[ANSTHRLD] A platypus and two sporks

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Fri Nov 16 17:07:56 PST 2012

On Fri, 16 Nov 2012, Ron <eirik at hot.rr.com> wrote:
>> Return for color on color: red charge on black.
>> Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory
>> http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/sena.html#A3B
> Excuse me while I have a discussion with Daniel.
> A return is not automatic. If there is documented examples of a
> gules charge on a sable field, I refer you to SENA A.4.A
> (http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/sena.html#A4) which states: " Any
> armorial design that does not fit within our core style rules may
> still be registered if it can be documented as following a pattern
> of period practice within the armorial style of a single time and
> place within the temporal scope of the Society. ...." Follow the
> link for specific instructions on how to document the pattern.

It's a point for more advanced heralds to know, so it shouldn't be
considered a discussion with me in particular.

I think a better way to word it is "A return for color-on-color, or
other style problems, can sometimes be avoided."  But some returns are
unavoidable (q.v.).

It *is* possible to avoid a return for style via SENA A.4, Armory
Individually Attested Patterns.  However, it is stated in

     B. The Burden of Proof: The College of Arms and the kingdom
     colleges of heralds should work to provide suitable documentation
     to register a submission.  However, it is ultimately the
     submitter's responsibility to demonstrate that a submission meets
     the standards set forth in these rules; a complete lack of
     documentation can be cause for return.  It is not the
     responsibility of the Laurel office to demonstrate that a
     submission does not meet these standards.  When the evidence is
     equivocal, such as when there is limited reliable dated
     information about a specific culture, in general the submitter
     should be given the benefit of the doubt.

and no documentation was provided.  But kingdom commenters usually
make efforts to fill in documentation.

Further, A.4 says

- "Documentation under the Individually Attested Pattern rules does
   not exempt a design from conflict, presumption, or offense rules."
   That's what I meant above by "Some returns are unavoidable".
   Even if you find period swastikas or Red Crosses, you can't register

- "All elements in an Individually Attested Pattern must be found in
   that single time and place, including charges, arrangement of charge
   groups, and lines of division."  So, as I read that, you'd need
   three examples of platypodes in independent coats of arms in some
   single period time and place.

- I've read further but don't have the time at the moment to think
   carefully about it.  I'm not sure, but I think you might be required
   to show also three examples of a high-contrast charge group overall
   of a single gules primary charge with a complex outline on a sable
   field, or more examples that "bracket" such a pattern.  However, I'm
   not sure of this point, because high-contrast overall charges per se
   are part of the "core SCA style", and the way it's worded, it's not
   clear to me that you have to document them.

And ultimately, regardless of whatever you find on color on color, the
use of a platypus itself is still cause for return (without
documentation, and I'd bet a large sum of money you can't find that,
unless it's some other charge that was drawn to look much like a

Danet Lincoln
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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