Michael A. Chance mchance at crl.com
Wed Mar 29 19:44:20 PST 1995

Litch writes:

> Hmm you begin to make a certain amount of sense, but the problem is that the
> heralds are holding heraldry hostage. They are declaring that heraldry can
> only be used in the way they want, that they get to deterine the limits of
> it's form and content.

Not so, any more than costumers are holding what styles of costumes
are medieval, or illuminators what styles of charters are medieval,
etc.  Medieval heraldry is a pretty defineable art form; deciding
whether a given attempt at a coat of arms is medieval heraldry (as
opposed to Georgian, Victorian, or modern) is relatively easy, once
you are familiar with the styles.  It does allow for a great deal of
creativity, but with the guidelines of what is and isn't medieval

> The problem with that is that MOST people in the society
> use heraldry, and they use it for a different reason than the heralds seem
> inclined to let it be used.

I disagree.  First, while a lot of people register coats of arms, very
few ever _do_ anything with them.  Few fighters ever actually put
their arms on their shield.  Only a handful of people ever make a
banner of their arms, let alone any of the dozens of other forms of
armorial display.  If everyone at a given event who had designed a
coat of arms (let alone registered them) flew at least one banner
displaying them, the site would be awash in banners.  When was the
last time you saw 100+ banners at an event (other than Pennsic or

[As a historical aside, a great number of medieval tourneys didn't
permit "blank shields" entry into the list - you had to have a coat of
arms displayed on your shield in order to compete.]

As to the second part (herald not letting heraldry be used for the
reasons that the users want it for), I'm not sure what you mean.
Could you give me an example or two?

Mikjal Annarbjorn
Michael A. Chance          St. Louis, Missouri, USA    "At play in the fields
Work: mc307a at sw1stc.sbc.com                             of St. Vidicon"
Play: mchance at crl.com

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