[Bards] Insignia

Michael Silverhands silverhands at sbcglobal.net
Sun Nov 5 09:21:16 PST 2006

On Nov 5, 2006, at 10:58 AM, Cisco Cividanes wrote:

> Okay...
> first of all, I am totally and completely opposed to any system of  
> ranks. bardic is an A&S diciplin, and we have ranks and awards for  
> that.
> What Im talked about is somehting that a bard an elect to ware that  
> will decalre them to be a bard.

You just said the critical phrase. The key there is "can elect to wear".

> Example: what if someone registered a bard under thier name, or in  
> the college's name (Im not entierly sure how that would work) that  
> we can all generally accept to be the universal flag for bardic in  
> ansteorra. Then anyone could ware the badge like their would ware a  
> household badge, or a unit insignia, or a household's liverly  ect...

That's already been done. There *is* heraldry registered for the  
bards of Ansteorra. As has been mentioned, it is "Or, a mullet of  
five greater and five lesser points within the frame of an Irish harp  
sable". Translated into non-heraldese, that's an Ansteorran black  
star within a black Irish harp, all on a gold field. This insignia  
(or a variation of it) has been being used by the branch groups for  
many years, for example to adorn a banner given to the branch's  
titled bard. It is already registered and approved, and folks in the  
kingdom already recognize it and know what it means.

> As for the denotions of specific skills, those too should be  
> voluntary, but I am still totally for them.

Ok. So, wear something extra on your bardic sash/favor/banner/ 
whatever that tells people you are a ferret-singer (or whatever form  
of bardic you want to be known for). When people see it, they may be  
inspired to ask you what that's for. You can tell them, and sing them  
a ferret-song, and then they'll know what that extra bit of "bling"  
means to *you*. :-)

> Darius, Im sorry, but I think you're over analyzing this with your  
> arguement.
> The point is not to pidgon-hole people, but to let someone declare  
> for themselves that they have a specific strength that they like to  
> display. I would ware a storyteller's insignia without question.  
> Two reasons why, one I am a passable singer, and know relatively  
> few songs, and I am NOT a poet and avoid poetry in the vast  
> majority of performances. That being said, if I were in a  circle,  
> hopefully someone would look at me, see my badge and hopefully know  
> that I am/am not the type of performer they are looking for.
> If you dont want to ware one then don't, by all means what Im  
> talking about is not a ranking system, just a set of standordized  
> road signs to help the new, the unknowing, the unfamilear and the  
> interested people we meet out there.
> Like any emblium, a redgistered bage would be protected and could  
> be displayed any way we wanted, so long as she heraldry is preserved.
> Ivo Blackhawk

Exactly. See above. Heraldry for bards is already registered,  
protected, etc., and can be displayed any way we want.

If you're talking about registering heraldry (e.g. a badge) for every  
single bardic specialty, then I must agree with Finnacan, Gerald and  
Darius: not to mention the amount of paperwork just to register a few  
dozen badges, we suddenly have two problems which it's my  
understanding we are specifically trying to avoid:

1) Bards start having extra goodies appearing on their sash/favor/ 
banner/whatever, which are uniform in appearance. Outsiders will  
almost certainly mistake these to mean some kind of rank. Over time,  
I assure you that they will come to *mean* rank. The bard with the  
most merit badges wins. We've been there and done that. Let's not do  
that again.

2) Who decides what badge means what? I can *assure* you, 100% for  
sure, that the college (meaning a majority of all of us) will never  
agree to a list of badges to mean this, that and the other. If such a  
list were approved, it would be because a small minority rammed it  
through. Then we have a handful of people (that "badge committee")  
telling the rest of us what to do, how to dress, and what a feather  
in our cap means. *That* is not likely to fly.

There's another problem inherent in this idea. *No* other group in  
the kingdom has extra "merit badges" to differentiate within an  
activity. Fighters can get a Centurion. Do they put something on  
their cloak to say "I specialize in madu and spear"? No, of course  
not. The same with artisans. A Thistle is for a specific expertise,  
but an Iris is not, nor is a Laurel. We may know that Mistress  
Seamgoddess was made a Laurel primarily for her work with needle and  
thread, but she's probably not going to *put* a silver needle and  
thread on her hat.

Or maybe she will... but if she does, it's because it has special  
meaning for *her*, not because the Laurels decided that such a hat- 
pin meant something in particular. Which gets back to problem #2, above.

Those are just my thoughts, though. Everyone's entitled to their  
opinion -- and *encouraged* to share it. :-)

Kind regards,

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