[Anst-dancers] Dance Guild Badge Follow up

Craig Shupee' philipwhite at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 22 12:02:21 PST 2004

Greetings all –

Rather than just say ‘I heard from some Herald’ or ‘Master Da'ud said so’ – 
I went ahead and asked him directly.  Here are his comments about some 
questions people have about heraldry and such.  They are posted with 
permission.  If you don’t know who Master Da'ud is, then ask a herald and 
they should be able to fill you in on his credentials.


When asked about badges:

For one, because the "badge" (which is what the SCA calls anything that is 
not a device or arms) here has a field, it really is more of a secondary 
device than it is a period badge.  Badges in period did not have a field, a 
background color; they were the sort of things that could be cast in metal, 

But this is the SCA, and in the SCA a "badge" can have a field, and act like
secondary arms, and so the same rules that apply to arms can apply to 

When asked about “Chiefs of Affiliation”:

Regarding "chiefs of affiliation", they were very, very, _very_ common all 
Italy in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance (and even, actually, into the
20th Century, where it is possible to find arms with "Fascist chiefs" 
during the reign of Mussolini.  But that's outside our scope, so I'll leave 
with just that mention).  But regarding period chiefs of allegiance, here 
are a
few  details:

"Many Italian coats of arms have a label gules or even a chief azure with
fleurs-de-lys or and a label gules to promote their faithfulness to the 
kings of Naples. During the conflict between the German Emperor and the 
Pope, a
number of Italian families received or adopted an eagle sable as mark of
allegiance to the Emperor." (http://www.heraldica.org/topics/meaning.htm)

Some examples of Italian arms with chiefs of allegiance (both to the 
the party of the Holy Roman Emperor - a chief of the Empire - and the
Ghibellines, the party of the kings of Naples - a chief of the Angevins - 
can be
seen at http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/blasonpiemon/Pagina1.html.  The 
are modern, but many of the arms are more ancient.

I've also got a reprint of a 15th Century roll of Italian arms from the 
Duchy of
Milan which are chock full of chiefs of the Empire (being in northern Italy 
they are), but I thought sources you could access more easily would be 

Something similar also occurred in France, where you find arms with a chief 
France (either France ancient - Azure semy-de-ly Or - or France modern 
three fleurs-de-lys Or), as in the arms of the city of Paris, which may be 
among other places, here: http://www.heraldique-europeenne.org/Principal.htm

When asked about the triskelion and its symbolism:

Nah.  It's much more likely to be seen as somehow related to the arms of the
Isle of Man than of any biker groups I can think of.

When asked about period justification for the badge representing dance (But 
would there be a reason to use a shoe, leg, slipper, or foot - rather than a 
feather or dolphin, for instance?):

Well, people don't normally think "dance" when they see a feather or a 
And it is certainly true that many period coats of arms display the 
of the trade of the person whose arms they are -- there are plenty of arms 
ploughs, spades (shovels), etc.  A quick review of, for example, Guillim's 
Display of Heraldrie", which was written just post-period, so most of the 
he discusses are period arms, gives a long listing of such implements and
different families to whom the arms belonged.  If you want the badge to say
"dance" to people who see the badge, then you should use something 
with dance.

The purpose of _any_ piece of armory is identification.  How many people in 
SCA put a fleur-de-lis on their arms because they want to show that their
persona is French, even though the French had no monopoly on fleurs in arms?
How many SCA Gaels put harps and/or shamrocks and/or Celtic crosses to
represent Ireland?  The badge doesn't have to "look like dancing", but you 
want people to be able to associate the badge with dance whenever they see 
and the best way to do that is to use something associated with dance as the
primary symbol on the badge.


Learn how to choose, serve, and enjoy wine at Wine @ MSN. 

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