James Crouchet crouchet at infinity.ccsi.com
Thu Mar 30 15:14:15 PST 1995

On 30 Mar 1995, Mark Harris wrote:

>         Reply to:   RE>>Heraldry
> Pug remarks:
> >The difference here, as I see it, is that heraldry truly needs to go
> >through the College of Heralds in order to be useable. 
> Why? The College of Heralds provides a service. (A useful service in
> my mind) But there is no requirement that it be used. You can display
> whatever arms you wish.  If you wish to display arms with a charge
> of a purple volkswagon, I guess you could. People may look at you
> stangely, but that's your problem. Yes you would, in my mind, be
> interferring in the game that most of us are playing, but then so is
> the person walking across the site in tennis shoes and jeans.
> Even if you ignore the College and create a conflict with someone
> elses arms, I doubt there's much that can be done about it.


> Stefan li Rous
> Barony of Bryn Gwlad

I disagree that nothing can be done to stop those who display heraldry 
that is registered to another.

In the SCA we seldom take physical or legal action against those who 
offend, yet we do keep things under control. The tool we use is social 
pressure. It is not a simple as having someone arrested or beating them 
up, but it does seem to work in most cases.

If someone showed up with my device at an SCA function I would ask them 
to take it down.  If they refused I would begin contacting the various 
SCA authorities and have them take action.  Ultimatly no one could do 
much more than ask in an increasingly unpleasant maner, but this will 
usually have an effect.  I also believe that my local herald, my local 
senechal, my baron, the kingdom herald and senechal and even the crown 
have an obligation to back my claim to my registered arms, even by 
banishment if necessary. By registering your device you are assured of 
these same protections.

So if you are not worried about someone else conflicting with you and you 
won't really mind if you have to stop using the banner you sewed or the 
shield you painted because THEY registered it, I don't see any reason you 
should not display whatever you like.

One more note on heraldic (not necessarly period) style. Any heraldic 
picture can be described using particular heraldic terms.  That 
description can then be used to recreate the same picture.

The reason this is important is because that is part of what the college 
uses to check for conflict.  Without those terms we would have to flip 
through thousands of pictures to see if they conflicted. So in order for 
the college to be able to check for conflict a device must be in heraldic 
style. And only by checking for conflict can the college assure you that 
your device is unique within the SCA.


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