ANSTHRLD - My Recent Arms Submission (fwd)
tmcd at jump.net
Fri Jul 30 21:55:46 PDT 1999
Can we maybe sic the nice heraldic artist on this one? Gunnora
already has a drawing in the Asterisk files; the artist just has to
shrink the garb.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 12:22:49 -0500
From: C. L. Ward <gunnora at bga.com>
To: tmcd at crl.com
Subject: My Recent Arms Submission
I'm just following up. Has anyone ever figured out how big the garb
can actually be and still pass? I am understandably reluctant to fill
all of that paperwork out again only to be told that the garb is
either still too large, or now too small.
As a peer, I think it's right that I should try and set an example by
registering my arms, but at the same time, I am not particularly fond
of tail-chasing and filling out paperwork dozens of times with no
useful feedback in between
Thanks for your help!
[Her original letter -- she's calmed down a lot from them]
To Daniel de Lincolia, greetings from Gunnora Hallakarva this 31st day of
Thank you for your letter of May 19 which described in-depth the
reasons why the Laurel Queen of Arms denied my most recent arms
submission: Per fess gules and azure, a catamount passant and a
kestrel maintaining a garb Or.
You stated that the problem was the "slot machine" effect, caused by
the maintained garb of wheat being drawn too large.
I have a request and a long comment, both regarding this return.
I really would like for you to pass the comment along, with its
several procedural suggestions, to the rest of the College of Heralds,
if possible. Otherwise tell me where to send it and I'll do so on my
Request: You say in your letter that:
"If you drew the garb smaller, it would be
judged 'maintained' ... and thus not returnable."
How big is "smaller"? Can you give me a height measurement in either
fractions of an inch or millimeters? Or express it in terms of ratio
to the size of other charges, such as the falcon which is maintaining
I don't want to play a guessing game with the College of Heralds. I
am perfectly happy to draw it any way that will make the Laurel Queen
at Arms happy, but you have given me no guidelines as to what size is
I will, reluctantly, prepare the enormous sheaf of paperwork to
resubmit the arms redrawn as per the College of Arms' guidelines, but
I will only do so once more -- I don't want to hear when I do resubmit
that "The garb is still too large!" or "Oops! Now you've made it too
Comment: Given the fact that the garb was clearly blazoned as
"maintained" in the original submission, the College of Arms certainly
knew what was indicated. I have submitted arms over ten times in the
last twenty years, and each time I have had them denied, often for
points as minor as the present cause for return -- this process is not
educating me as to heraldry at all, rather, it is frustrating me to no
end -- one reason why I, a Peer, still do not have registered arms
after 20 years in the SCA.
Since the original blazon indicated what was intended, why didn't the
College of Arms pass the device with the notation that "the garb must
be no bigger than (fill in some fraction of the height of the falcon
Why does the College of Arms think that a minor point like that should
require a full resubmission, with all the (many exasperated adjectives
deleted) color and black-and-white copies that this entails? The SCA
is my hobby, not my life, and I have little enthusiasm for coloring in
another stack of copies for the College of Heralds. And, of course,
the formal blazon doesn't control how the many registered arms-holders
actually draw their device on banners or personal items, given
artistic license. Given these facts, the relative sizes become less
important over the long view, and it seems that an administrative
caution about the size should have been sufficient.
If the College needed some sort of confirmation of compliance, then
why not explain the problem, explain that if I am amenable to using
the smaller garb that it will pass, and let me send in a written
acknowledgement rather than another sheaf of paper with all the
colored copies? Not only will the resubmission process cause me
effort, it will certainly add to the overall workload of the College,
when a simple postcard in reply could have communicated my agreement
to draw the disputed charge smaller in the future.
I have seen the College of Arms over the years register items with
holding names, make minor grammatical corrections to names as needed
and the like. Arms submissions *used* to have a checkbox where the
submittor could give the College of Arms permission to make minor
changes, and in fact allowed the submittor to describe what changes to
the arms they would permit, if they wanted to limit changes. Why has
this practice been discontinued?
I am certain that I am not the only submittor that has had armory
returned for a minor flaw that requires a minor redrawing of the
device. Therefore the points I am making here are of relevance to a
large number of persons in the SCA. Please consider making changes to
allow a submittor with minor problems to have these problems corrected
by notification from the College fo Arms, rather than forcing busy
adults to spend further time with their markers coloring the stack of
copies needed for a resubmission!
One further suggestion: if the College somehow can't bring itself to
use the method I've suggested above for minor problems with arms
submissions, please when returning an arms submission because
something is too big or too small, have the College indicate how big
or small the item has to be in order to pass -- and be specific,
giving measurements based on the size of the submission form. This
would in the end simplify the College of Arms' work, by ensuring that
the hapless submittor gets it right the *next* time, rather than
having to redraw the disputed blazon on multiple different resubmits
in order to get a final result acceptible to the College.
Mistress Gunnora Hallakarva
OL, OUAB, CIM, ASTA, ASCr, AoA
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