Tim McDaniel tmcd at
Wed May 13 22:37:21 PDT 1998

On Thu, 14 May 1998, HL Larkin O'Kane <larkin at>
> >4) Alix Sigri von Ravensburg [Azure, a pale ermine.]
> > Device - returned for conflict with Frederick of
> > Feoliddwyn, "Per chevron sable and argent, a pale
> > ermine."  There is only one CD for the changes to the
> > field.
> I don't understand how these conflict.  There is no visual
> similarity except for the pale.  One has a field divided -
> the other has only a field. One has only one color - the
> other has a color and a metal.  They are not visually
> similar.

The SCA College of Arms hasn't done armorial conflict-
checking based solely on visual similarity since it adopted
written rules, which I think happened in the early 1980s.
Now we either clear it by Rules for Submission X.1 (addition
/ deletion of primary charge), X.2 (substantial change of
type of all primary charges in "simple" cases, where
"simple" is defined precisely), or by 2 CDs under X.4.

There *is* a backstop Visual Test, X.5, but it cannot
*clear* a conflict, it can only be the basis for *calling* a
conflict.  It's really there just to catch gaps in the
rules.  I dislike it heartily, because it's impossible for
us to tell a submitter whether Laurel will call something a
visual conflict or not.

In the instant case:
    Alix Sigri von Ravensburg: Azure, a pale ermine.
    Frederick of Feoliddwyn: Per chevron sable and argent, a pale ermine.

Neither X.1 nor X.2 apply, since the two coats in question
have the same primary charge group.  RfS X.4.a says

    a.  Field Difference - Significantly changing the
    tinctures, direction of partition lines, style of
    partition lines, or number of pieces in a partition of
    the field is one clear difference.  ...

    i.  Charged Fields - If charges other than an uncharged
    peripheral ordinary are present, at most one clear
    difference may be counted for changes to the field.  ...
    There is just one clear difference between "Per chevron
    ermine and azure, a pale gules" and "Per bend wavy Or
    and vert, a pale gules".

which is about as close as an example as you can get.
Therefore, there is only 1 CD between the two coats, so X.4
does not clear it.  X.3 is irrelevant, X.5 can only create
conflict, and there are no other ways to clear the two
pieces.  Therefore, Asterisk was correct in saying that
there is conflict because there is only one CD of

> >9) Esther Anne Wright 
> > Device - forwarded to Laurel with the blazon changed to
> > "Per saltire Or and argent, four frogs heads outward
> > azure."
> If I had to draw this from the discription there would
> only be frogs heads and no bodies (yeah, I
> know. Gramatically that would be frog heads.) 

Hmm, good point.  A few people would assert that punctuation
in a correct blazon is never needed and in fact can cause
error.  However, I think extra commas here would be an
improvement.  Asterisk, can I make it "Per saltire Or and
argent, four frogs, heads outward, azure."?

> >13) Hugh fitz Maynard 
> > Device – returned for violating a Laurel precedent
> > from 3/93 indicating that game boards must be drawn as
> > delfs with the game markings on them rather than as
> > simply lines on the field (which makes them thin-line
> > heraldry).
> I don't understand this. Possibly because I can't find the
> word "delfs" in my dictionary.  

A "delf" is a square.  It may be found in the OED (a good
investment for an SCA herald, tho best if bought as a used
book in the compact edition, or perhaps on CD).  It may also
be found in the Pict Dict (which any SCA herald needs to
get) and in Brooke-Little's _An Heraldic Alphabet_ (a fine

RfS X.5: If the tinctures, shapes, or arrangement of the
    charges in a submission create an overwhelming visual
    resemblance to a piece of protected armory, the
    submission may be held to conflict even if sufficient
    theoretical difference can be counted between them.

    A piece of armory is registered and protected, not the
    verbal description used to record that armory.  The use
    of different terminology to describe two designs that
    are visually similar does not affect any potential for
    conflict that may exist.  Thus, "Or, a fess vert" is not
    different from "Vert, a chief and a base Or" even though
    one could theoretically count sufficient difference
    between them from these blazons.  Unusual cases may
    occur where contrast is weak and unusual arrangements of
    charges are employed, and in such circumstances the
    cumulative similarities between two pieces of armory may
    outweigh any specific differences.  As an example, the
    cumulative effect of the similarities between "Vert,
    ermined Or, on a mullet argent a lion rampant azure
    within a bordure embattled ermine" and "Vert, ermined
    Or, on an estoile argent a lion rampant azure within a
    bordure embattled erminois" creates a strong possibility
    of confusion.

Daniel de Lincolia
- -- 
Tim McDaniel; Reply-To: tmcd at; if that fail, tmcd at
is work address.  tmcd at is wrong tool.  Never use this.

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