[Ansteorra] Of SCA membership interest

Robert Stewart skerritheviking at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 8 15:03:53 PDT 2004

Good day everyone.  I have forwarded, well copy/pasted, the entirety of an e-mail I received on the Atenveldt list from Duchess Lyn.  I received Her Grace's permission to cross-post this.  Please keep in mind that this does not pertain to a person's personal arms, just King, Queen, Prince, Princess, and Kingdom.  If anyone wants to send this on to other lists, please let me know and I will put you in touch with Her Grace. 

Lord Skerri Valtorsson 

My Lords and Ladies,

Most of you who know me are well aware of how I feel about petitions 
and letter-campaigns.  There are times, however, that situations call 
for public outcry, and I believe this is such a time.  I address my 
concern to every Knight in the Society, to every Queen's Champion, 
past and present, be it heavy weapons, rapier, archery, equestrian, or 
any other I may have left out in my moments of anger.  (Please forgive 
me.)  I write further to every person who swells with pride when he or 
she sees the regalia of the Queen on a banner, a pillow, or even a 
simple favor.  I write to every man who dreams of putting his lady on 
the throne, every little girl who dreams of being a princess; to every 
woman who has ever felt the sting of gender prejudice.

The Laurel King at Arms is the final authority at the corporate level 
to determine whether or not your device passes.  Most of us have felt 
some level of frustration with that process, including all the 
heralds.  This time, in my opinion, he has gone too far.  In the 
December letter that office publishes monthly that announces heraldic 
decisions, he published that as of July 2004, no new devices will be 
registered for any new queen, princess, or the heirs (prince or 
princess) of any kingdom or principality (tanist or tanista).  This 
means that Northshield and Lochac will not have arms for their queen, 
crown prince, or crown princess. Further, his letter discourages all 
the older kingdoms from using the heraldry that has been given to 
these positions, although he admits he does not have the authority to 
take existing heraldry away. This has no effect on personal armory, 
but since the justification is simply that they are women, one wonders 
where this could lead. 

I find this action abominable.  I think it is a rude and capricious 
act by someone stretching his muscles because he can.  I will let you 
all come to your own conclusions as to the meaning of his action and 
what you intend to do about it.  I know that very few actions on the 
part of the Board have gleaned more than a handful of outraged 
letters.  Following this reasoning, I think a thousand letters to an 
officer decrying his action might tell him how people really feel. I 
ask you to share with this man how you feel about his decision.  If 
you agree with him and wish to lend him your support, that is your 
right as well. 

Please keep in mind that this man is stepping down from his office 
very soon.  Your letter may actually be received by his successor, a 
kind and reasonable woman who may be just as horrified as we are.  I 
urge you to keep your verbiage rational and reasonable, short and to 
the point.  I have listed his name and official email address below, 
followed by the actual text of his decision. Pay particular attention 
to his reasoning and the final two paragraphs of his decision.  

Thank you for your indulgence with my rather emotional reaction.

François la Flamme (R. Wendel Bordelon)
herald@ sca.org (remove space)

>From Laurel: Devices for Consorts and Royal Heirs

This month we were called upon to reflect on the SCA's policy of
registering devices for a consort (either for a kingdom or a
princpality), or for royal heirs apparent (also for a kingdom or
principality). We have no evidence of a real-world consort having arms 
that differed from her husband's (except for marshalling). We likewise 
have no evidence of an heir apparent having arms that were not a 
differenced version of the arms of their parent, except for 
marshalling, and for fiefs that the heir apparent might have had (such 
as the Dauphiné, ruled by the dauphin, the heir to the French throne).

The practice of registering devices for the consort and heirs is 
falling out of favor in the SCA in general. Some of the newer kingdoms 
have not registered devices for their consorts and their heirs. We 
applaud the trend to a more period practice with regards to arms,
or lack of separate armory for the consort and heirs.

Because the SCA device is parallel to real-world practices for arms, 
the SCA shall no longer register devices for consorts or for heirs to 
a kingdom or principality after July 2004.

Under this decision, consorts in kingdoms or principalities without
consort's arms may use the undifferenced kingdom arms, and kingdoms 
may elect to allow both heirs to the throne to display the
kingdom arms differenced by a label or other standard mark of cadency. 
This matches some period armorial display for royal arms.

Kingdoms and principalites that currently have arms registered for the
consort or heirs may submit changes to the registered armory via the
application of the grandfather clause. We shall require a poll of the
populace showing support for changes to the armory. Note that this 
poll has not previously been explicitly required for the armory of the 
heirs apparent, but it seems appropriate to require such a poll, which 
is already required for consorts.

Kingdoms and principalities that currently have arms registered for 
the consort or heirs are encouraged to consider following period 
practice and to discontinue the use of the armory.  

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