[Bards] badge discussion

Alden Drake alden_drake at sbcglobal.net
Mon Nov 13 06:47:14 PST 2006

I had a talk with Star Principal Herald this weekend at Defenders of the Rose and one of the things we discussed was the badge that is currently registered to the Kingdom of Ansteorra (Or, a mullet of five greater and five lesser points within the frame of an Irish harp sable) for the Queen's College of Bards of Ansteorra.  Now, as it stands, use of this badge is technically limited to members of that college, not the bardic community at large.  Our general use of this badge could cause a problem if we were to use it and said College were to later reform and want use of the badge for their organization again.  I realize we are discussing reforming a college of bards, but even so, we are not likely seeking to call it the Queen's College of Bards of Ansteorra, so again we would have a badge registered to a different group.

On the plus side, the badge is registered to the kingdom, so the matter can be resolved fairly easily.  All we need to do is petition the Crown to change the name of the designated party for whom the badge can be used.  Then if the Crown approves, submit the change of "for use by" through the College of Heralds/Arms.  I did a search of badges registered for use by bards in the Known World, and it appears that no badges are registered for bardic communities in general.  They are associated with either a college, guild, or companionate.  So if we want to "properly" use a badge, we should have some identified body as such.  However, we don't have Heraldic Police going out telling people what they can and can't display, so it's unlikely anyone will raise a stink if we use the badge, except for maybe people from the old college who are adamant about the badge being used only by the Queen's College of Bards of Ansteorra.

As I see it, we have some options which include (but are not limited to):
1. Solidify into a body and get permission to use the currently registered badge.
2. Solidify into a body and design a new badge.
3. Stay a loose association of bards and use the registered badge anyway.
4. Stay a loose association of bards and forget about registering a badge.

For option 1, what I proposed to Star, is pretty straight forward, but I've modified it based on looking at bardic badges across the Known World.  First, we decide whether or not we want to be/have a solidified bardic organization.  Step two is to identify what we want to call our organization (college, guild, companionate).  Step three, put someone in charge of it.  Step four, put together a petition requesting use of the badge be transferred to the new group and get it signed by as many bards as we can.  Step five, have person in charge of group take the petition to the KMOAS, Star Principal Herald, and the Crown for approval.

So now it's time for some more discussion on which direction we would like to go.


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