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Re: MR: Arms? I thought they were appendages!

Poster: Robert J Welenc <rjwelenc@erols.com>

>> FACT:  I have seen people display heraldic Arms without an AoA.  I 
>> also seen people display heraldic Arms without having them registered.
>> It's a moot point.
>Ok, here again, is it OK to display heraldry that has not passed Lord 
>Laurel?? I've always heard a big NO to this...

This is one of the perennial SCA heraldic discussions. :)  As I understand
it, in some kingdoms it is *kingdom* law that you may not display arms
unless you have your AoA.  (These are the same kingdoms that also have
sumptuary laws as to what rank a gentle must be to wear a certain item, a
metal circlet, for instance.)

In Atlantia, there are no laws prohibiting either the display of an
unregistered device, or the display of a registered device by a
non-armigerous person.  The Heraldic Police will not storm into the hall or
onto the field and render into shreds and tatters such display.  In fact,
since the SCA has registered approximately 25,000 different arms or badges,
a herald would need to consult the Ordinary before s/he could tell whether
such arms were 'legitimate' or not.  Obviously, few of us have that much
time on our hands!

The only times a herald will ask that an unregistered device be removed is
(1) it is offensive, or (2) the owner of a similar registered device complains.
There was a problem along these lines at a recent Pennsic; an individual
ostentatiously displayed unregistered arms that were nearly identical to the
registered arms of a gentle camped very near by.  The only thing that the
heralds could do about it was point out the discourtesy and ask that the
unregistered arms not be displayed.  

Since I like to encourage the display of one's arms, I tell my submitters
that they can start to use them once they have cleared the Kingdom level,
with a warning not to do anything really elaborate and time-consuming just
in case the submission is returned.  Atlantian submissions to Laurel have
about a 90% acceptance rate, so this is usually 'safe'.

In summation, you can  display unregistered heraldry, but it is Courteous to
make sure that it (1) does not conflict with another's arms, (2) is done in
a more-or-less period style, and (3) is not offensive.  Registration does
all this.

(And BTW, it is currently Lady Laurel)  :)

In service to Atlantia and Atlantians,

Alanna Volchevo Lesa
Partan Pursuivant
Barony of Lochmere

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