[ANSTHRLD] Question about a charge/ordinary/charge group.

tmcd@panix.com tmcd at panix.com
Sun Aug 28 01:41:30 PDT 2005

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005, Adam Edwards <wilim.penbras at pandora.org> wrote:
>     I've been asked to blazon a picture that I can't blazon without
> breaking the rules.  A friend wants his primary charge to
> essentially be azure on a pale a chevron inverted argent.  Then he
> wants like this new ordinary he's created to be charged with 9
> roundels gules.  I have no idea where he got this idea from but he
> wants in conflict checked.  Can y'all confirm for me that there is
> no trident type variation of a pall and then I can go with the no
> metal on metal and lead him to a better device.

Bless you for asking here before replying to him!

If you're not 100% sure of a blazon, it's best to give a plain English
description, as clearly as you can.  "On an A ... a B" means that the
B is entirely contained on the A, not extending past the edges of the
A in any way.  But you saying "trident type" variation makes me think
of this (ASCII art: you need a fixed-width font to see it properly):


That's not "on", that's "overall".  From the CoA Glossary of Terms,
available under http://sca.org/heraldry (and you should probably
download it):

    Overall Charge. A charge that crosses over both edges of another
    charge to lie on the field on either side. For instance, Or, a lion
    rampant purpure and overall a fess sable has the fess starting on the
    field on one side, crossing over the center of the lion, and lying on
    the field on the other side. An overall charge is considered to lie
    directly on the field, and must have good contrast with it. An overall
    charge can never be the primary charge; in addition, there can only be
    a single group of overall charges.

Note the "must have good contrast with" the field.  Both the pale and
the chevron inverted are argent, and they're both on the azure field,
so there's no metal-on-metal problem.  I can think of one period
charge combo with two ordinaries, one of them overall the other: the
chief-pale.  I can't think of other examples, but I have the nagging
feeling I'm forgetting something.  (That's leaving aside the trivial
combos: a fess-pale is just a cross; a bend-bend sinister is a

The problem I see is that it's a peace symbol from the 1960,
upside-down, without a surrounding circle, and with a bad case of
measles.  I would say that it's expressly forbidden by RfS VIII.4.b
(something else to download via that URL, by the way):

    4.  Obtrusive Modernity - Armory may not use obtrusively modern
    "Modern" is defined as anything outside the period of the Society.
    b.  Modern Insignia - Overt allusions to modern insignia,
        trademarks, or common designs may not be registered.

    Such references, including parodies, may be considered obtrusive.
    Examples include using "a bend within a bordure gules" to parody
    the international "No Entry" sign, variations on the geometric
    Peace sign, and so forth.

> (That'll be interesting since he's decided he wants to go Mongol
> instead of the nice simple Scott he started out as.)

Dunno about Mongol symbolism, but "Any element used in Society armory
must be describable in standard heraldic terms so that a competent
heraldic artist can reproduce the armory solely from the blazon." (RfS
VII.7.b), and there's precedents that that means it has to be
blazonable in Western European heraldic terms.

Daniel de Lindecolina
Tim McDaniel; Reply-To: tmcd at panix.com

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