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Re: Re: Arms and Awards Murph's Law Revisited

Poster: EoganOg@aol.com

>Okay....here's a question I wondered about.  If you know your family arms,
>you use them in the SCA (you can certainly document them, they are yours to
>use, and they must be "heraldically correct" if they are your family arms)?
>What is the rule on this?

Technichally, they are not "yours to use" at all.  I encounter this a lot at
the museum where I work, when people ask me to find out what their coat of
arms are.  This is a confusion that happens in American more so than overseas,
because we really don't have a system of heraldry.  Mundanely (and I am saying
this to make clear that I am not talking about SCA heraldry or heraldic
policy), there is no such thing as a "Family Coat of Arms."  Arms, and the
right to display them, belong to an individual, not a family.  Any armiger (a
noble entitled to bear arms) has his or her coat of arms.  Other people in the
family (sons, brothers, sisters, what have you) may also bear arms that are
similar, to denote that they are in teh same family, but differenced by a mark
of cadence.  Thus, for the trained eye it is possible for someone in Great
Britain to see a flag fluttering and say, "Oh, those are the arms of the son
of Lord MacDonald, he must be visiting town."    Using the name MacDonald as
an example (because I just mentioned it), lets say that that is your family
name, and you knew what the MacDonald arms looked like.  By displaying those
arms (on stationary, on a sweatshirt, or--God forbid--a full banner) you are
saying, "I am Lord MacDonald, Cheif of Clan Donald."  Unless Lord MacDonald is
subscribed to the Merry Rose, I think that this would not apply to anyone
reading this.  Here in America, those in the know would consider that bad
taste.  IN Great Britain, it could get you arrested.  Yes, I know there are
businesses that will gladly sell you a swaet-shirt, coffe mug, cuff links,
mouse pad, framed print, door mat, what have you, with "your family's arms" on
it.  I get those catalogs all the time.  I don't care.  It is still wrong,
even in America.
Eogan Og Mac Labruinn (who is an Armiger, and will display his arms)
& Matthew Newsome (who is definitely NOT an Armiger and will not be caught
displaying anyone's arms).
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