Devices - was - Re: Heraldre idea, cont...

Paul DeLisle pdelisle at
Thu Aug 10 10:53:00 PDT 1995

>>         It would also help if the COH would use a little common sense at
>> times, take a look at this months returns listed in the Blackstar.  For the
>> first return the blazon describes the wyvern as azure, but the person drew
>> it with two colors, which could not be described heraldically.  To me this
>> would be a case of artistic license, to them it is a return.  Instead of
>> registering it as the blazon describes, they returned it, which means that
>> he will now have to wait another 6-8 months:-(
>The problem here is that arms are submitted with two parts, the words and
>the picture. So what if they do not agree (they usually do not)? The
>College of Arms has decided, back in the mists of antiquity for a host of
>reasons, that they register the picture, not the words. So if the words
>don't make sense they will look at the picture and fix those words. If the
>picture doesn't make sense (not heraldic, etc.) you get it back. 

Folks....there is one major thing that all of you are forgetting about this
"problem"; only 1/2 of the College's job is registering Armory & Names. The
other half is EDUCATION. We (meaning those old and wise(ned) heralds who
have been around for awhile) are trying to educate the new heralds (like
LOCAL heralds) in proper heraldic form, language, how to properly blazon,
the concept that the EMblazon is what is registered, etc. 
        Unfortunately, the submittor gets caught up in the middle of all
this. We don't like it either; but if we don't fix it every time we see it;
we'll NEVER get good heraldry. We'll get nothing but "butterflies & unicorns
heraldry", "slot machine heraldry", "my life on my shield heraldry", and
"Harley Davidson heraldry" (do you know someone once actually tried to
register "Harl Leif Davidson"? I guess they think we're stupid.) 
        This is one of the reasons that we require the local herald to put
THEIR attempt at blazoning the submitted device on the form; and why it's
required IN PENCIL. So they get practice in creating good heraldic art, and
in using the language properly (...and so that if they don't get it right,
we can change it.)
        Oh, and Savien: You're right about the "mists of antiquity" thing.
Registering the EMblazon is right out of English, Scottish and Irish
Heraldry. In fact, early rolls had the shield drawn in for the Knight (or
whatever) in question. Blazoning came as an attempt to easily record
heraldry, without any "artistic license"; and to circumvent the old adage
about a picture & 1000 words. Artistic license (in reference to heraldry, at
any rate) is a Victorian idea, not a Medieval or Renaissance one (in fact,
the Victorians invented the idea of (and term for) "diapering". In this
makes no sense, ask your herald. If they don't know, have them ask someone
who does. That's how we learn.)

                  In Service, I remain
                  Alden Pharamond
                  Mendersham, Ansteorra

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