Submissions Checklist

A Submissions Checklist for the New Rules Draft:

There are three kinds of submissions, each with its own rules:

  • personal names (for a single human being)

  • non-personal names (for a group -- branch or household, awards/orders, and herald's titles)

  • armory (both devices and badges)

Personal Names:

  • A personal name must be made up of two "name phrases." "Name phrase" is a fancy term for a given name or byname; we use this because some names consist of multiple words, like atte Wode. One must be a given name, the other a byname of some sort.

  • Names must be registered in a Latin script, even if the name would not have been written in one. Those names must be transliterated into a Latin script.

  • A name phrase must be generally consistent with a single time and place, which means all in one language context. This can be shown by:

    • demonstrating that the complete name phrase is attested in period

    • constructing a complete name phrase from attested pieces

    • showing that it is a translation into modern English of an attested or constructed period name phrase (even when the actual form of the period name phrase is not completely certain)

    • showing that it follows a pattern of borrowing literary or religious names

    • documenting it as a name phrase in the submitter's legal name

    • demonstrating that it is a currently registered branch name

    • showing that it is eligible for the grandfather clause, which requires the name phrase to be currently registered to the submitter or a close relative

  • The entire name must be shown to meet our style rules; the name as a whole must:

    • include elements that are all found in a single regional naming group that are separated by no more than 500 years
      OR
      include elements from two regional naming groups that are separated by no more than 300 years

    • In addition, each name phrase must match a period pattern for its grammar and location in the name

    • Names that are "obtrusively modern" -- that make a reference that unavoidably drags us back to the modern world -- are not registerable

  • Names must be clear of conflict with registered SCA personal names:

    • They must not be too similar in sound: in general, differences to two syllables or substantial differences to one syllable in a word that is not an article or preposition is sufficient.

    • They must not claim unmistakably to be the parent, child, or spouse of a protected person, which they do by using all of a registered name in their own name.

    • Either of these can be allowed with written signed permission to conflict with the owner of the item, though a personal name identical to a registered name will not be registered even with permission.

  • Names must not create a false claim, which we call presumption.

    • Names may not claim a rank that we protect which the submitter does not possess permanently.

    • Names may not make an unmistakable claim to be a member of an important family: this is done by using a byname only used by royalty or by combining a byname with the family seat or major possession of the family (like Tudor of England or Campbell of Argylle)

    • Names cannot create another claim to rank; we do not allow honorific titles that were granted by a ruler, or combinations of an occupation and locative that suggest an official position (Abbot of Saint Giles, Champion of Ealdormere)

    • Names may not make a claim to have superhuman or magical powers or imply divine origin.

    • Names may not claim identity or a relationship with non-SCA individuals who we consider important enough to protect; the standards for this are the same as the standards for conflict with protected names within the SCA (above)

  • Names must not be offensive to a modern audience; names are rarely returned for this, as the standards are quite high.

Non-personal Names

  • A non-personal name must be made up of two parts, a designator and a substantive element. A designator says what kind of name it is (Barony, House, Order), while the substantive element is the part that specifies which one.

  • Names must be registered in a Latin script, even if the name would not have been written in one. Those names must be transliterated into a Latin script.

  • Designators must match the type of thing being registered; branch designators are fixed by the Governing Documents, while designators for household names must be documented by the submitter

  • Substantive elements must be consistent with a single time and place, which means all in one language context. This can be shown by:

    • demonstrating that the complete substantive element is attested in period

    • constructing a complete substantive element from attested pieces

    • showing that it is a translation into modern English of an attested or constructed period name phrase (even when the actual form of the period name phrase is not completely certain)

    • showing that it follows a pattern of borrowing literary or religious names

    • documenting it as a name phrase in the submitter's legal name

    • showing that part of the substantive element is a currently registered branch name

    • showing that it is eligible for the grandfather clause, which requires the name phrase to be currently registered to the submitter or a close relative

    • branches get special allowances, to use grandfathered patterns for awards/orders/heraldic titles and to use this clause to register individual names as part of an order.

  • A non personal name must as a whole be consistent with a single time and place. Elements that are allowed under the legal name allowance, the branch name allowance, or the grandfather clause are generally considered to be compatible with other attested or borrowed elements.

  • Names that are "obtrusively modern" -- that make a reference that unavoidably drags us back to the modern world -- are not registerable

  • Names must be clear of conflict with registered SCA non-personal names. To be clear of conflict, the changes must normally affect the substantive element.

    • The substantive element must not be too similar in sound: in general, differences to two syllables or substantial differences to one syllable in a word that is not an article, a preposition, or a conjunction is sufficient.

    • They must not claim unmistakably to belong to or be affiliated with a protected person.

    • Either of these can be allowed with written signed permission to conflict with the owner of the item. A difference in the designator is sufficient to allow registration with permission to conflict, except:

      • Two branch names that only differ by designator will not be registered (as group types change over time).

      • Award names, order names, and heraldic titles that only differ by designator will not be registered (because these designators may change and also because heraldic titles are often created from order names).

      • In any case, identical names will not be registered, even with permission to conflict.

  • Names must not create a false claim, which we call presumption.

    • Names may not claim a rank that we protect which the submitter does not possess permanently; use of a titles in placenames, for example, does not make such a claim

    • Names may not use the names of peerage orders or important mundane knightly orders in ways that appear to be a reference to that order

    • Names may not use other elements that would be considered presumptuous in a personal name

    • Names may not make a claim to have superhuman or magical powers or imply divine origin; an entity may be named for a saint or deity without making such a claim

    • Names may not claim identity or be affiliated with non-SCA individuals who we consider important enough to protect; the standards for this are the same as the standards for conflict with protected names within the SCA (above).

  • Names must not be offensive to a modern audience; names are rarely returned for this, as the standards are quite high.


Armory

Armorial submissions fit into four categories: primary armory, fielded badges, fieldless badges, and augmentations of honor. The first two are just administrative categories, and are treated the same way under these rules. There are special rules for fieldless badges, which can be displayed on any background, mentioned in the relevant section. Augmentations are additions to existing primary armory, and have special rules, also mentioned in the relevant section.

To be registered a piece of armory must meet the:

  • style rules

  • conflict rules

  • presumption rules

  • offense rules

Each of these will be discussed in a separate section:

General Style Rules for Armory: Armory must meet the requirements for armorial style as set out in the Core Style Rules (which are based on Anglo-Norman armorial style) or meet the requirements to be registered as an Individually Attested Pattern. Regardless:

  • We register the picture (emblazon) not the words (blazon). This means that we can (and will) change the words to match the picture, rather than the other way around.

  • However, the picture must be blazonable (describable in heraldic terms) and recognizable (without the words). Bad drawings can be acceptable, but it must meet both these standards.

Under the Core Style Rules:

  • Elements (charges, lines of division, tinctures, etc.) must be shown to be registerable by:

    • being attested in period armory

    • being constructed following patterns for period charges

    • being eligible for the grandfather clause, which requires the element to be currently registered to the submitter or a close relative

    • being allowed as a step from period practice in current precedent; we allow only one step from period practice in a registerable armorial design in the Core Style Rules.

Period Items or artistic motifs that were not used in armory or follow a pattern of period charges are generally not registerable.

  • Depictions of these elements must:

    • be drawn in a period depiction and in a heraldic style

    • be identifiable as to type of charge, posture, charge group, etc.

  • The entire design must be unified.

    • For fieldless armory, this means all items must be touching.

    • For augmentations, that means that it must be compatible with the armorial design to which it will be added.

  • The design must have good contrast.

    • There are five heraldic colors (gules, azure, sable, vert, and purpure), and two heraldic metals (argent, and Or), collectively called tinctures. Good contrast is a color plus a metal; low or poor contrast is a color plus a color, or a metal plus a metal. Elements divided evenly between a color and a metal are considered neutral, and have good contrast with either a metal or a color. Other divided elements are defined as color or metal based on which is more significant.

    • Fields or charges divided evenly into two or four parts must have some contrast, even if it is not good contrast. Other divisions must have good contrast between the sections.

    • Charges must have good contrast with the background on which they are placed.

  • Central ordinaries and simple geometric charges that are part of the primary charge group may be voided or fimbriated; other charges may not be.

  • Charges must be arranged on the field in a period manner.

    • The identity of charge groups (primary, secondary, etc.) must be clear: size of charges can confuse this; or having identical or very similar charges on the field can confuse this.

    • Charge groups must be simple:

      • No more than two types of charges are allowed in a charge group.

      • A charge group may not mix two types of ordinaries or mix ordinaries with other types of charges.

      • Charges in a charge group must be in a unified posture/orientation -- one that can easily be described in blazonry terms.

      • Differences found in period charge groups are allowed: differences in tincture, tertiary charge groups on only part of a group, etc.

  • The overall design must be simple in period ways.

    • Charge groups must be arranged on the field in a period style.

    • The complexity count (the number of charge types plus the number of tincture types) must be eight or less.

    • Designs that are too simple -- an undivided field with a single tincture or designs that consist only of letters or other abstract symbols will not be registered. They may be used by anyone.

  • Some designs are too far from period style to be allowed.

    • Designs that are excessively pictorial (like a picture of an everyday scene) are not allowed.

    • Designs that are excessively naturalistic (depending on non-heraldic designs or including too many non-heraldic creatures in naturalistic depictions) are not allowed.

    • Designs that are obtrusively modern, such that they make a reference that unavoidably drags us back to the modern world, are not allowed.

    • Designs that are excessively counterchanged (over more than four sections) are not generally allowed.

    • Designs that cannot be adequately described in blazon terms are not allowed.


Under the Individually Attested Pattern Style Rules:

  • The entire design, including (but not limited to) elements, tinctures, the arrangement of charges and complexity, must be shown to be compatible with the armorial tradition of a single time and place. This includes places outside of medieval Europe with armorial traditions.

  • Three examples that closely match the intended design - in complexity, in type of charge, in tincture, etc. - are required. If there are not three examples that closely match, then six examples that document different parts of the design separately are required.

  • Those examples must be independent - three depictions of the same family's arms are not sufficient.

Armory must be clear of conflict with all registered armory (of whatever type):

  • All reasonable valid blazons for a piece of armory must be considered; you cannot blazon your way out of a conflict. Augmentations that appear to be an independent coat of arms must be clear of conflict in addition to the base coat and the arms with augmentation.

  • Changes that can be described as a single change must be treated that way: the removal or addition of charges within a charge group, change of secondary charge group, and so on. You cannot get difference for both adding charges and then making a change to them.

  • To count as a change for conflict purposes, a change must generally affect half the charge group. There are special cases in which changes to part of a charge group are considered "half" -- changes to one side of a divided field, changes to the bottommost of three charges 'two and one', or changes to the centermost of three tertiary charges on an ordinary.

  • Sometimes designs that are technically clear by the rules below are still too visually similar; these arms are still in conflict.

  • The owner of a registered piece of armory may allow the registration of a conflicting piece of armory that is not identical through a letter of permission to conflict.

  • You may clear conflict by creating one change greater than a cadency step; this type of change was seen between unrelated arms:

    • Adding or removing the primary charge group creates a design which is clear of conflict.

    • Substantially changing the type of all charges in the primary charge group creates a design which is clear of conflict.

    • Substantially changing the number of charges in the primary charge group creates a design which is clear of conflict: one, two, three are all clear of all other numbers, while four or more are not.

    • Substantially changing the arrangement of all the charges in the primary charge group creates a design which is clear of conflict: 'in pale' vs. 'in fess', for example.

    • Substantially changing the posture of all the charges in the primary charge group creates a design which is clear of conflict: 'a lion rampant' vs. 'a lion passant', for example. Changes of facing from dexter to sinister are not substantial, but changing from dexter or sinister to affronty are.

  • You may clear conflict between two pieces of field primary armory (armory with no primary charge) by substantially changing the division or tincture of the field. Two pieces of field primary armory may also receive two DCs for changes to the field under the rule below.

  • You may clear conflict by creating two changes equivalent to a cadency step, a type of change seen between related arms. These changes are called distinct changes (DCs); the rules below describe changes that are worth a single DC:

    • Changing the field in a way that affects half the field is a DC. A fieldless badge automatically gets a DC under this rule from all other armory.

    • Adding or removing a charge group is a DC.

    • Changing the tincture of half of a charge group is a DC.

    • Changing the type of charges of half of a charge group is a DC.

    • Changing the number of charges within a charge group is a DC. Six or more (including semy) are considered the same.

    • Changing the arrangement of charges within a charge group or changes in location on the field (in canton, in base) is a DC.

    • Changing the posture or orientation of half of a charge group is a DC.

Armory must not create a false claim, which we call presumption:

  • Armory may not use a charge that is restricted (that is, no one can register it). These are charges with important mundane use, like the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

  • Armory may only use a charge that is reserved if the submitter documents the right to use that item. It includes insignia of rank and items reserved to branches (like laurel wreaths or crowns). This also applies to augmentations; thus, no individual may use branch arms as an augmentation.

  • Armory may not claim identity or relationship with non-SCA individuals who we consider important enough to protect. The standards for this are the same as the standards for conflict with protected armory within the SCA (above).

  • The combination of a name and armory may rarely create an inappropriate claim even if the armory itself is not important enough to protect. Chiefs of Scottish clans are one example of this, because many people know the family name and arms of those clan chiefs. For this rule, a single DC from the armory belonging to the family is enough to remove that inappropriate claim.

  • Armory may not make a claim to a combination or inheritance of arms, known as marshalled arms. Armory with a plain line per pale or plain line quarterly line of division must not have the unmistakable appearance of marshalling. In general, this means having only a single type of primary charge on such a field.

Armory must not be offensive to a modern audience; armory is rarely returned for this, as the standards are quite high.


Several appendices exist to help apply these rules; they include:

  • Appendix A: Patterns That Do Not Need Further Documentation by Language Group: this appendix lists a variety of patterns for names that are sufficiently well known that they don't need further research.

  • Appendix B: Types of Bynames: this appendix explains various types of registerable bynames with examples from different languages.

  • Appendix C: Regional Naming Groups and Their Mixes: this appendix explains the regional naming groups (used in the Personal Names style rules) and which ones may be mixed.

  • Appendix D: Acceptable Transliteration Systems for Non-Latin Scripts: this appendix explains the transliteration systems that have been registered for names originally written in Arabic, Japanese, and the like

  • Appendix E: Currently Registerable Designators for Non-Personal Name Submissions: this appendix discusses designators for non-personal name submissions, mostly the requirements for branch submissions.

  • Appendix F: Some Armorial Elements that Do Not Need Further Documentation: this appendix explains how to determine if a charge or other armorial element is already sufficiently documented.

  • Appendix G: Some Specific Elements that are a Step from Period Practice: this appendix gathers together precedent about elements that are a step from period practice.

  • Appendix H: Low-Contrast Complex Lines of Division: this appendix explains current precedent on the registerability of designs with complex lines of division on fields without good contrast

  • Appendix I: Charge Group Theory: this appendix explains what a primary charge group is, as well as the other types of charge groups.

  • Appendix J: Documented and Forbidden Arrangements of Charge Groups on Armory: this appendix explains what arrangements of charge groups have already been sufficiently documented, as well as a few ruled to be not period.

  • Appendix K: Standard Arrangements for Charge Groups of Different Number: this appendix is a tool to determine if you can receive a DC for arrangement when comparing charge groups of different number.

  • Appendix L: A Partial List of Postures and Orientations: this discusses comparable postures in more detail; it serves as a tool to determine if you can receive a DC for posture when comparing charge groups of different type.

  • Appendix M: Some Resources for Conflict Checking: this appendix includes commonly used precedent about comparability of charges like birds, mullets/estoiles/suns, and the like.