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Re: Query re: A&S/heraldry comp at Pointless
Poster: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy@abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
My good Herveus.
You are a good, and noble man. You are also a man with a hammer... (:-)
When you start an advisory posting by reminding people that you are
Principal Herald, I presume you choose to have them consider your words
as speaking for the Societal or Kingdom Heraldic offices.
Those offices have rules: and none of those rules touch on heraldic
displays. Or so I believe. If you are going to imply officialdom, you owe
it to be accurate about what is official. If you are going to post as
Dominus Herveus you owe it to people to play fair, and label opinion as
Can you cite for me the origin of your "rulings"? Upon what authority do
they rest? Please, teach us all?
If the return was for conflict, then the displayer should not use these
arms as their own, without the permission of the owner of the conflicting
arms. Consider that the submitter asked and was told "no". Proceeding to
display the arms is now a direct affront to the authority of the College
of Arms. Enforcement of this authority would be ticklish, but in theory
could involve a Court of Chivalry in an extreme case.
This is hardly true at all. The College of Arms keeps a list, and has
disposition over that list. A return for conflict is rubbish.
My arms were returned for conflict, with something outside the scope of the
Society. 2 months later, they were legal... It is also well understood that
the SCA uses standards that are stricter than any we can point to from
period, or even reasonably deduce.
Let's be honest. Because of the very good efforts of men and women like
yourself, the College of Arms does a pretty darned good job of what it is
doing. But let's not pretend that it is perfect in every facet, nor that it
is the be-all or end-all.
A return from Laurel today means something about the rules, today, and may
even reject armory that is unique and documentable to period standards. Not
as a rule, but it is not an unheard of exception. (Consider the rejection
and subsequent passage of my current arms, Vert a Delf Or.)
Nereid did in her message bring up a related issue of someone
conspicuously displaying arms registered to another as his own. If the
offender declines to cease the display when the matter is brought to his
attention, then the owner of those arms has a legitimate grievance which
can be pursued to its conclusion.
Huh? What grievance, by what authority, and pursued with whom and by whom
to what end? Methinks you are hammering again. (:-)
It has also been argued that the College of Arms does not have or should
not have jurisdiction, or that there is not or should not be one
heraldic jurisdiction encompassing the entire Society. To this I reply:
The structure of the SCA sets the Laurel Sovereign of Arms as the chief
heraldic officer of the SCA with authority and jurisdiction over heraldic
activities in the Society. Thus, by definition, the SCA comprises a
single heraldic jurisdiction. Arguments of the nature and range of period
heraldic jurisdictions cannot change this. Note that the recent change
in the range of armory protected within the SCA reflects the position that
the SCA is a heraldic jurisdiction, distinct and independent from any other
in the past or present. I reject the call for anarchy.
Sure. That's why we call it the Society for Compulsory Anarchy, Herveus.
You are confusing the juridical concept of jurisdiction, with the narrow
technical term of art called Heraldic Jurisdiction. I suppose you toast
your Crown with whole wheat bread or manchet? (:-)
And, I seem to recall a narrow topic, called The Modest Proposal, where fine
people such as yourself resisted having the Society be an Heraldic
Jurisdiction... your understood the term then... (:-) (If we get into
discussing the finer points of the MP, we should go to email, don't you
Since its earliest days, heraldry has been characterized by several features:
It identifies an individual
It is inheritable property
There are certainly exceptions at certain times and places, but these two
features are characteristic.
Not so, my learned friend. Or, as is my rallying cry, "Remember Carminow!"
Armory eventually became a special class of property, but it was only
unique within limited areas, it was not always unique to an individual, and
it was not always heritable, strictly speaking.
When you oversimplify like that, you rob people of the chance to learn what
really happened. I've spent more years unlearning "truths the Society
taught me" than I like.
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