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Re: Esoteric Heraldry (was Re: July 1997 Laurel results)

Poster: Dave Montuori <damont@wolfstar.com>

Scripsit Kendrick:
> > >Stierbach, Shire of. Device change. Per fess embattled argent and gules,
> > >three bulls courant counterchanged, that in base within a laurel wreath
> > >argent.
> > > Their former device, Per fess embattled argent and gules, three bulls
> > >statant counterchanged, that in base within a laurel wreath argent., is
> > >hereby released.
> Alright, I'm sure there are people wondering...  How does courant differ
> from statant?

Evan here, Opener of Cans of Worms, except that you've apparently swiped
my can opener this time. But since you asked...

Once upon a time in the Shire of Stierbach, group arms were designed
that featured a running bull (bulls, in fact). This was to cant on the
name: Stierbach is German for the body of water known locally as "Bull
Run." So the choice was obvious.

The original arms were blazoned "Per fess embattled argent and gules,
three bulls *IN PALE* within a laurel wreath counterchanged." The effect
of this blazon was that one bull was in the center of the shield,
counterchanged against the square-wave-divided field. Ugh.

So eventually it got to the point where enough folks wanted to see the
"butchered bull" go away, that the shire arms were changed to have the
bulls arranged two on the top and one on the bottom. One of the bulls from
the old arms was traced three times onto the new submission form. Lo and
behold, it was passed by Laurel (not the present one) but with a blazon
change: The bull that was once blazoned "courant" was now "statant." This
ruined the cant, of course.

This brings us back to Kendrick's question: What's the difference? Well,
"statant" means "standing" i.e. all feet on the ground. "Courant" means 
"running." Some time in the past, having two legs off the ground was
"courant" and this was not heraldically different from statant. The blazon
change for Stierbach marked a decision that "courant" meant all four legs
had to be "off the ground" in a distinctly running posture. Later on it
was decided that this new interpretation of "courant" IS heraldically
different from statant.

I suggested to the Shire that we re-draw the arms so the bulls were
CLEARLY running, and submit the change to be registered. This was done,
and Laurel has registered it. Stierbachers may breahte a sigh of relief
now we have our running bulls back. The artistic difference is that now
the bulls are more or less charging, whereas before they might be mistaken
for just standing around in the field.

Oh, and Luther, we need to update the arms on the Web page now...

Yours in service,
Evan da Collaureo
Stierbach Pursuivant

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