[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index][Search Archives]

Royal Heraldry Changes and Where You Fit In

Unto the good and fair patrons of the Merry Rose does Lord Leifr Johansson 
send greetings,
In the April issue of the Acorn, Her Majesty, Queen Seonaid informed the 
populace of her intent to consider changes to the Kingdom and Royal 
arms.  There are four specific changes under consideration.
Her Majesty has asked for comments on the changes to be sent to her by 
May 15th.  Changes to Kingdom Arms are, by Corpora, required to have the 
approval of the populace.  Your comments, therefore, are important and 
valuable, and you should not lose this opportunity to comment on kingdom 
The changes will also be considered at Curia, May 6th (or 7th), at Crown 
Tourney.  If you know a seated member of Curia (Seneschals, Landed Barons 
and Baronesses, and Kingdom Great Officers) to whom you can express your 
opinion, take the opportunity to do so.  They will have an opportunity to 
express their views, and forward yours, in Curia.
If you have an opportunity to attend Crown, I am planning on showing a 
display with the various combinations of the Kingdom Arms with the 
changes recommended.  This display has been at University, Cook's 
Symposium, and Ponte Alto's Baronial Meeting.  As of Ponte Alto's 
meeting, the display is complete, with all 26 combinations of the changes 
under consideration.  Seeing the changes is an excellent way to understand 
what the effects are.
Before I describe the changes, let me use some non-herald-speak to 
describe the Kingdom arms.  All Atlantian Royal arms are divided vertically 
down the middle of the shield.  Then a band is laid accross the middle, 
horizontally, split down the middle vertically like the shield, and with wavy 
edges top and bottom, additional pairs of thin lines are added to the band on 
the top and bottom, which are also wavy.  On the sovereign's arms, the 
Kingdom/King and Prince, the shield is, as you look at it, white on the left, 
and blue on the right, and the band and thin lines all reverse these colors.  
On the consort's arms, the Queen and Princess, the shield is blue and white, 
and the band and thin lines reverse that.
The Prince has a crown of five points in yellow on the middle of his 
shield.  When he becomes King, he adds a green laurel wreath around the 
crown.  The Princess has a clam shell, valve up, mouth down, which is 
yellow with black ermine spots.  The Queen adds three Red roses with 
yellow seeds and sepals.

When a woman wins Atlantia's Crown tourney, she will be entitled to use 
the Sovereign's arms, and the arms of the sovereign's heir while she is 
Ask a herald to describe these, and they will use many fewer words.  
That's why there is a jargon known as blazon.  To wit:
ATLANTIA, Kingdom and Sovereign of.
Per pale argent and azure, on a fess wavy cotised counterchanged a crown 
vallary Or, within overall a laurel wreath vert.

ATLANTIA, Consort of.
Per pale azure and argent, on a fess wavy cotised counterchanged between 
three roses gules barded and seeded Or, an escallop erminois.
The changes which are recommended are:
Her Majesty would like to change the Queen's three Roses, which is a rare 
usage in the Knowne World, perhaps unique to Atlantia, to the more common 
wreath of roses.  These would again be red roses, hopefully with seeds 
and sepals proper (yellow and green, respectively) rather then both 
yellow.  Hopefully, if there are any changes made, we will get the roses 
charged as proper.
Also, change the background field of the consort's arms to the same as the 
sovereign's arms.  That is, all the arms would start: per pale argent and 
Also, rather then have the heirs arms as the King's less the wreath, and 
the Queen's less the roses or rose wreath, have the heirs be the same are 
the Kings and Queen's, with the addition of labels.  Labels look like E's 
with the points down, and are drawn in the top third of the shield. There 
are variations to this, using five points rather then three, the points 
can be longer or shorter, straight or dovetailed.  Labels  
are English heraldry usage for identification of the heirs, or at least 
the male heir.  The Prince's arms could not be registered this way, 
because only the King can have a combination of laurel wreath and crown 
on his arms, the Prince cannot.  But the Prince could use the label.

They were never used in period for females.  However, it is common 
practice in the SCA for Princesses to use the Queens arms with a label.  
This combination can be registered..  The Prince's label 
would probably have to be red, and the Princess' most likely black or 
purple.  A rich, dark gold could be used for both.
Finally, lose the pairs of lines above and below the middle band.  These 
are the cotises, and they add an additional level of complexity to the 
kingdom arms.  They also impart a sense of waves, which is appropriate to 
Atlantia's theme.
I hope I have been clear.  Truely, it is better to see these drawn out 
then try to understand the descriptions.  Since I have started this 
project, I have heard a number of comments, some of which I would like to 
share with you:
In favor of keeping the female fields reversed to the male fields (which 
was intentional, by the way):
 The banners behind the throne look so good as mirror images of each 
In favor of making them the same:
 No one ever gets them right when they do Kingdom Regalia (I 
 didn't the first time I drew them).
In favor of keeping the three roses for the Queen:
 They are much easier to do then the rose wreath.
 Many people like Atlantia being unique.
In favor of using the rose wreath:
 It is more commonly recognized in the Knowne World as the mark of 
 the Queen.
Just as in favor of using the label for Prince and Princess:
 It is commonly recognized in the Knowne World as the mark of the Heirs.
As opposed to the label.
 It makes the heirs arms too crowded. 
 The Princess' arms would be less period, as labels were not used by women.
Finally, comments for losing the Cotises (pairs of lines above and below 
the band):
 It would make the Kingdom arms look more period.
 The arms would be simplier in appearance and easier to sew.
To which many reply:
 The Cotises are not that hard to sew, far easier then laurel and rose 
 wreaths (that comes form a variety of people who've made regalia).
 The Cotises, they are ATLANTIA.
I hope this helps you visualize the changes under consideration.  Again, 
if you have an opinion, please write Her Majesty and express it.  And 
remember, Her Majesty asked for comment in the April Acorn, so please 
don't start your letters with, "I just heard about ..."

All have my permission to print and republish this message in its 
entirety, with their comments noted as such, to bring this information to 
any and all who might gain thereby.
In Service
Leifr Johansson
who is not really a herald, but sometimes does get to do heraldry.