Period Heraldric Styles

Aodhan Ite an Fhithich aodhan at
Fri Aug 18 21:25:19 PDT 1995

Dia duit!

 [Replying to a message of R. Michael Litchfield to All]

 RML> I don't see that any "fundamental concepts" need to be changed. The
 RML> college of heralds' mission is to teach and promulgate concepts of
 RML> period heraldic practices. No problem there, I am all for that, I
 RML> just don't see that they have an obligation to mandate period
 RML> heraldic practice.

Michael, have you ever actually read Corpora??

Here's the pertinent section from the latest edition (March 1995):

IV.C. Laurel Sovereign of Arms and the College of Arms

1. Laurel Sovereign of Arms. The Laurel Sovereign of Arms (Laurel) is the
principal heraldic officer of the Society and the head of the College of Arms.
 Laurel is responsible for fostering the study and practice of heraldry, and
for establishing rules and making determinations regarding names and armory,
royal and noble titles, and geographical designations to be approved for use
in the Society. (See Appendix C.)

2. College of Arms.  The College of Arms of the Society consists of the
Principal Herlads of the kingdoms and such other persons as Laurel may deem to
be of assistance.  It aids Laurel in studying medieval heraldic usage,
developing heraldic rules for the Society's use, and reviewing individual
items prior to their registration for use in the Society.

3. Heraldic Administration

a. Standards of difference and other rules.  Laurel shall define standards
suitable to the type of item to be registered, and apply them uniformly to all
submisions.  These standards shall be designed to support the historical
re-creations of the Society and to provide sufficient difference from names
and armory registered within the Society to avoid undue convusion, to avoid
the appearance of unearned honors or false claims, and to provide sufficient
difference from historical or fictional personages to prevent offense due to
obvious usurpation of identity or armory.  Members are encouraged to develop
unique, historically valid names and armory.

b. Any item once registered shall remain registered unless the owner requests
its release, and shall be accepted in the Society for the person for whom it
was registered without regard to changes in the rules and standards applied to
future submissions, or to the membership status of the owner.

c. The standards and rules employed by Laurel and the College of Arms shall be
published so that participants in Society activities can obtain copies for
their own reference.  The Ordinary and Armorial listing registered names and
armory shall also be made available to the membership.

d. Laurel shall ensure that fees for the Society's heraldic publiccations (as
defined in IV.C.3.c) and for its services in registereing names or armory are
sufficient to cover the cost of such services, both at the corporate level and
within the kingdoms.

=== end of Corpora IV.C ===

The way I read this, Laurel and the CoH are given no enforcement power over
use of heraldry, and so *cannot* "mandate period heraldic practice."  They are
charged, however, to establish rules for what they register that "support the
historical re-creations of the Society" and encourage Society members "to
develop unique, historically valid names and armory."

If you want it registered with the CoH (and thereby "protected" to what little
extent registration does so), then it needs to look like medieval heraldry. 
If it doesn't, the CoH is not obligated to register it (quite the opposite, in
fact) nor should they be expected to.  It's not their job.

Feicfidh me' ari's thu',

Baron Aodhan Ite an Fhithich    aodhan at
Master of the Laurel            Lough na Dobharchu' BBS  1-713-338-2570
Dobharchu' Herald               "Your Information Roman Road"
mka David H. Brummel            1:106/22  180:11/22  762:2200/2
SCA Member 02245                Barony of Loch Soilleir, Ansteorra
plummety sable and argent on a sun of eight rays or a feather bendwise
sinister sable
No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings. - Blake

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list