[Ansteorra-rapier] White Scarf Anniversary

Chuck Kaun jack_a_lope31 at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 10 07:29:28 PST 2012

Greetings, Let me start off with the great respect that the White Scarves have earned, not only from the crowns but also from those new rapier fighters that you have taught.  We have learned not only how to fight from you but also how to hold ourselves in politeness, patience and deportment.  As for myself, I do not see this as taking away from the White Scarves but long overdue recognition as to what you should have been all along. The White Scarves are still the best of the best.  That is why this is happening.  Respect has been earned and acknowledgement of what you and through you, the rest of us are seeing.  But do not think of only the White Scarves but of all of those rapier fighters from other kingdoms who do not yet have that respect.  This is their time as well.  Rapier is now coming into its time in the sun.  Let us come out of our salles and bask in its warmth. As to the future, I am sure the crowns will be fair and speak with you (if and when) this change comes about.  There will be discussions of what the insignia will be.  Perhaps in this new peerage, the roots of where it came from could be shown by not taking away the white scarf from those who have worn it so long in fealty and trust but adding to it.  Take the white scarf and add a golden trim to show your roots. Change can be sad, change can be happy, change can be feared or change can be embraced. Embrace the new and lead us into the future and the glory of what it is to be the rapier community of Ansteorra. Vivat the Rapier community and all we are! Vivat the White Scarves and all we can be! (Vivat the future and whatever will be!) Ld Karl Thorgeirsson,  Not a White Scarf, Not a Cadet, Merely a simple fighter seeing the horizon glowing with the promise of a beautiful day
 > Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 05:04:57 -0600
> To: ansteorra-rapier at lists.ansteorra.org
> From: dontivar at gmail.com
> Subject: [Ansteorra-rapier] White Scarf Anniversary
> Fair Greetings,
> A third of a century ago, on a cold, wet Saturday night, history was 
> made. During court at an event called the Tournament of Chivalry, Her 
> Highness Tessa of the Gardens announced that she and Prince Simonn of 
> Amber Isle were creating an award to recognize prominent rapier 
> fighters in the Principality of Ansteorra. That was the beginning of 
> the Order of the White Scarf, and to the best of my knowledge, it was 
> the first official recognition of any sort for rapier fighters in the SCA.
> At that time, there were maybe thirty or forty rapier fighters in 
> Ansteorra, and a few handfuls scattered about the rest of the Known 
> World. Benign neglect was about the best we could hope for from most 
> of the powers-that-be and outright hostility was a pretty common 
> reaction to the presence of rapier fighters.
> We've grown a bit since then, but now the White Scarf is facing a new 
> challenge. The SCA Board of Directors has announced that they are 
> forming a committee "focused on developing a set of options for 
> potential implementation of a new peerage for Rapier Combat and/or 
> Cut and Thrust Combat."
> For many folks, their initial reaction might be "Hooray! It's about 
> time!" But think about this a little more. Throughout its history, 
> the White Scarf has always meant "the best of the best" in rapier, 
> and it has earned a level of respect similar to the peers in many 
> places. But it's still a grant-level award, and is only used in 
> twelve of the nineteen kingdoms of the SCA. If a rapier peerage is 
> set up, then I see three possibilities.
> 1. The White Scarf maintains its current precedence as a grant-level 
> award, but there's now a peerage-level award that outranks it. We'd 
> no longer be the best of the best.
> 2. The White Scarf becomes the new peerage. But this idea has several 
> problems built into it. Do all existing White Scarves automatically 
> become peers? (Does that include the ones that haven't been active 
> for many years? What about the ones who've died?) If not, who decides 
> what constitutes "inactive" and which White Scarves get the new 
> peerage and which don't?
> What happens to the kingdoms that don't use the White Scarf? Do all 
> the members of the Order of the Golden Rapier, Bronze Ring, Dragon's 
> Steel, Meridien Order of the Blade and Queen's Rose automatically 
> become peers too? If not, why not? In Ealdormere the Order of 
> Thorbjorn's Hammer is given for all martial activities, not just 
> rapier. Do we say that the rapier-Hammers get to be peers but not 
> those for armored combat or archery?
> There's also this: SCA heraldic rules won't allow a grant-level award 
> and a peerage to use the same name and insignia, so if the new 
> peerage is called the White Scarf, then the existing Orders would 
> have to be shut down, and anybody who doesn't get made a peer would 
> not be allowed to wear their Scarf any more.
> And, of course, if the White Scarf goes from being the top-level 
> rapier award to being the top-level rapier award, what have really 
> been gained? Does having a peerage automatically make you a better 
> fighter, a better teacher or a more polished courtier than if you 
> just have a grant?
> 3. The Order of the White Scarf is closed and replaced with a new 
> peerage and a different intermediate award. If that happens, then 
> inevitably the White Scarf and much of what it means to the SCA would 
> fade into the mists of time. Is that a desirable outcome?
> So take a moment to reflect on where you were and what you were doing 
> on March 10 AS XIII, and to raise a glass to the folks who started 
> the Order of the White Scarf.
> But while you're doing that, give some thought to where we are going, too.
> Happy White Scarf Day, everybody!
>              -Tivar Moondragon
>                          Ansteorra
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