Period Heraldric Styles...

Paul DeLisle pdelisle at
Thu Aug 17 15:58:00 PDT 1995

>     I have a cross-stitch embrodiery book that has human figures 
>standing upright with one hand on top of a shield which is standing on 
>its point next to them. The figures are both male & female and are 
>dressed in Viking, Cotehardies, Houppelands, Italian Ren., and Tudor. 
>There are blank shield shapes in which you are supposed to insert 
>somebody's device or arms.
>Now, I look at this as artsy presentation of a device, but sure enough, 
>when the local herald saw what I was working on, she said something 
>about "supporters" and "the heralds won't like it". It's not like 
>there's mantling, a helm, a motto or real supporters anywhere on these 
>patterns (not that it wouldn't be easy enough for someone to *add* these 
>elements). Therefore, from my POV, it isn't heraldry. IMHO, it would be 
>a pretty way for someone who will never earn the right to all the fancy 
>stuff, to display their arms or device.
>What's the opinion of those heraldically inclined on this?

In SCA Heraldry (and in English as well) The items you mentioned (supporters
*in particular*) indicate a degree of rank above that of someone "only"
Armigerous. It's sort of like saying: "Well, this 1" wide circlet of brass I
wear doesn't look like anyone's Baronial Coronet, so it's okay." Once again;
we get into this Fantasy/History thing. In period, they would (at least)
make you take down what you were displaying (and "displaying" doesn't have
to mean flying it as a banner.) At worst, you caould be arrested for
violating Sumptuary laws. 
Here, however, we can only tell you that it's incorrect historically (and by
the COA rules), presumptuous, and possibly insulting to those people who
have *earned* the right to display those items. The rest is for you to decide.

Of course, this is all in the SCA context. What you hang in your home is
*entirely* our business (I just hope it matches the decor!) (G)

                  In Service, I remain
                  Alden Pharamond
                  Mendersham, Ansteorra

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