Period Heraldric Styles...

James Crouchet crouchet at
Thu Aug 17 11:11:44 PDT 1995

On Thu, 17 Aug 1995, Pug wrote:

> >> No, you missed the point that it we aren't *required* to wear period
> >> clothes, so why bother? It's the same thing. This is just a matter of
> >> you are telling people who only use Period Styles that they are cool,
> >> and everyone else isn't. Just another place to encourage instead of
> >> *require*.
> > Costuming knowledge is much more widespread than heraldry knowledge. I 
> > have seen a lot more good first costuming attempts than first heraldry 
> > attempts.
> Was it always widespread? Did people have to enforce period costuming to
> get people to do it? No, they just had to encourage by example.

How do you know this? I know very little about the early days of the SCA, 
or how hard they may have had to push to get people to wear period 

In any case, we have had heraldry in the SCA as long as we have had 
costuming but heraldry knowledge has not spread like costuming knowledge. 
I see no reason to believe it will in the future. Heraldry is a rather 
specialized field, and is enough trouble to learn that only those with a 
real interest will bother.

And I will remind you, periodness is not *required*, because registration 
is not *required*. Just encouraged. 

> > There is also a fairly significant socal pressure to wear clothing that 
> > is at least not distractingly non-period. On heraldry, fewer people seem 
> > to even have a clue.
> You think there wouldn't be social pressures if someone had a large
> penis on their shield, or even a cartoon?

I've seen cartoons on unregistered devices. This really adds to our SF con 
atmoshere. Social pressure (if any) obviously did not stop them. If we 
are going to ignore this stuff out of tollerance that is one thing, but I 
(and probably most heralds) are not going to call it heraldry because it 
is not, period or otherwise.

> > > You mean all those people who got heraldry in the early days are now
> > > discouraged from playing because they don't have period heraldry?
> > Huh? I don't think I see your point, and I don't think you answered mine.
> The point was that the early SCA heraldry wasn't period. I'm not sure
> which question you are referring to. If you mean 'so why bother?', it's
> because in general people will want to comply, but that doesn't mean
> they have to! 

So we got better. I see an improvement in our heraldry standards as good. 
And as I have pointed out, people don't have to comply *now*.

>(Btw, I've heard that some heraldry doesn't pass because
> of the content, usually puns, eventhough it is period. That seem
> *wrong*.)

Only if it is offensive or presumptious, like a giant penis, a 
superhero's symbol, the arms of Scotland, a Natzi symbol or some 
combination that implies godhood or some such.

Even if it is a real stinker if it meets the rules, it passes. I have 
heard this refered to as Toyota (you asked for it, you got it.) or HYNAPI 
(Hold Your Nose And Pass It). But the point is, it passes. If you 
actually have evidence of it working any other way I'll help you take it 
to the Laurel Souvern of arms to find out why.

> > > That's fine with me! Heraldry doesn't have to be undescribable, and I
> > > never said it didn't have to to be. Just that it doesn't have to be
> > > "period" style.
> > 
> > I'm not sure how much heraldry you know, so I'll point out that modern 
> > heraldry is not THAT much different from period heraldry.
> That is about as much as I know.
> > A few concepts 
> > that the mideaval man would find disturbing have been added, and a couple 
> > colors, but where most folks have problems is with HERALDIC style, not 
> > period style. So you can use orange and 3-d perspective, so what? Still 
> > no Mickey Mouse(tm), landscape art, non-herladic divisions or gross 
> > complexity.
> Fine with me. How about the 2 groups being period and modern heraldry
> then? I didn't mean to imply that absolutely all heraldry submitted
> would pass, just that there would be two classifications. (Yeah, I know
> I didn't state it clearly at all.)

So do it. If you want a modern heraldry registering body, start one. 
Heck, if you can come up with a cartoon registering language you can
handle those too. You can set it up anyway you want and people who want to
register thier arms with you will. Of course, it will be strictly
voluntary, so it should appeal to you. 

> > > Why have one area and not others? Implies that it's elitest to me.
> > Your sentence implies elitism is a bad thing... :-)
> To some people. *grin*
> Heraldry is the one place that it seems a large number of people feel
> the elitism is bad. Could this be because it's enforced upon them?

I suspect it is because they feel they must learn something they don't 
really want to learn in order to get it passed. The solution here is 
simple, and has been suggested by Antonio: Let the Heralds Do The 
Heraldry. If you LIKE heraldry and want to learn it you can become a 
herald. But if not, just have a herald do it for you! If heraldry is not 
really what you wanted in the first place, do something else. Just don't 
expect us to call it heraldry.

Not everybody who goes to Crown Tournament feels they need to fight. Many 
of us are content to leave that fighting to the experts. Others work to 
become those experts. But we do not ask that Crown be fought with foam 
boffers so we can all play.

> > > It's optional whether to go to events or not. Do we force periodness
> > > there? No! The entire SCA is optional, why have *one* part of it enforce
> > > periodness?
> > And why not?
> Cause I feel arbitrarily deciding *one* thing is period an all others
> aren't is childish. I'd love to see everyone be period in all matters,
> but they aren't. Why force period heraldry down their throat just
> because they want to ensure their arms are unique?

And I say again, no one is forced.

If you want the approval of the COA, you must have something they will 
approve. But if you do not agree with what they are doing, why would you 
want that approval in the first place? I don't think the COA should be 
forced to approve NON-period stuff. And while the COA does not *force* 
anyone to use period arms, your approach would *force* them to register 
non-period arms.

> Ciao,
> -- 
> Phelim Uhtred Gervas  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something 


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