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Re: heraldry rules

Poster: Michael and MJ Houghton <herveus@access.digex.net>


Brenna of Lyonsbane wrote of the frustration of trying to work within the
rules only to find that she had managed to miss a bit.

The rules are an attempt to codify observable patterns in medieval naming
practice and medieval armorial practice. This is constrained by the need
for these rules to be usable without too much difficulty. 

This is not an easy problem. The rules cannot be precisely complete, as
there are cases where the rules simply cannot prescribe "Yes" or "No". 
These cases must be decided by fiat. That decision defines the result for
that case, and can be applied to cases which appear similar. However, 
it is not necessarily easy to decide how to rule.

As a "simple" question, where do you draw the line between yellow and 
orange? Yellow is an heraldic tincture, while orange is not a standard
tincture (in SCA practice). I was at the Laurel meeting in June when 
several submissions showed up with a yellow that was decidedly orange.
Some were returned for recoloring, while others were deemed to be barely
acceptable. The arguing over whether that particular shade was clearly 
orange or not took a fair bit of time. In the end, it came down to a 
judgement call by Laurel. 

It is good to be aware fo the rules and to attempt to stay within the lines,
but sometimes the lines are not a clear as they may seem. This is not
an argument to try to draw the lines more precisely; that is a fools errand.

Michael and MJ Houghton   | Herveus d'Ormonde and Megan O'Donnelly
herveus@access.digex.net  | White Wolf and the Phoenix
Bowie, MD, USA            | Tablet and Inkle bands, and other stuff
                          | http://www.access.digex.net/~herveus/
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