[Bards] badge discussion

Alden Drake alden_drake at sbcglobal.net
Mon Nov 13 10:47:33 PST 2006

I started replying to Michael's various comments and questions.  When I got about half-way through, I stopped and opened up a copy of the College of Arms Handbook.

Under Submissions Regulations, Section II.D.3 it states, "3. Badge - Any piece of tinctured armory other than a Personal Device or Branch Arms. Badges may be registered by an individual, by two individuals jointly, or by a Society branch. They may be have no particular label, may be associated with a name registered to the owner of the badge, or may be associated with a generic description of the intended use or function of the badge. Badges may only be registered for offices of Society branches if no badge has been registered for that office by the Society or any territorial entity to which the submitting branch belongs. All records will be retained under the Primary Society Name of the registrant or the Branch name of the registering group. When a badge is jointly registered, a cross-reference shall be listed under the Primary Society Name of the other owner. Badges may have the field specified or they may have no field specified, but must otherwise be fully tinctured. Fieldless badges may be subject to special rules for style and difference in the Rules for Submissions, but are otherwise treated in the same manner as tinctured badges."

I'll talk to Star - Since it says "may be have no particular label", it would be easy if we can just ask the Crown to approve a request to remove "for the Queen's College of Bards of Ansteorra" from the existing badge.

Like Michael said, I would just use the badge as is, until either the Queen's College of Bards of Ansteorra or the Crown asked me not to.  It's very nice armory, and really, if anyone is going to care whether or not we use it, it'll be someone who was once in the QCoBoA.


----- Original Message ----
From: Michael Silverhands <silverhands at sbcglobal.net>
To: Ansteorran Bardic list <bards at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 10:39:09 AM
Subject: Re: [Bards] badge discussion

On Nov 13, 2006, at 8:47 AM, Alden Drake wrote:

> 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...

Woot! I'm glad that y'all discussed this. I had asked Druinne that  
same question via email, but nothing beats "in person". :-)

> ... 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.

(After typing the following, I realized I should add this: I'm not  
yelling, I'm just asking. *smile*)

No offense, Alden, but this is one of the things that I truly don't  
understand about "herald-think": everything's got to have a  
precedent. So... how did the first one get registered? There was no  
precedent then. ;-)

And if the second (or third (or twenty-third)) occurrence was built  
on a precedent, then it was a precedent that we, who've played in the  
SCA over the years, *created ourselves*. So... what's to stop us from  
creating other, differing precedents? Do we suddenly become unable to  
create original things or have original thoughts after we've done so  

Are we / must we be bound by a particular precedent? Can we not do  
something (literally) unprecedented, such as change the "for use of"  
qualifier to "the populace" or some such? Is that not an  
"identifiable body as such"?

For that matter, there *is* a precedent for armory registered "for  
use of the populace" (whatever the wording actually is): the Kingdom  
ensign. Almost every kingdom has an example of this. :-)

> 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.

Willow? Robin? Simone? Anyone else? Do you have an opinion about this?

> 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.

5. Stay a loose association of bards and get permission to use the  
currently registered badge.

If I had my 'druthers, I would like to get the registered badge  
approved for use by the "loose association of bards" (i.e., approved  
for use by anyone who wants to use it) -- which wasn't one of the  
options you listed. But short of that I would just as soon use it  
anyway (i.e. option "3").

It's *great* armory. It's simple, it's pretty, it concisely conveys a  
very clear meaning (Ansteorran Blackstar + Irish harp, obviously has  
something to do with bards in Ansteorra), and it already has some  
recognition within the kingdom as "something to do with bards in  
Ansteorra". I doubt that there are more than a handful of people who  
would automatically identify it with the Queen's College of Bards.

In any case, I'd like to use that armory *regardless* of whether we  
formally create a new political entity within the kingdom (a college  
of bards, by whatever name).

> 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.
> Alden

Here's my plan:

-- begin --
Step 1: put together a petition requesting use of the badge be  
transferred to the general populace, and get it signed by as many  
bards as we can (especially those who were members of the former  
Queen's College of Bards). Meanwhile, everyone who wants to advertise  
"here there be bards" should fly the banner, regardless.
-- end --


If, on down the road, we decide to create a political entity (which  
even by Robin's estimate is at *least* a year away), we would still  
have the armory available to use.

Besides, I see no reason for such a political entity -- if it ever  
gets created -- to need its own armory (although I recognize that  
there are heralds who absolutely live for creating new armory, and  
who would find my thought to be heresy at best *grin*).

Nor do I see any reason to either delay using that armory until we  
have created a political entity; nor to rush creating a political  
entity just so we can use that armory. Those two events are not  
related (or at least shouldn't be, in my opinion).

But I *do* see the value in displaying some kind of identifiable  
armory *right now*, at every event any of us attend. One of the core  
problems that we identified was "recognition". So, let's be sure  
we're recognized! Let's all fly that banner (or something like it) at  
every possible opportunity -- events, fighter practice, populace  
meeting, newcomer's meetings, demos, whatever. Make it as easy for  
someone (whether a newcomer or an old hand) to find a bard as it is  
to find a water-bearer at a list field. Heraldry works.


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