ANST - Belts (was Barcoding)

Timothy A. McDaniel tmcd at
Mon Aug 4 14:48:26 PDT 1997

Angus wrote:
> I have heard that a person in training to become a cadet gets a blue scarf.
> Logically, that means that a person training to be a squire gets a blue belt

*groan*  I've not heard about *blue* thingies before.  

Is that like "engaged to be engaged"?  How *do* you "train to be a
cadet"?  "A cadet means you're my student, but you're not ready for
that, so I'll make you a cadet-in-training, which means you'll be my
student anyway ... um ...".  Or are we going like karate to "black
belt - brown belt - puce belt - blue belt - chartreuse belt - red belt
- white belt", making squirehood a rank (which it's not supposed to
be)?  Gahhhhhh!

The belt colors I've heard of:
white belt: for knights.  Reserved by Society law and/or custom
    (weasel wording; I'm not sure who has proclaimed it)
white baldric: master of arms.  See white belt.
white scarf: Don of Fence.  Done by treaty in about half the kingdoms.
red belt: squire to a knight.  A custom in every kingdom.
red baldric: student to a master of arms.  Rare because MoAs are rare.
red scarf: cadet to a Don of Fence.
green belt: apprentice of a Laurel.
yellow belt: protege of a Pelican.

All but white belts and baldrics are customs only (well, some kingdom
might legislate some sumptuary laws, but I think any such are being
silly).  Green and yellow belts are not SCA-wide, and are done in some
kingdoms and not at all in others.  Yellow belts are rarer than green,
because there are fewer Pelicans and they take fewer students, if for
no other reasons.  I know of at least one fellow in Ansteorra who gave
green and yellow belts (for his apprentice and his protege,

A problem is that saying you're the student of some unspecified person
is pretty useless.  Squire isn't a rank; it's a job description and a
relationship to one specific person.  If I care at all about your
relationship -- and 90% of the time I don't -- I want to know
*specifically* who your master is, that I can praise you or complain
of you.

That's why I advocate the master / mistress putting their *badge* on
their student (squire, apprentice, protege, cadet, whatever), and
forgetting about all this color-coding.  It's period and gives more
info.  Besides, at this rate in 15 years we'll only be able to cinch
our tunics with tarred twine ... no, wait, that's reserved for an
apprentice seaman in the Ansteorran Longship Company ...

Daniel de Lincoln
Tim McDaniel.   Reply to tmcd at
tmcd at is not a valid address.


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