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

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Fri Sep 10 10:37:50 PDT 2004

Alden wrote:
> 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.  

Nobody denies that.  Nobody has suggested that the Crown didn't have the right to do this.  However, actions have consequences, and it is the responsibility of the heralds to consider the consequences of heraldic actions.  That's what we're doing.

> 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. 

I think Corpora is unclear on this point, but some people think that, yes, an award cannot be used until it has been passed.  If so, Ansteorra has ignored this rule for years.

> 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.  

None of which anybody has denied, and none of which is relevant to the issues being discussed.

> 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, the Crown makes the final decision.  That does *not* relieve heralds of the responsibility to understand what happens, form policy, and work to improve Ansteorran heraldic decisions.  Using the peerage example, the Crown makes the final decision about who receives a peerage.  I still have the responsibility to watch potential Laurels and Pelicans, to evaluate them, to advise the Crown, and do try to make things better when the Crown makes one who is believed to be unsuitable.

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

Not quite.  It's a system, not a trend.  Grant level kingdom orders and baronial AoA-level orders are groups of people.  AoA level awards are rewards with no specific continuing duties.  This isn't a mere trend, but a fixed policy that goes back to the creation of Grant level orders in Ansteorra in early 1980.  (Note that the Iris and Star were created in late 1979, and the White Scarf precursor was created in the Prinicpality in March 1979, but they were advance to Grant level orders by King Lloyd and Queen Joselyn in 1980.)  The system has been kept to ever since.  When the Comet was created, it was an award, not a order, because the members aren't a group bound together like a baronial order, but people from all over, awarded for work in different shires.

[And for the record, it's not minimalist.  We have more awards and orders than most SCA kingdoms, and significantly more than the British Empire.  Many heralds in the Known World considered Ansteorra to be excessively award-happy.)

> 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.

A. Star is exactly correct here.  No they didn't create an award.  They stated, every time they gave it out, that this was *not* an Ansteorran award, just a thank you.  Its name is not registered; it is not intended to be (and will not be) carried on the OP. 
B. If it had been an award, it would have been reasonably consistent with the system, which includes the occasional ad hoc non-armigerous award, like the Rising Star.  But there have never been AoA kingdom-level orders before.  The Glove, Gauntlet, Crane, Thistle, Compass Rose and Comet have no duties, and are not defined groups.

So, yes, it's important to remember that the Crown makes the final decision.  We will nonetheless continue to discuss heraldic actions and their consequences.

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: /pipermail/heralds-ansteorra.org/attachments/20040910/224ecc15/attachment.htm

More information about the Heralds mailing list