[ANSTHRLD] Zodiacus weighs in on this week's award discussions

Alden Drake alden_drake at sbcglobal.net
Fri Sep 10 04:22:25 PDT 2004

I've read over a number of posts regarding people's opinions on the creation of awards and such, since this new Optio award was introduced, and there seems to be a point of view that is missing, so I'll put it on the table.

Any and all awards, be they existing, or made up on the spot, are completely within the authority of the Crown to give as they please.  Of course it is a good idea for the Crown to consult with Their heralds, but I don't think it's a requirement.  I don't recall reading anywhere that an award *has* to be proposed, conflict checked, authenticated, approved by the CoA, etc., before it is used.  Does it make it awkward/more difficult to change (if neccessary) after the fact? Sure!  But that's what heralds do.  The Arcus Majoris is a good example, especially now that there's a decent number of recipients of that award.  We keep calling it "the Arcus Majoris", even though that isn't the name we tried to register, and itself isn't a registerable name.  When we can actually get *something* registered for that award, with the current Arcuses care?  Maybe some will, but the meaning behind the award doesn't change.

In my mind (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), the creation of an award isn't that different from the Crown elevating someone to a peerage order.  Yes, there is generally the whole discussion by the specific circle of the candidate to be elevated, and a poll may be taken, but ultimately it is the authority of the Crown to elevate someone, not the order.  The order can't veto the Crown's decision if they go against the order's poll.  Granted, it doesn't do wonders for the Crown's image to go against the wishes of Their people, but they do have that right.  It's not a democracy.

Yes, there is a minimalist trend towards awards in Ansteorra, but it is a trend, not a rule.

Something I'm more confused/surprised about goes back one reign to Miguel and Conal, who created the Award of the Sable Shield.  This award is given for a MUNDANE reason, and has nothing to do with anything done in the Society.  I don't recall anyone saying anything about this award.  Maybe because it was created at a time we were all feeling rather patriotic towards our country (that being the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA), but there it is.

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