[ANSTHRLD] clear or not?

Teceangl tierna.britt at gmail.com
Mon Jun 2 12:39:49 PDT 2008

> As to the other, I will admit to a dichotomy between advice I will give
> submittors and commentary I will produce on submissions. The latter will be
> based on the rules verbatim as I understand them (and I will welcome
> correction of my interpretation). The former will include that AND ANY OTHER
> considerations I want them to think about. If they ignore my advice that a
> submission is technically clear but could create an appearance of a claim of
> connection, that is their right, as I am an advisor, not an authority.

Please be judicious and introspective with your advice based on
opinions, and clear about where the information comes from.  There is
nothing wrong with telling a client 'I think', but I have had a great
many people tell me they were told that X could not be done. 99% of
the time X could most certainly be done and something just above 50%
of the time X is a period practice.

It's a tightrope we walk, for we are not Kevin or Teceangl when we
consult, but 'the heralds'.  As in 'the heralds won't let me have...'
and 'the heralds are inflexible' and 'the heralds are drunk with
power' and all those other things we hear years after the original
incident in apocryphal (but often based in fact) anecdotes.  They
won't hear that it's lousy style to counterchange a cross raguly per
saltire, they hear that it's not allowed.  They don't understand that
placing a sable charge on a gules field requires documentation of the
motif to period practice, they hear, "No!"  And they don't care who
says the words, for it was no individual, it was 'the heralds'.

By all means, use your personal heraldic sense in consulting, but do
three things which will serve 'the heralds', your clients, and

1. Be aware of period practice. Do not gak at the checky lion/eagle
for the checky beast is period. Do not say charges in bend are not
period, for they are (check the Zuricher Wappenrolle). Know that in
period bordures were used as often, and apparently as gratuitously, as
the SCA tends to use them. &c.

2. Know not only the rules, but Laurel rulings. It pains me full sore
to have someone tell me that they were told they could not put wings
on a lion, or use a caduceus if they weren't a doctor in the
real-world, or that the Grandfather Clause let them use their 'family
arms' or 'clan badge' of non-SCA origin.  I must tell them their
information is incorrect and that might embarrass them, which in turn
discomfits me, a situation which would have been avoided had their
initial information been correct.

3. Speak your words with care, so they know you're saying, "In my
opinion" and "it's legal, though bad style" and "I speak only for
myself, not the SCA rules of heraldry".  This allows you to be an
authority rather than headstrong opinion and relieves the rest of the
Colleges of the burden of mending fences later on.

That said, some people do not listen, if they listen they hear nothing
they do not wish to hear, and anything but an enthusiastic "YES -
PERFECT - I LOVE IT!" equates to a resounding 'rejection' to their
ears.  This burden we heralds bear with the knowledge that the rest of
our clients are reasonable people. :)

And some day I'll tell you all about the 'consult' that I never had,
the device I never saw, and me standing up at a heraldry meeting
mystified because I had apparently happily endorsed (in absentia) the
monstrosity upon which we all gazed. :)

- Teceangl
Heraldry is designed to be easily reproduced by anyone who sees the arms. -

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