance de Montbard, 09/2001, A-An Tir]
[Vert, a bend sinister argent ermined vert between three ermine spots argent] When there are three or more ermine spots on a stripe ordinary such as a bend or fess or chief, the ordinary will be interpreted as ermined, as this is a standard way of drawing an ermine stripe ordinary. It is also true that small numbers of ermine spots on the field may be interpreted as charges, rather than part of an ermined tincture. Three spots around a bend sinister are so sparsely distributed that they can only be interpreted as charges.

No documentation was presented, and none was found, for the combination of ermine spots as distinct charges and ermine spots as part of an ermined tincture in the same armory. Until documentation for this combination is presented, this combination will be considered a weirdness. [Edmund Sharpe, 02/2002, A-Atlantia]
... in period, ermine spots on a bend generally tilt to follow the bend. We would expect ermine spots on a bend sinister to follow the bend sinister, instead of being drawn palewise as with this submission. [Rhys Ravenscroft, 07/2002, A-Atenveldt]
We have blazoned the ermine spots in base as a bar of ermine spots, parallel to armory using arrangements of unnumbered charges such as an orle of martlets. "Unnumbered" charges, such as the charges in an orle of martlets, are too many to explicitly enumerate: generally eight or more charges.

Orles of unnumbered charges are found in period armory, but no documentation has been provided for barrulets abased of unnumbered charges (or other ordinaries abased of unnumbered charges). This arrangement is a step from period practice. The fact that the unnumbered charges in question are ermine spots is a second step from period practice. While ermine spots are reasonable charges when taken in small numbers, unnumbered ermine spots are indicative of an ermined fur rather than a group of charges. This combination is too many steps from period practice to be acceptable. This design could alternately be blazoned with a counter-ermine bar on a sable field, but that would contravene the rules of contrast, further indicating that this design is not period style. [Iuliana inghean Domhnaill, 10/2002, R-East]
Some commentary asked whether this depiction of an ermine bend, which charges the bend with five bendwise ermine spots, should be blazoned as A bend argent charged with five ermine spots sable rather than a bend ermine. This is an excellent period depiction of an ermine bend. As noted in the January 2002 LoAR:
There seem to be few ermine bends in period, but they may be found throughout the heraldic period. Those which [Maister Iago ab Adam] found are all depicted with the ermine spots tilted bendwise on the bend.
Maister Iago has provided some additional detailed information about English depictions of ermine bends throughout our period:
Out of seven period examples of ermine bends studied, two had two offset rows of spots (like footprints up the bend), one had seven spots arranged 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, one was charged and had the spots arranged to fit around the charges, and three were drawn as in this submission, with a single row of five spots (although it should be noted that these last three examples are all mid-16th C. or later.)
[Catarina de Zaneto Rizo, 04/2003, A-Æthelmearc]

ESCARBUNCLE

[An escarbuncle argent surmounted by a roundel purpure] Conflict with ... Purpure, an escarbuncle argent. There is one CD for fieldlessness. Escarbuncles have a small center circle as part of their charge definition, reflecting their origin as a reinforced shield boss. As a result, this does not appear to be an escarbuncle with an overall charge, but an escarbuncle in which part of the charge is tinctured differently than the rest. Since less than half the tincture of the charge has changed, this does not get a tincture CD from Cerelia's armory. [Méraud d'Avignon, 05/2002, R-Æthelmearc]
Snowflakes are not period charges and have not been registerable since the Cover Letter for the LoAR of August 1994. [Halla bjarnylr, 07/2002, R-Meridies]
Some commenters asked about the registerability of escarbuncles with six arms. Per the LoAR of February 2001, "Escarbuncles of six arms are found in period arms according to A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry." [Kis Mária, 01/2004, R-East]

ESTOILE

... estoiles are one CD from compass stars. [Letia Thistelthueyt, 12/2001, A-Atlantia]
Mullets of five (straight) points and estoiles of six (wavy) rays are both standard period charges, and the SCA gives a CD between them, but an estoile of five (wavy) rays is not a period charge. Per RfS X.4.e, armorial difference involving a non-period charge must be determined based on whether "its shape in normal depiction is significantly different" from the charge with which it is being compared. Because the rays of estoiles are often drawn with very shallow waves, it does not seem appropriate to give a CD on purely visual grounds between a mullet of five points and an estoile of five rays. [Ygraine de Bracy, 09/2002, R-Atlantia]
[Counter-ermine, three estoiles Or] This does not conflict with the Counts of Celje (important non-SCA arms), Azure, three mullets of six points Or. There is one CD for changing the field. The SCA has consistently held, since the Cover Letter for the June 1991 LoAR, that mullets should be given a CD from estoiles (in the estoile's standard depiction, with six wavy rays). [Giovanni Basilio de Castronovo, 10/2002, A-Lochac]
The estoile was blazoned on the Letter of Intent as fesswise, which was presumably intended to describe the fact that the estoile does not have a point to chief. It is not necessary to blazon the exact orientation of either a mullet of six points or an estoile (which by default has six rays). The orientation of such charges appears to an artistic preference, not a heraldically significant choice. For example, in Iberian armory mullets of six points often do not have a point to chief, but in French armory they often do have a point to chief. [Stromgard, Barony of, 03/2004, A-An Tir]
There is no difference for changing the type of tertiary charge on an estoile per RfS X.4.j.ii, as an estoile is not a "suitable" charge for purposes of this rule. [Eleanora von Ratzeburg, 03/2004, R-Drachenwald]

FEATHER

[Per chevron inverted azure and gules, a leaf bendwise sinister argent] Both leaves and feathers are found in English heraldry and do not seem to be considered variants of each other in period. Thus, this is clear from the badge of Silver Quill Pursuivant, (Tinctureless) A quill bendwise sinister within a roundel. Even if the roundel is just an indication of a shape for armorial display, rather than an actual charge, there is one CD for fieldlessness and another for charge type. [Agnes de Lanvallei, 09/2001, R-Calontir] [Ed.: Returned for redraw of the line of division]
[Per pale Or ermined purpure and purpure, a feather argent] This was pended from the July 2001 LoAR for consideration of a number of real-world badges, associated with the English royal family or their close associates, which use a single white feather as a major design element. The College of Arms did not find a clear pattern suggesting that such a badge design would be presumptuous, nor did the College find any particular real-world white feather badge that appeared to be, in its own right, important enough to be protected in the SCA. Therefore, this may be registered. [Hrefna karlsefni, 11/2001, A-Atenveldt]
[Gules, in pall inverted three feathers conjoined at the quill argent] This is also clear of conflict with ... Gules, a feather fan argent, handled Or. There is substantial difference for purposes of RfS X.2 between a feather and a feather fan. [Nakano Zenjirou Tadamasa, 02/2002, A-Calontir]
The secondary charges were originally blazoned as quill pens, but they lack the nib of a quill pen. They have been reblazoned as feathers. [Dianaim ingen Eochada, 08/2002, A-East]
The peacock feathers here are blazoned as proper. According to the September 1993 LoAR, "A peacock feather proper is mostly green, with an iridescent roundel near the end." The feathers in this emblazon are sable with the eyes colored in azure, vert, Or and purpure.

The "eyes" of the peacock feathers dwarf the rest of the feather. Even though heraldic stylizations generally use a certain amount of artistic exaggeration, the "eyes" of these feathers are too disproportionate for these charges to be called peacock feathers.

This submission must therefore be returned for redrawing. The redrawing should rescale the feathers so that they are long feathers with smaller eyes at the end, and the tincture of the feathers should either be the previously defined proper for a peacock feather or standard blazonable tincture(s). [Mary Rose of Burgon, 10/2002, R-Atenveldt]
[Device reblazon: Quarterly gules and purpure, a feather bendwise Or] The previous blazon, Quarterly gules and purpure, a peacock feather bendwise Or, did not accurately describe the type of feather. Precedent makes it clear that we distinguish between peacock feathers and regular feathers, to the point of having given difference between them, "[A default azure feather vs. a proper peacock plume] "There is one CVD...for the change in type of feather. The peacock plume...is quite distinct in shape, with a prominent 'eye'" (LoAR December 1990 p. 11). The feather in this submission is a normally shaped feather. [Antoine de Breton, 12/2003, A-Atenveldt]
The feather was blazoned on the LoI as a quill pen, but as it has no nib, it is simply a feather. The slight difference between these charges is artistic only, and no difference is given between them. [Daimhín Cinncaidhe, 12/2003, R-Trimaris]

FESS and BAR

[a tower argent masoned sable] Architectural charges made of stonework such as towers, castles and walls may be drawn masoned as a matter of artist's license. Therefore, there is no additional tincture difference for adding or removing masoning for these types of charge. [Gemma Meen, 01/2002, R-An Tir]
While redesigning, the submitter may also wish to consider that the fess engrailed on the upper edge and invected on the lower is not a period type of fess. Stylistically, the fess is at best a weirdness. [Asbjørn Pedersen Marsvin, 01/2002, R-Caid]
[Argent, on a fess indented gules a wolf rampant contourny between the halves of a broken chain issuant from the flanks argent] The armory was originally blazoned as Gules, a wolf rampant contourny between issuant from sinister and dexter two broken chains fesswise, a chief indented and a base indented argent. However, the visual realities clearly indicate that this should be a fess indented. Very little period armory combines both a chief and a base, so the visual interpretation of the fess here is even more striking when considered against the background of period heraldic design.

Some commenters felt that a period fess indented may not look like this, but must look like a fess lozengy or fusilly. However, an indented ordinary may include a center space, like the center space of an engrailed ordinary. The arms of Pacanha in Godinho's early 16th C Portuguese Libro da Nobreza are Argent, on a bend indented gules three fleurs-de-lys argent. Pacanha's bend has approximately nine distinct indentations on each side and a wide central area upon which the fleurs-de-lys are placed. The fess here has similar proportions, but with four indentations on each side of the ordinary. [Gunnarr skáld Þorvaldsson, 06/2002, Ealdormere]
[Argent, three crosses of Cerdaña sable between a chief and a base azure] This armory is visually equivalent to Azure, a fess argent charged with three crosses of Cerdaña two and one sable. It therefore conflicts with a number of pieces of armory protected by the SCA, including the flag of Honduras (important non-SCA flag), Azure, on a fess argent five mullets in saltire azure, and ... Azure, upon a fess argent, a mole's paw print sable. In each case there is only one CD for the cumulative changes to the group of charges on the fess. [Bianca Sereni, 09/2002, R-Ansteorra]
We have blazoned the ermine spots in base as a bar of ermine spots, parallel to armory using arrangements of unnumbered charges such as an orle of martlets. "Unnumbered" charges, such as the charges in an orle of martlets, are too many to explicitly enumerate: generally eight or more charges.

Orles of unnumbered charges are found in period armory, but no documentation has been provided for barrulets abased of unnumbered charges (or other ordinaries abased of unnumbered charges). This arrangement is a step from period practice. The fact that the unnumbered charges in question are ermine spots is a second step from period practice. While ermine spots are reasonable charges when taken in small numbers, unnumbered ermine spots are indicative of an ermined fur rather than a group of charges. This combination is too many steps from period practice to be acceptable. This design could alternately be blazoned with a counter-ermine bar on a sable field, but that would contravene the rules of contrast, further indicating that this design is not period style. [Iuliana inghean Domhnaill, 10/2002, R-East]
[a fess cotised between two chevronels inverted] The cotises are too thin to be acceptable. There are also problems with the placement of the chiefmost chevronel inverted. The chiefmost chevronel inverted should issue from the sides of the shield or, at the highest, from the chiefmost corners of the shield. In this emblazon, the chiefmost chevronel inverted issues entirely from the chief of the shield. The cumulative problems with the art require that it be returned for redrawing. (Note that the placement of the bottommost chevronel inverted is acceptable. It issues from the functional equivalent of the "chiefmost corners" of its part of the shield, namely the intersection between the bottom of the bottommost cotise and the sides of the shield.)

We suggest that, when redrawing, the submitter make the fess somewhat thinner, so that the chevronels inverted and the fess are of roughly equal widths. Drawing the fess thinner will leave more room for the cotises and chevronels inverted, and will be more likely to recreate period heraldic style. We note that in the period examples we have seen of the combination of a fess between two chevronels, the fess and chevronels are of about equal width. (See Bedingfeld and Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry for some examples, one from c. 1280 on p. 8 and one on the back cover from the 15th C). [Ludwig W�rzsteiner, 10/2002, R-Meridies]
[Argent, in chief three bars azure] This does not conflict with the important non-SCA flags of both Monaco and Indonesia, Per fess gules and argent. This submission could equally well be blazoned Per fess barry argent and azure, and argent. Viewing this piece of armory and the flags as field-only armory, we have one change for changing the division of the field, and another for changing the tincture of half the field. [Ruarcc the Blind, 01/2003, A-Calontir]
[Sable, in fess a roundel between two ravens respectant all between two bars couped Or] The College generally felt that this armory appeared to use a single primary charge group consisting of three types of charges. While the two bars surrounding the central charges would certainly be considered a separate secondary group if they were throughout, the fact that they are couped removes that secondary appearance. [Helgi hrafnfæðir, 01/2003, R-Caid]
Because chevrons and fesses embattled (with a complex line of partition on the top of the charge and a plain line on the bottom) and embattled counter-embattled (with a complex line of partition on both sides of the charge) are found as distinct treatments in period heraldry, there is a type CD between them. [Robert Blackhawk, 04/2003, A-Outlands]
[Per fess embattled Or and sable, a bear's head cabossed and three bars wavy counterchanged] Conflict with ... Paly gules and argent, a bear's head cabossed sable. This armory is heraldically equivalent to Per fess embattled Or and wavy sable and Or, a bear's head cabossed sable, as it is not uncommon for barry fields to be drawn with either even or odd numbers of traits. Therefore, there is one CD for changing the field. There is not a second CD for moving the bear's head, as it may only lie on the Or portion of the field for reasons of contrast. RfS X.4.g states "Changing the relative positions of charges in any group placed directly on the field or overall is one clear difference, provided that change is not caused by other changes to the design". Here, the change of the relative position of the bear's head is caused by other changes to the design - the tinctures of the field. [Bernard ben Moshe ha-Kohane, 04/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[a fess of three conjoined fusils] This does not conflict with Vert, a dance Or between three daisies proper. There is one CD for removing the secondary daisies. There is another CD for the difference between a dance and a fess of fusils:
[a bend sinister fusilly vs. a bend sinister dancetty] Evidence taken from the Dictionary of British Arms strongly indicates that bends dancetty were not used interchangeably with bends fusilly; in fact, they were used by different people and in different ways. Thus there is a CD for changing the line of division on the bend ... (LoAR April 2001)
We have also researched the question in the Dictionary of British Arms in the two bars section, and also found that bars dancetty were used by different people from bars lozengy. Unfortunately, the Dictionary of British Arms is not yet published to the point where we could research fesses, but the evidence so far found implies strongly that what is true for bends and bars should also be true for fesses.

We do note that there is some interchangeability in period between the somewhat analogous lines embattled-counterembattled and bretessed, which also differ by putting the top and bottom lines 180 degrees out of phase. As a consequence of the period interchangeability, we do not give difference between embattled-counterembattled and bretessed. However, the square and indented line treatments are not exactly analogous, because there is no "zig-zag" form of the square lines analogous to dancetty. The "zig zag" form of embattled-counterembattled would look like the shaft of the SCA charge of a lightning bolt (see the Pictorial Dictionary for an illustration). There is no period treatment of an ordinary which makes this sort of square "zig zag". Because the two sides of a period ordinary embattled-counterembattled or bretessed are always separated by at least a thin amount of central ordinary, the two treatments are much more visually similar, and this may have contributed to the period confusion between them.

Some commentary on this submission addressed previous precedent on this topic, which appears to need some clarification (especially when only excerpts of the precedent were quoted). Here is some discussion clarifying these past precedents. As always, we encourage people quoting precedents to consider going back to the original LoAR and reading the excerpts in context.
As a bend sinister of fusils is an artistic variant of indented, there is not a CD between it and a bend sinister indented (LoAR April 2001, p. 13)
This precedent only refers to the lack of difference between an ordinary indented and an ordinary of fusils - ordinaries dancetty are not discussed by this precedent at all. Ordinaries indented and ordinaries of fusils were indeed interchangeable artistic variants in period. In both an ordinary indented and an ordinary of fusils, the top and bottom lines are 180 degrees out of phase, and the only difference is whether the artist decides to touch the "inside" parts of the top and bottom lines (creating an ordinary of fusils) or whether to leave some space between them (leaving an ordinary indented).
...the distinction between 'dancetty' and 'indented' when applied to ordinaries being not one of amplitude, as White Stag suggests, but a distinction parallel to that between counterembattled and bretassed (LoAR December 1988)
This precedent did not discuss the determination of difference between ordinaries dancetty and indented, but solely discussed the definitions of the two treatments. It makes the very good point that there is no implication of an amplitude difference between indented and dancetty (as indicated in some very post-period treatises). As noted in the discussion above, the difference between dancetty and indented is indeed "parallel" to that between counterembattled and bretessed, but it is by no means exactly the same. [Elena Bertholmeu, 05/2003, A-Atlantia]
[two walls couped with portals] We have reblazoned the castles as walls, because a castle by default has a tower at each end, and these charges do not have any towers. According to the Pictorial Dictionary, walls are throughout and embattled by default, so it is necessary to blazon these walls as couped. It is also necessary to blazon the portals explicitly. [Hans Schneckenburg, 09/2003, A-Caid]
[Barry rayonny Or and gules] Conflict with ... Or, three bars wavy gules. Three bars wavy is heraldically equivalent to barry wavy, so there is only one CD for the change from wavy to rayonny. It also conflicts with ... Gules, three bars Or. This is heraldically equivalent to barry, so there is one CD for changing the line of the barry from plain to rayonny, and no difference for swapping the order of the tinctures on a multiply divided field like barry. [Trimaris, Kingdom of, 12/2003, R-Trimaris]
[Argent, three chevronels azure and overall a fleur-de-lys gules] In this emblazon, the three chevronels are crunched together in the center of the shield. We would not expect to find three chevronels so close together in period armory unless the chevronels were forced close together due to the presence of secondary charges (as one might find in the hypothetical armory Argent, three chevronels azure between three fleurs-de-lys gules). In this emblazon, the three chevronels were drawn so close together that this armory could almost be reblazoned as Argent, on a chevron azure two chevronels argent and overall a fleur-de-lys gules. As a general rule, three chevronels will be drawn to fill the field, and are in fact considered interchangeable with the chevronelly field division (see the LoAR of November 2001 for more details about this).

Period armory does admit the possibility of two small diminutives of an ordinary that are close together (rather than filling the shield): a bar gemel (bar "twinned"). The bar gemel is heraldically distinct from two bars: the bar gemel consists of two very thin bars drawn close together, while two bars will fill the space allotted to them. A bar gemel is, in effect, a voided bar. A good period example of this practice can be seen in the Herald's Roll circa 1280 on p. 8 of Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry: a coat using two bars is found in the center coat of the bottom row, whereas armory using two bars gemel is found on the dexter coat of the top row, and on the sinister coat of the middle row. No evidence has been presented, and none has been found for a "triplet" version of a bar gemel. The "gemel" treatment of other ordinaries, such as chevronels, bendlets or pallets, is vanishingly rare in period. Aside from a few examples of bendlets gemel in the 15th C Italian Stemmario Trivulziano, no evidence has been presented or found for gemel charges other than bars. The idea of a triplet version of a chevronel is thus two steps from period practice ("two weirdnesses") and not registerable. Thus, it is not reasonable to interpret this emblazon as using such a hypothetical "triplet chevronel."

Because this emblazon blurs the distinction between three chevronels and a chevron charged with two chevronels, it may not be registered per RfS VII.7.a, "Identification Requirement". [Alessandra da Ferrara, 01/2004, R-Meridies]

FIELD DIVISION -- Barry

Please advise the submitter to draw the barry with six or more traits. [Antonia di Battista, 08/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
[Argent, in chief three bars azure] This does not conflict with the important non-SCA flags of both Monaco and Indonesia, Per fess gules and argent. This submission could equally well be blazoned Per fess barry argent and azure, and argent. Viewing this piece of armory and the flags as field-only armory, we have one change for changing the division of the field, and another for changing the tincture of half the field. [Ruarcc the Blind, 01/2003, A-Calontir]
[Per fess embattled Or and sable, a bear's head cabossed and three bars wavy counterchanged] Conflict with ... Paly gules and argent, a bear's head cabossed sable. This armory is heraldically equivalent to Per fess embattled Or and wavy sable and Or, a bear's head cabossed sable, as it is not uncommon for barry fields to be drawn with either even or odd numbers of traits. Therefore, there is one CD for changing the field. There is not a second CD for moving the bear's head, as it may only lie on the Or portion of the field for reasons of contrast. RfS X.4.g states "Changing the relative positions of charges in any group placed directly on the field or overall is one clear difference, provided that change is not caused by other changes to the design". Here, the change of the relative position of the bear's head is caused by other changes to the design - the tinctures of the field. [Bernard ben Moshe ha-Kohane, 04/2003, R-Ansteorra]
[Barry rayonny Or and gules] Conflict with ... Or, three bars wavy gules. Three bars wavy is heraldically equivalent to barry wavy, so there is only one CD for the change from wavy to rayonny. It also conflicts with ... Gules, three bars Or. This is heraldically equivalent to barry, so there is one CD for changing the line of the barry from plain to rayonny, and no difference for swapping the order of the tinctures on a multiply divided field like barry. [Trimaris, Kingdom of, 12/2003, R-Trimaris]
[A landscape (in pale sky azure, snow-capped mountains argent, hills vert, prairie proper, and a wheat field proper) and on a chief argent a cross gules] This armory posed some difficult questions regarding blazon: We are fortunate to have benefited by the efficiency and kindness of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. The Chief Herald of Canada, Robert D. Watt, provided the following information:
The most definitive information we have here is found on page 209 of Conrad Swan's, (now Sir Conrad Swan) landmark study entitled 'Canada: Symbols of Sovereignty' (University of Toronto Press, 1977). In the chapter on Alberta, Sir Conrad notes that the arms were assigned by Royal Warrant on 30 May 1907 and were blazoned as follows: 'Azure, in front of a range of snowy mountains proper a range of hills Vert, in base a wheat field surmounted by a prairie both also proper, on a chief Argent a St. George's cross.' The reference he gives is College of Arms 175.127. As he was York Herald at the time of writing and had full access to the records of the College, I believe it is fair to assume that this blazon can be considered absolutely accurate.
The real-world official blazon of the province of Alberta is not clearly comprehensible from the perspective of SCA blazon. It uses the term surmounted in a different way than we do. It also assumes that the reader is aware that a St. George's cross is, by definition, a cross (throughout) gules. We have elected to reblazon the armory for the SCA, as we generally do with important real-world armory when it is necessary. We have left in the ambiguous proper tinctures for the wheat field and the prairie, as this ambiguity seems to be part of the definition of the armory. By blazoning this armory, exclusive of the chief, as a landscape, we hope to make it clear for future researchers that this armory is distinct from most heraldic treatments (aside from issues of purely visual conflict). The landscape is not, for example, equivalent to a variant of a barry field, or some combination of bars, but it is an excellent example of an overly pictorial design per RfS VIII.4.a, that could not be registered to a new SCA submitter. [Alberta, 02/2004, A-Society for Creative Anchronism]

FIELD DIVISION -- Bendy and Bendy Sinister

The bendy sinister field should also be redrawn. Presently all sections of the field are drawn at a very shallow angle very close to the horizontal lines of barry. Bendy sinister should be at approximately 45 degrees from the horizontal. In addition, when redrawing, the submitter should draw all the traits of the field at the same angle, rather than the varying angles presently used. [Gunnv{o,}r Vikarrsdóttir, 08/2002, R-Artemisia]
[Argent, three bendlets azure each charged with a mullet of six points palewise Or] Conflict with ..., Per pale gules and sable, three compass stars in bend sinister Or. Because armory with three or more bendlets is equivalent to armory with a bendy field, this armory needs to be considered as if it were blazoned as Bendy argent and azure, in bend sinister three mullets of six points Or. Under this interpretation, there is one CD for changing the field. There is no type difference between the compass stars and the mullets of six points. Because of the unusual (and non-period) design of compass stars, with their four greater and four lesser points, they are considered as variants of both mullets of four points and mullets of eight points. There is no type difference between mullets of six points and mullets of eight points and, hence, no difference between mullets of six points and compass stars. [Brian Sigfridsson von Niedersachsen, 07/2003, R-Atenveldt]
[Bendy sinister vert and erminois] Conflict with ... Bendy sinister of four vert, argent, purpure and argent. There's no difference between bendy sinister of four and bendy sinister of six. The two pieces of armory share a tincture, so X.4.a.ii.b does not apply. This leaves one CD for changing the tincture of the field, but that is all. [Cú Chonnacht Ó Tighearnáin, 10/2003, R-Middle]
[Quarterly gules and sable, three bendlets argent] Conflict with Ysfael ap Briafael, Per bend bendy vert and argent and vert. Ysfael's device could alternately be blazoned as Vert, three bendlets enhanced argent, and was originally submitted under that blazon. Ysfael's registration in the LoAR of December 2000 stated, "Originally blazoned as three bendlets enhanced, the blazon above more closely describes the emblazon." When considering Ysfael's device under the alternate blazon of Vert, three bendlets enhanced argent, and comparing it to Tigernach's submission, there is one CD for changing the field, but the second CD must come from the change of location of the bendlets from enhanced.

Our original inclination was to give a second CD for enhancing the bendlets under RfS X.4.g. However, evidence indicates that, in period, armory using three bendlets enhanced was not distinct from armory using three bendlets in their default location on the field. We thus should not give difference between these designs.

The Dictionary of British Arms (DBA) volume two gives very few coats of arms using three bendlets enhanced (on p. 117). Most of these coats are also found belonging to the same family but with the three bendlets in their default position (on pp. 114-116): the arms of Byron, Argent, three bends [enhanced] gules, Greeley, Gules, three bends [enhanced] Or, and Mawnyse/Mauvesin, Gules, three bends [enhanced] argent. For one of these families, there is scholarship which explicitly states that the coat with the three bendlets enhanced is a later version of the coat with three bendlets, rather than a distinctly different, cadenced, coat. Woodward's A Treatise on Heraldry British and Foreign discusses the arms of Byron on p. 132, stating, "What appears to have been the original coat of Biron viz., Argent, three bendlets gules, is now borne with the bendlets enhanced (Fr. haussés) i.e. placed higher in the shield, as in the arms of the poet, Lord Byron."

The difference between three bendlets and three bendlets enhanced is thus similar to the difference between crosses bottony and crosses crosslet. We give no difference between these crosses because, as discussed in the LoAR of August 2002, "It is important to recall that the cross bottony and the cross crosslet are both used to represent the same charge throughout our period's heraldry. The bottony form is found predominantly in earlier artwork, and the crosslet form predominantly in later artwork." The evidence in DBA and Woodward suggests that three bendlets and three bendlets enhanced are both used to represent the same armory throughout our period's heraldry. Just as the cross crosslet became distinct from the cross bottony after our period, three bendlets enhanced became distinct from three bendlets after our period. [Tigernach Mag Samhradh�in, 11/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
[Or, three bendlets sinister vert] This submission is heraldically equivalent to Bendy sinister Or and vert. It thus conflicts with ... Bendy sinister of four vert, argent, purpure and argent. There's no difference between bendy sinister of four and bendy sinister of six. The two pieces of armory share a tincture so X.4.a.ii.b does not apply. This leaves one CD for changing the tincture of the field, but that is all. [Gabriel Halte, 12/2003, R-Drachenwald]

FIELD DIVISION -- Chapé
see also PILE and PILE INVERTED

Some commenters thought that the field division here might be chapé. Both the large- and small-sized emblazons show this as a per chevron field rather than a chapé field, as the line of division does not touch the top of the shield. Chapé is always drawn touching the top of the shield. Thus there is no problem with the unregisterable design of a chapé field charged on the upper portion. [Hergeirr Þráinsson, 11/2001, A-Atlantia]
[Per pale purpure and argent, a pile inverted throughout counterchanged] Conflict with ... Per pale argent and sable chapé ployé counterchanged. Finnguala's arms could as easily be blazoned as Per pale argent and purpure chapé counterchanged. Because "you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict" (LoAR of February 2000), these two pieces of armory must both be compared as pile inverted throughout armory, and as per pale and chapé (ployé) armory. As per pale and chapé armory these conflict. There is one CD for changing the tincture of the field, but not "complete change of tincture" by RfS X.4.a.ii.b, since both fields share the tincture argent in common.

There is not a second CD for changing chapé ployé to chapé. The family of Masbach/Muesbach is found at the end of the 14th C in the Armorial Bellenville (see the Léon Jéquier edition) and the armorial Gelre (see the Adam-Even edition), using Per pale and chapé gules and argent or Per pale and chapé argent and gules. In 1605 the same family's arms are found in Siebmacher's Wappenbuch as Per pale and chapé ployé gules and argent. General SCA precedent has held that an enarched or ployé line is often an artistic variant of a straight line in which the curvature of the line is used to imply curvature of the shield. One recent precedent regarding "chevron-like" objects or lines of partition ployé did not give difference between straight and ployé:
[a chevron ployé vs. a chevron] Conflict ... there is only a single CD for the type of the secondary charges. [implying no CD for ployé vs. plain] (LoAR 4/00)
Based on the Masbach armory, it appears that chapé ployéshould prove no exception to the general policy by which ployé is given no difference from plain lines. We thus overturn the following precedent:
[returning chapé ploye engrailed] While it is true that lines [of division] could be enarched and also embattled, engrailed, etc., the enarching was basically to show the curvature of the shield. We do not believe that such is the case of a chapé ployé. (LoAR 6/97 p. 12)
[Finnguala ingen uí Medra, 04/2002, R-Caid]
[Per pale sable and argent, a pile inverted throughout counterchanged] Conflict with ... Per pale argent and sable chapé ployé counterchanged. The armory in this submission could also be blazoned as Per pale argent and sable chapé counterchanged. Because "you cannot 'blazon your way out of' a conflict" (LoAR February 2000), these must both be compared as pile inverted throughout armory, and also as per pale and chapé (ployé armory). In either interpretation, these have no difference. Under the chapé ployé interpretation, there is no difference between chapé ployé and chapé (see the LoAR of April 2002 for a more complete discussion of this issue.) There is no other difference between the two coats of arms. Under the pile inverted interpretation, there is also no difference between the two coats of arms. Per the October 2001 LoAR, there is no difference between a pile and a pile ployé, and piles inverted would appear to act similarly. [Michael vomme Harze, 05/2002, R-Caid]
[Argent chapé gules, a bear rampant sable and in chief two thistles Or] This armory must be returned for using a chapé field in which the upper portions are charged. The original blazon for this armory described the field as per chevron throughout, but the proportions of the emblazon clearly show that the field is chapé and that the charges on the upper portions of the field are therefore reasons for return. Note the following precedent:
Listed on the LoI as having a per chevron line of division, the location of the line of the division and the relative sizes of the charges makes this an example of chapé. Therefore, it must be returned ... for charging its upper portions. (LoAR January 2000).
[Cellach mac Ualraig, 09/2002, R-Caid]
[Per chevron throughout argent and gules, two frogs tergiant vert and an increscent argent] The field drawn here is an acceptable per chevron throughout field.

SCA precedent has been consistent, if somewhat unclear, regarding per chevron throughout fields (which may have charges in each portion of the field without violating any style rules) and chapé fields (which may only have charges in the lower portion of the field).

Both per chevron throughout and chapé fields have the top of the line touch the top of the escutcheon. However, the proportions of the rest of the line of division can make a difference in whether the armory is viewed as per chevron throughout or chapé in the SCA. If the line of division provides a roughly equal balance between the top and bottom halves of the field, it is considered a reasonable depiction of per chevron throughout. If the line of division leaves the bottom half of the field much larger than the top half, then it is considered chapé. It is not uncommon for the bottommost charge on a per chevron throughout field to be larger than the chiefmost charge(s), but the bottommost charge should not be so large as to force the field division up to the fess line and therefore contribute to the appearance of a chapé field (requiring its return).

As a general rule, the sides of a charged per chevron throughout field hit the sides of the escutcheon significantly lower than the fess line, while in charged chapé fields, the line of division hits the sides of the escutcheon at the fess line or higher. This follows from the need for per chevron throughout fields to balance the top and bottom halves of the field. Note the following precedent from the LoAR of June 2002 (quoting, in part, an earlier precedent from January 2000). This precedent is also consistent with earlier precedents on the topic (bolded emphasis added):
The submission was blazoned on the LoI as Per chevron in chief. It is a clear drawing of modern chapé: it's throughout and high on the field. Note the following precedent: "Listed on the LoI as having a per chevron line of division, the location of the line of the division and the relative sizes of the charges makes this an example of chapé. Therefore, it must be returned ... for charging its upper portions" (LoAR January 2000).
These precedents specifically set SCA policy for SCA stylistic rules concerning charged fields which are per chevron throughout and chapé. Period armory almost never uses any charges on a chapé field. In period armory using uncharged chapé fields, the line of division often extends down so that the field division could be interchangeable with per chevron throughout. Thus, we will continue to allow the use of the blazon term chapé for uncharged armory which resembles the period armory described above. [Aemilia Sabine, 02/2003, A-Calontir]
[Argent chapé azure, three goblets two and one gules] It is not clear what the default arrangement for three charges on a chapé field should be. The usual default on a plain field (two and one) doesn't fit well on a chapé field, and thus seems an unlikely default for that field. We have thus blazoned the arrangement explicitly. [Waldemar Stanislaw of White Mountain, 09/2003, A-Trimaris]

FIELD DIVISION -- Checky and Party of Six

[Checky Or and argent, on a fess sable ...] The use of Checky Or and argent is grandfathered to the Kingdom of An Tir. [An Tir, Kingodm of, 09/2001, A-An Tir]
Party of six pieces is substantially different from checky. [Jeanne Marie Lacroix, 03/2002, R-Caid]
[Party of six vert and Or] Conflict with ... Per fess Or and sable, a pale counterchanged. "You cannot 'blazon your way out of a conflict'" (LoAR of February 2000). Thus we must compare these arms both as party of six field-primary armory and as counterchanged pales. When considered as party of six field-primary armory, these conflict. By RfS X.4.ii.b, "If the fields of two field-primary armory have no tinctures in common, they are considered completely different and do not conflict, irrespective of any other similarities between them." In the LoAR of November 2000, Per saltire gules and azure was held to conflict with Per saltire Or and gules, because "While each portion of the field has changed tincture, one cannot say that they do not have a tincture in common." This case is similar: the two pieces of armory have a tincture in common, even though each portion of the field has changed tincture. It is also worth noting that RfS X.4.a does not give difference for swapping the order of two tinctures on a party of six field: "There is a clear difference for reversing the tinctures of a field evenly divided into two parts, per saltire, or quarterly, but not for reversing the tinctures of a field divided in any other way". [Jeanne Marie Lacroix, 03/2002, R-Caid]
[Party of six pieces vert bezanty and paly or and azure] Conflict with Cornwall, Sable bezanty (important non-SCA arms). There is one CD for changing the field. There is no difference for changing the arrangement of the charges, since the bezants cannot reasonably be expected to fall on the very thin portions of azure in the paly portions of the field, and they certainly may not fall on the same-tincture Or portions of the paly portions of the field.

Some commenters inquired whether the party of six pieces field division was ever used for marshalling and, if so, whether the armory in this submission would thus appear to be marshalled arms. Note that RfS XI.3 is only concerned with divisions "commonly used for marshalling", not divisions "which may rarely have been used for marshalling." We have only found a few 16th C English coats (and a few more post-period coats) with marshalling in six pieces. Each such example uses a different coat in each of the six pieces (such as the arms of Jane Seymour on p. 87 of Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry, painted c. 1536). No evidence has yet been presented that party of six was "commonly" used for marshalling. No evidence has yet been presented for party of six being used to marshal only two separate coats (which might give an appearance like the armory in this submission). Without new evidence, there seems no compelling reason to add party of six pieces to the fields which the SCA has found to have been "commonly used for marshalling".

There were also some style questions raised about this armory. We note that no evidence has yet been presented for armory using a party of six field with more than one charge in each section of the field. However, since the charged portions of the field merely use multiples of a single type of charge, this is at worst one step from period style ("a weirdness") and is not in itself a bar to registration. [Crystine Thickpenny of Giggleswick, 09/2002, R-Atlantia]
[Party of six pieces per fess nebuly azure and Or, three frets Or and three crabs azure] Party of six pieces was found with more than one type of charge on the field - albeit infrequently. Gwynn-Jones' Art of Heraldry (p. 103) illustrates arms from c. 1558 that can be blazoned as Party of six pieces azure and Or, three roundels barry wavy two and one argent and vert and three lion's heads erased one and two gules. Anthony Wagner's Historic Heraldry of Britain gives the arms of Thomas Cromwell (d. 1540) as Party of six pieces Or and gules, three fleurs-de-lys azure and three pelicans Or.

No evidence has been either presented to, or found by, this office for party of six pieces with a complex per fess line (although we grant that we had limited research time, after our last meeting in office). A similar field was registered ... in October 1996 without comment, Party of six pieces per fess nebuly gules and ermine, three anvils argent and three falcons close sable. The practice also seems a reasonable extension of the not-uncommon period design of quarterly with a complex per fess line. Party of six pieces with a complex per fess line of division seems, at worst, a single step from period practice (a "weirdness"). [Petronella Underhill, 03/2004, A-Drachenwald]

FIELD DIVISION -- Chevronelly

[Chevronelly Or and gules] Conflict with Clare, Earl of Gloucester, Or three chevrons gules (Important non-SCA armory). There is no difference between chevronelly and multiple chevronels. [Ed.: See the 11/2001 LoAR for an extended discussion on why there is no difference.] [Torfin de Carric, 11/2001, R-Atlantia]
[Argent, two chevronels gules and overall an eagle displayed sable] Should the two chevrons be considered equivalent to a chevronelly field? No evidence was presented, and none could be found, that two chevronels were an artistic variant of chevronelly in period. The two designs seem visually distinct as well. [Ivo Blackhawk, 01/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[Argent, three chevronels azure and overall a fleur-de-lys gules] In this emblazon, the three chevronels are crunched together in the center of the shield. We would not expect to find three chevronels so close together in period armory unless the chevronels were forced close together due to the presence of secondary charges (as one might find in the hypothetical armory Argent, three chevronels azure between three fleurs-de-lys gules). In this emblazon, the three chevronels were drawn so close together that this armory could almost be reblazoned as Argent, on a chevron azure two chevronels argent and overall a fleur-de-lys gules. As a general rule, three chevronels will be drawn to fill the field, and are in fact considered interchangeable with the chevronelly field division (see the LoAR of November 2001 for more details about this).

Period armory does admit the possibility of two small diminutives of an ordinary that are close together (rather than filling the shield): a bar gemel (bar "twinned"). The bar gemel is heraldically distinct from two bars: the bar gemel consists of two very thin bars drawn close together, while two bars will fill the space allotted to them. A bar gemel is, in effect, a voided bar. A good period example of this practice can be seen in the Herald's Roll circa 1280 on p. 8 of Bedingfield and Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry: a coat using two bars is found in the center coat of the bottom row, whereas armory using two bars gemel is found on the dexter coat of the top row, and on the sinister coat of the middle row. No evidence has been presented, and none has been found for a "triplet" version of a bar gemel. The "gemel" treatment of other ordinaries, such as chevronels, bendlets or pallets, is vanishingly rare in period. Aside from a few examples of bendlets gemel in the 15th C Italian Stemmario Trivulziano, no evidence has been presented or found for gemel charges other than bars. The idea of a triplet version of a chevronel is thus two steps from period practice ("two weirdnesses") and not registerable. Thus, it is not reasonable to interpret this emblazon as using such a hypothetical "triplet chevronel."

Because this emblazon blurs the distinction between three chevronels and a chevron charged with two chevronels, it may not be registered per RfS VII.7.a, "Identification Requirement". [Alessandra da Ferrara, 01/2004, R-Meridies]

FIELD DIVISION -- Gyronny

[Bendy sinister vert and Or, a hawk striking contourny argent a bordure counterchanged] The commentary from the College of Arms overwhelmingly indicated that the combination of bendy sinister and bordure is excessive counterchanging. In general, we would like to see documentation for any charge counterchanged over a multiply divided field, such as barry or gyronny. [Tvorimir Danilov, 08/2001, R-An Tir]
[Gyronny sable and Or, a lozenge within a bordure azure] The Letter of Intent asked whether an azure charge may be identifiable on a partially sable gyronny field. RfS VIII.2.a.ii indicates that this is a legal color combination as long as identifiability is preserved. This emblazon maintains identifiability due to the simple outline of the lozenge. [Brigid of Kincarn, 01/2002, A-Ansteorra]
[Gyronny vert and Or, a saltire counterchanged] The combination of the gyronny field and the saltire is very visually confusing. Each arm of the saltire is counterchanged along its long axis, which generally hampers identifiability. Because each piece of the counterchanged saltire is similar in size to the pieces of the gyronny field which show between the arms of the saltire, it is difficult to distinguish which parts of the emblazon belong to the charge, and which belong to the field. This design also does not appear to be period style. Absent documentation for the design of a cross or saltire, as an ordinary, counterchanged on a gyronny field in period, this must be returned. [Wilhelm von Düsseldorf, 01/2002, R-West]
[Gyronny of sixteen argent and sable, a salamander statant regardant gules enflamed Or and a bordure counterchanged sable and Or] The submitter's previous submission, Gyronny of sixteen sable and argent, a salamander statant reguardant gules enflamed Or, was returned for conflict in January 2001. At that time, Laurel cited precedent from June 1999 indicating that gyronny of sixteen is only acceptable in "simple cases" unless period evidence supports the submission in question. Concerning Johannes' submission, Laurel ruled, "While the single charge on the field is very complex, it is still only a single charge. Therefore this use of gyronny is acceptable.".

The submitter has now resubmitted adding a counterchanged bordure, which removes the previous conflict. In general, we consider a single primary charge within a bordure to be a "simple case" of armorial design. Adding a solid-tinctured bordure to the submitter's previous armory would certainly appear to be a simple case. However, the counterchanged bordure adds substantially to the visual complexity of the device, which led the College to question whether this submission should be considered a simple case.

In this submission, all the charges maintain their identifiability despite the visual complexity of the device. While the salamander's identifiability is somewhat confused by the field, it is no less identifiable than the salamander in Johannes' previous submission, which Laurel ruled to be stylistically acceptable. The counterchanged bordure is clearly identifiable as well. This submission is therefore acceptable. However, it is at the absolute limit of complexity for accepting gyronny of sixteen without documentation showing that the overall design of the armory is consistent with period practice. [Johannes Vagus, 06/2002, A-An Tir]
[Gyronny arrondy of six azure and argent] Conflict with ... Gyronny arrondy of six gules and argent, and ... Gyronny arrondy Or and azure. There is no difference between gyronny of eight and gyronny of six, and since both devices share a tincture with Hallr's, there is only one CD for changing the tincture of the field.

Gyronny should always be drawn with one of its constituent lines fesswise. With straight lines, one can blazon a field like this one as per pale and per saltire, but this is not possible when the lines are arrondy. This design has been returned for redrawing in the LoAR of September 1996:
[Gyronny arrondi of six argent and gules] This is being returned for a redraw. As Master Bruce as Laurel said in his 3/93 cover letter "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."
[Dofinn-Hallr Morrisson, 02/2003, R-East]
[Gyronny of sixteen argent and sable, four annulets in cross azure] Precedent (as stated below) indicates that gyronny of sixteen may be charged if the armory is simple and if the charges maintain their identifiability. This armory is simple (using a single group of identical charges in a standard arrangement) and the charges do maintain their identifiability on this field.
We will register Gyronny of sixteen in simple cases, but nothing more, barring period evidence (LoAR June 1999).

[Gyronny of sixteen argent and sable, a salamander statant regardant gules enflamed Or and a bordure counterchanged sable and Or] In this submission, all the charges maintain their identifiability despite the visual complexity of the device. While the salamander's identifiability is somewhat confused by the field, it is no less identifiable than the salamander in Johannes' previous submission [the same but without the bordure], which Laurel ruled to be stylistically acceptable. The counterchanged bordure is clearly identifiable as well. This submission is therefore acceptable. However, it is at the absolute limit of complexity for accepting gyronny of sixteen without documentation showing that the overall design of the armory is consistent with period practice. (LoAR June 2002)
[Kevin of Sentinels' Keep, 08/2003, A-Artemisia]
[Gyronny of sixteen argent and sable, a bordure counterchanged] The badge conflicts with ... Gyronny sable and argent, a bordure counterchanged. The SCA gives no difference between gyronny of sixteen and the default gyronny of eight, although we usually note the distinction between the two types of gyronny in blazon. There is no difference for changing the order of the tinctures in gyronny fields per RfS X.4.a and the SCA has traditionally extended this lack of difference to gyronny charges. There are thus no CDs between these two pieces of armory. [Minamoto Genkurô Tanekagé, 08/2003, R-Artemisia]

FIELD DIVISION -- Miscellaneous

[Per pale and per chevron gules, Or, sable, and argent, three crosses of Jerusalem counterchanged argent and sable] No documentation has been presented, and none was found, for per pale and per chevron of four tinctures. A prior ruling noted that "No evidence has been provided for simple coats with fields quarterly of three tinctures in period" (LoAR November 1989). This was not clearly the sole reason for return of the armory engendering the ruling but it contributed to the return. This field is even farther from standard period practice, as per pale and per chevron is far less common in period than quarterly. Without documentation for a similar field in period, combined with charges, this may not be accepted. [Seraphina Sacheverell, 04/2002, R-Caid]
[a sinister gore papellony Or and purpure] The gore was originally blazoned as scaly. Scaly is defined in the Pictorial Dictionary as "a field treatment, consisting of many semi-circles or lunes, covering the field." The overall effect of scaly is of thick lines on a background, as in the field treatment masoned (but with the panes of a different shape than in masoned.)

This gore is tinctured in a form of papellony, which is also defined in the Pictorial Dictionary. Papellony has two forms. One form looks much like scaly, functions as a field treatment, and is blazoned as [background tincture] papellony [treatment tincture]. The other form of papellony is a field division and is blazoned as papellony [tincture x] and [tincture y]. The second form is the form found in this submission. It is drawn using solid panes of alternating tinctures, as in the field lozengy, but with the panes shaped like solid scales, rather than like the lozenges in lozengy. See the Pictorial Dictionary for more discussion. [Ailionóra inghean uí Mhurchadha, 08/2002, A-Calontir]
No evidence was presented, and none was found, for schnecke (or triply parted schnecke type fields) with a large charge overlying the center of the field. Because such an overlying charge obscures the already unusual underlying charge, unless documentation is presented it will be considered, at best, a weirdness. [Yang Mun, 04/2002, R-Trimaris]
[Per fess azure and per pale gules and sable] The field has unacceptable contrast. The pertinent rules for submission concerning contrast in divided fields or other armorial elements are:
RfS VIII.2.b.iii: Elements evenly divided into two parts, per saltire, or quarterly may use any two tinctures or furs.

RfS VIII.2.b.iv: Elements evenly divided into multiple parts of two different tinctures must have good contrast between their parts.

RfS VIII.2.b.v: Elements evenly divided in three tinctures must have good contrast between two of their parts.
While the rules for contrast do not explicitly discuss fields which are divided unequally into multiple parts, the overriding principle of the rules for divided fields is that fields must have good contrast between their parts unless they are "evenly divided into two parts, per saltire, or quarterly." Here no portion of the field has good contrast with any other portion of the field, so the overriding principle of the rules for contrast are not met. [Grifon fuiz Guillaume, 02/2003, R-Æthelmearc]
... no difference is given between lozengy and lozengy bendwise by prior precedent: "The field here [Lozengy azure and argent] is functionally the same as Bavaria [Lozengy bendwise azure and argent]" (LoAR December 1993 (b), p.10). [Sybille la Chatte, 09/2003, R-Lochac]
[Per saltire sable and vert ... and on a chief Or] Please advise the submitter to draw the per saltire line issuing from the intersection of the bottom of the chief and the side of the field, rather than issuing entirely from the chief. [Fiacc MacDougal, 10/2003, A-Ansteorra]
[A landscape (in pale sky azure, snow-capped mountains argent, hills vert, prairie proper, and a wheat field proper) and on a chief argent a cross gules] This armory posed some difficult questions regarding blazon: We are fortunate to have benefited by the efficiency and kindness of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. The Chief Herald of Canada, Robert D. Watt, provided the following information:
The most definitive information we have here is found on page 209 of Conrad Swan's, (now Sir Conrad Swan) landmark study entitled 'Canada: Symbols of Sovereignty' (University of Toronto Press, 1977). In the chapter on Alberta, Sir Conrad notes that the arms were assigned by Royal Warrant on 30 May 1907 and were blazoned as follows: 'Azure, in front of a range of snowy mountains proper a range of hills Vert, in base a wheat field surmounted by a prairie both also proper, on a chief Argent a St. George's cross.' The reference he gives is College of Arms 175.127. As he was York Herald at the time of writing and had full access to the records of the College, I believe it is fair to assume that this blazon can be considered absolutely accurate.
The real-world official blazon of the province of Alberta is not clearly comprehensible from the perspective of SCA blazon. It uses the term surmounted in a different way than we do. It also assumes that the reader is aware that a St. George's cross is, by definition, a cross (throughout) gules. We have elected to reblazon the armory for the SCA, as we generally do with important real-world armory when it is necessary. We have left in the ambiguous proper tinctures for the wheat field and the prairie, as this ambiguity seems to be part of the definition of the armory. By blazoning this armory, exclusive of the chief,