SCA - College of Arms
P.O. Box 742825
Dallas, TX 75374-2825
(214) 276-2129

September 5, 1995

Unto the members of the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive do Shayk Da'ud ibn Auda, Laurel King of Arms, and Baron Talan Gwynek, Pelican King of Arms, send Greetings!

The August 1995 Laurel meeting was held on Saturday, August 12, 1995, and considered the following Letters of Intent: Middle (2/19); Meridies (3/31, posted 4/3); Atenveldt (4/4); Brachet Letter of Intent to Protect (4/11); East (4/14); Caid (4/16); Middle (4/17); West (4/19); Ansteorra (4/22); and Atlantia (4/23). The Letter of Intent from An Tir (4/13) was considered at a "roadshow" meeting held at Pennsic on Friday evening, August 18. Original commentary on these LoIs must have been in the College's hands no later than June 30, 1995. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must have been in the College's hands no later than July 31, 1995.

The September 1995 Laurel meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 16, 1995, and will consider the following Letters of Intent: Middle (3/7); Trimaris (4/25, posted 5/3); Outlands (4/30, posted 5/3), East (5/1); Maxen Letter of Intent to Protect (5/6); An Tir (5/11); Atlantia (5/20); Outlands (5/23); West (5/25); and Meridies (5/31). Original commentary on these LoIs must have been in the College's hands no later than July 31, 1995. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must have been in the College's hands no later than August 31, 1995.

The October 1995 Laurel meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, 1995, and will consider the following Letters of Intent: Caid (5/30, posted 6/7); Ansteorra (6/10); An Tir (6/13); Atlantia (6/19); Caid (6/20); Gold Falcon (6/21); West (6/22); Trimaris (6/25); Atenveldt (6/26); Ansteorra (6/28); and Meridies (6/30). Original commentary on these LoIs must have been in the College's hands no later than August 31, 1995. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands no later than September 30, 1995.

The November 1995 Laurel meeting is scheduled for Saturday, November 18, 1995, and will consider Letters of Intent dated and mailed in July. Original commentary on these LoIs must be in the College's hands no later than September 30, 1995. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands no later than October 31, 1995.

Not all Letters of Intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this Cover Letter. Date of mailing of the LoI, date of receipt of the Laurel packet, or other factors may delay consideration of certain Letters of Intent. Additionally, not all Letters of Intent received have been scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, etc.) have not yet been met.


There have been a large number of Roster and mailing list address and personnel changes in past two months. Enclosed is a new Roster; please review it carefully. A few of the highlights include: Langstrand (East) has changed, Elsbeth Anne Roth (Keystone, East) will be producing the Eastern LoIs; Dolphin Herald (Caid) has been commenting for several months - both should be added to the mailing list; Praerie (Middle) has a new address; Beacon (Meridies) has a new address; Pennon (Meridies) has a new address; there is a new Saker Herald (Calontir).


Enclosed with this Cover Letter is a copy of the latest price list from Free Trumpet Press West. Please feel free to copy and distribute it as widely as possible!

Also enclosed from Free Trumpet Press West you will find a letter and release. For all of you who are on the mailing list and produce Letters of Intent, Letters of Comment, Letters of Intent to Protect, and/or Letters of Comments on Comments or Letters of Response, I urge you to read this letter and release carefully, and to sign the release and mail it to Morsulus Herald. This is a service which he is offering to undertake on his own time, and which will make the deliberations of the College available to a wider number of interested parties without adding any expense to the already burdened participants of the College.


[Da'ud asks, "Does this mean that I should start calling my part of the Cover Letter "From the Laurel's Limb?"]

Wherefore art thou Gwendolyn? Two submissions this month raised the question of the name Gwendolyn. To quote Harpy Herald: `Gwendolyn is a modern spelling variant of the name of a fictional character (Guendolen) in the Historia Regum Brittaniae whose name is based on a misreading of the masculine name Guendoleu. The name was not in common use in period, in my experience, although it certainly is in the SCA. We should probably just go ahead and declare it in the same category as Ceridwen and Rhiannon as "not historically justifiable but too deeply rooted to get rid of without a fuss".' The name is certainly quite common in the SCA: in one spelling or another it has been registered to more than 50 different people. Given this level of popularity, I am reluctant to ban the name outright despite the lack of any real justification for it. I am equally reluctant to extend the allowance to modern forms of the name, however. Therefore the name will henceforth be considered `SCA-compatible' in the forms Guendolen and Gwendolen but not the modern Gwendolyn, and the underlying principle will be extended to any other forms that are proposed. (This decision can be thought of as an extension of the `Rule of Two Weirdnesses': the name itself is one weirdness, and a modern spelling is another.)

The Legal Name Allowance in Practice, or How to Appeal to RfS II.4. A submitter who wishes to appeal to RfS II.4 (Legal Name Allowance) must provide evidence justifying the appeal. A photocopy of a driver's license, passport, birth certificate, or other standard form of identification will do nicely. In general we are willing to accept the word of the herald preparing the LoI that he or she knows so-and-so to be the submitter's mundane name, but documentation removes all doubt. We do need to know the full name, however, since the application of RfS II.4 to a name element depends on how that element is used in the modern name.


The time for final discussion on the "Escape Clause" being passed, and no objection having been noted, the following clauses are added to the Rules for Submissions:

I.1.c. Documented Exceptions - A submission that is adequately documented as a period practice may be deemed acceptable even if it violates the stylistic requirements set forth in Parts III (Compatible Naming Style) or VIII (Compatible Armorial Style) of these rules.

VIII.6. Documented Exceptions - An armorial design element that is adequately documented as a period practice may be deemed acceptable even if it violates other sections of Part VIII (Compatible Armorial Style).

Such design elements will be accepted only on a case-by-case basis and only in armory comparable in style and complexity to the documented period examples. The strength of the case for such an exception increases in proportion to: the similarity of the documented examples to the submitted armory; and the number of independent period examples offered as evidence.

a. General Exceptions - In most cases the documentation for a proposed exceptional armorial design element should be drawn from several European heraldic jurisdictions.

The strength of the case for such an exception increases in proportion to the geographical and chronological breadth of the supporting period evidence.

b. Regional Style - Alternatively, a proposed exceptional armorial design element may be documented as characteristic of a specific regional armorial style.

In such cases the submitted armory may be registered provided that all of the following conditions are met. (1) The submitter explicitly requests an exception to the other sections of Part VIII (Compatible Armorial Style) on the grounds that the submitted armory exemplifies a specific regional style. (2) Documentation is adduced to show that exceptional design element was not uncommon in the regional style in question. (3) Documentation is adduced to show that all elements of the submitted armory can be found in the regional style in question.


Two submissions this month required a review of our policy of banning the use of a field of Bavaria. As Laurel, Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, in the September 18, 1992 Cover Letter, pp. 2-3. reinstituted the ban on armory using a field of Bavaria (lozengy bendwise azure and argent or paly bendy azure and argent). The ban on Bavaria goes back to the tenure of Wilhelm von Schlüssel, who noted that "This field is used extensively in German civic heraldry, especially in those parts of Germany that are now or were under Bavarian influence.... Furthermore, although it usually appears in modern civic arms as a plain chief or base, or as a quarter or half of a shield, it can also be charged, as in the arms of the `Landkreis' of Riedenburg: Bavaria charged with a harp Or and on a chief gules three roses argent, seeded Or. (Unter rotem Schildhaupt, darin nebeneinander drei silbern heraldishe Rosen mit goldenen Butzen, die mit einer goldenen Harfe belegten bayerischen Rauten.) (Deutsche Wappen: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Band I, Die Landkrieswappen. Klemens Stadler, Angelsachsen-Verlag, Bremen, 1964)." Baron Bruce confirmed this "by numerous examples in Siebmacher's Wappenbuch, 1605, which gives (among other things) the important civic arms in the Holy Roman Empire. The arms of Schrobenhausen, Schärding, Dillingen, Teckendorf (Deggendorf), Weiden, Schwandorf, and Burglengenfeld, all incorporate Bavaria as part of the field; in some cases the Bavarian portion is charged. (Two other civic arms, those of Nevenstat and Schongau, use Bavaria as an inescutcheon of pretense.) Further examples are found in Neubecker & Rentzmann's 10 000 Wappen von Staaten und Städten, pp. 53-54." (18 September, 1992 Cover Letter (August, 1992 LoAR), pp. 2-3) He concluded that, "in Germany, the field of Bavaria is used in very much the same way as the arms of France were used in France." However, we protect the French motif not because of its use in French civic and other corporate heraldry, but because it was so frequently used in augmentations and to indicate a close connection to the ruling house. (See, for example, Jií Louda's European Civic Coats of Arms, pp. 77-78.) No evidence has been proffered that Bavaria was or is used in either of these ways. In the absence of such evidence, I see no reason to continue to prohibit the use of the field lozengy bendwise azure and argent, paly bendy azure and argent, or any other near variant, such as lozengy azure and argent.

HERALDIC EVENTS (and a call for papers!)

The Æthelmearc Heralds and Scribes Symposium will be hosted by the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael and the Canton of Beau Fleuve on October 28, A.S. XXX, 1995 C.E. They are hoping to publish Symposium Proceedings in conjunction with the event. They are looking for: articles, research papers, cover art, incidental artwork, how-tos, trivia, filler material, songs, florilegium, ... songs??? Yes, songs! That's what they get for making a bard the editor, songs! Bibliographies, class outlines, book reviews, border art, and helpful hints are all welcome. If you're not sure, send it in anyway! Deadline is October 1, A.S. XXX, 1995 C.E. Send all submissions to:

Symposium Proceedings

c/o David P. Salley

136 Shepard Street

Buffalo, NY 14212-2029

Computer files may be sent via the Internet to: Sorry, ASCII text only. No gifs or pics.


Heraldic Art and the Protection of Trade Mark Legislation

From Mr. Richard Goddard

Sir: Articles have appeared recently in both The Coat of Arms and The Heraldry Gazette [publications of The Heraldry Society of England] charting the advent of trademark legislation being used to protect heraldic devices and coats of arms.

Whilst one may applaud this desire to safeguard arms as intellectual property it is also distressingly obvious that the trend devalues the authority of the College of Arms and raises the influence of the Patent Office far above that of the Court of Chivalry.

However, whilst the legal ramifications may have been considered already, there does not appear to have been much thought given to the manner in which this development will influence the artistic interpretation of arms.

When organisations wish to promulgate a corporate identity they are very strongly advised to set down in precise terms the exact representation of any symbol, logo or device that is to be employed as a brand image. Such specifications invariably include a detail line drawing of the formal corporate identity and if colour representation is to be permitted then it is not unusual for these hues to be designated by Pantone Colour formula guide-numbers so that no ambiguity can arise.

Naturally such uniformity of display is important to the Coca Cola Corporation to ensure that the brand name is shown in an absolutely standard manner throughout the world but it comes as something of a shock to realise that there will be just one approved and mandatory method of depicting the registered arms of the University of Oxford or The Football Association if these bodies are to retain the protection of trade mark legislation over their heraldic devices.

One has heard for many years of those civic authorities which refuse to deviate by one sprig of mantling from the depiction of their arms as emblazoned in the margin of their Victorian Grants and such heraldic naivety has always been regarded as endearing but misguided; yet it now seems entirely possible that any departure from the device as shown on the Registration Certificate issues by the Patent Office could invalidate its protection.

How restrictive to the freedom of the artist and how depressing for the rest of us who delight in such variation, which is one of the great pleasures of heraldic art. Moreover, it seems plain common sense that the medium in which the design is worked must, to some extent, determine the manner of display. True heraldry allows for every artist and craftsman to reinterpret each coat of arms in the style of his age or his temperament and to do so in sympathy with his materials, although working within the essential constraint that the end result shall conform absolutely to the original blazon.

However this stringent caveat is as nothing to the strait-jacket that will be imposed on heraldic design in the commercial world, if the only route available to ensure protection of a device is through trade mark legislation. It might be argued that different interpretations of an achievement could be registered individually but, apart from the very real expense involved in such a solution, it is certain that the image-brokers would find the proposal unattractive - they seek uniformity in all circumstances.

It might be instructive to ascertain from patent lawyers just what level of `deviation' from a registered design would be tolerated before it was decided that the protection of the mark had been invalidated....

Richard Goddard, The Coat of Arms, Vol. XI, No. 169, Spring 1995, pp. 42-43

Until next month, pray believe that I am, and remain,

Your faithful servant,

Da'ud ibn Auda

Laurel King of Arms