R.Michael Litchfield litch at eden.com
Thu Mar 30 17:07:16 PST 1995

>Well, all of these were not done in period (or only limited use in period
>for the natural stuff).  If what we are trying to do is recreate the middle
>ages in as many ways as possible, then our heraldry should also.  Period
>charges displayed in a period manner.  Period heraldry is very stylized and
>was not used to tell stories or look like pictures so ours should not do
>this also.  Now, if we are just doing heraldry any old way and NOT trying
>to re-create mideval heraldry then these are not objectionable.  It is my
>understanding however that we ARE recreating the middle ages.

Do we REALLY need to get  into yet annother interminable authenticity debate?

The problem is that in this area the authenticity nazi's in the tabbards have
control, they have stated that you have to play MY way or you can't play
(register your arms). If all they did was register arms with no regard for
"periodness" that would be one thing, but they don't.

It is an especially difficult area because so much of what they do is
entirely subjective. They shoot down device because it lacks a period feel,
or it feels like picture book, or it seems too complicated. This opens the
gateway for
a lot of personal aspects to color ppl's judgement.

>These are very subjective and I have seen devices canned just because a
>number of heralds disliked the over all design.  In general (in the East
>anyway), most heralds tried very hard to approve devices that were
>submitted when at all possible and conflicts didn't exist and to work with
>submittors to overcome objections.  And very few of the checking heralds
>knew anything about the submittor.

In my experience the heralds try very hard to shoot down every device
presented. They search to almost dizzying levels for a reason to kill a
device. Watching an ILOI comment session is like watching a pack of dogs
swarm a group of rabbits. If a device is not bullet proof it gets blasted.

I was at one where someone submitted a device and would not allow any changes
because it came to him in a dream. The glee which erupted when someone
finally found a reason to slam it was sickening. If the device had been
mine and I had heard the comments some of these "honorable" men and women
made I would have
been so enfuriated I could never pass a herald without feeling the urge to
pummel them. The very fact that that particular device was important to the
person made thier joy at shooting down the device that much sweeter.

>>Heraldry is not just a method of identifying a shield accross a distance,
>>for most people in the SCA it is a form of personal iconography.
>Again, in period heraldry developed as a method for identifying people
>across the field, at court, etc.

And dance developed as a socially acceptable way of demonstrating your
fitness to mate, it moved beyond that to a method of personal expression,
why can't
heraldry do the same?

> That is why it must be recognizable over
>distance.  And if we are recreating the middle ages, our heraldry should
>hold up to the same test.

Our eyesight has gotten a lot better since then.
>Baroness Clarissa
>(a still very much herald at heart)


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