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Palimpsest Rules Letter dated 2017-03-12

To the sovereigns and heralds of the College of Arms, greetings.

The term "grandfather clause" originates in discriminatory US laws from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (the NPR Code Switch series has a good summary at http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/10/21/239081586/the-racial-history-of-the-grandfather-cl ause ). For this reason, this letter proposes renaming the SCA's rules regarding registrations based on prior registrations as the "legacy registration allowance".

I also ask whether branches should be able to register armorial elements registered by their members.

1: Change to SENA A.2.A - New Rule Change

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

Current Rule

A. Definitions: Armorial elements include tinctures, charges, lines of division, complex line treatments, postures/orientations, arrangements, and the like. Essentially, each piece of an armorial submission is an element.

On first registration of any particular element, documentation must be presented that the element and its depiction may be registered. This means presenting evidence that the element is eligible to be registered and that the specific depiction is attested or is otherwise compatible with period style. Elements which have been registered without comment in the last decade or are listed in one of the Appendices as acceptable elements do not usually need to be documented in a new submission. Items which have not been registered in over a decade, have only been registered a few times, or have recent registrations only via the Grandfather Clause may need to be documented. Occasionally new research will require new documentation of a more recently registered element.

Proposed Rule

A. Definitions: Armorial elements include tinctures, charges, lines of division, complex line treatments, postures/orientations, arrangements, and the like. Essentially, each piece of an armorial submission is an element.

On first registration of any particular element, documentation must be presented that the element and its depiction may be registered. This means presenting evidence that the element is eligible to be registered and that the specific depiction is attested or is otherwise compatible with period style. Elements which have been registered without comment in the last decade or are listed in one of the Appendices as acceptable elements do not usually need to be documented in a new submission. Items which have not been registered in over a decade, have only been registered a few times, or have recent registrations only via the legacy registration allowance may need to be documented. Occasionally new research will require new documentation of a more recently registered element.

Insert/Delete Version

A. Definitions: Armorial elements include tinctures, charges, lines of division, complex line treatments, postures/orientations, arrangements, and the like. Essentially, each piece of an armorial submission is an element.

On first registration of any particular element, documentation must be presented that the element and its depiction may be registered. This means presenting evidence that the element is eligible to be registered and that the specific depiction is attested or is otherwise compatible with period style. Elements which have been registered without comment in the last decade or are listed in one of the Appendices as acceptable elements do not usually need to be documented in a new submission. Items which have not been registered in over a decade, have only been registered a few times, or have recent registrations only via the Grandfather Clause legacy registration allowance may need to be documented. Occasionally new research will require new documentation of a more recently registered element.


2: Change to SENA A.2.B.3 - New Rule Change

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

I propose branches be able to register armorial elements registered by their members, in parallel to the legacy allowance for order names and heraldic titles. Is this an appropriate change?

Current Rule

3. Grandfather Clause: Armorial elements which are registered to an individual may be used in a new submission by that individual, even if they are no longer allowed under the rules. Only the exact, actual elements which are registered may be used, not variants or patterns. The use of the grandfather clause does not allow the submitter to evade new style problems (as discussed in A.1 through A.3). It only allows the submitter to evade style problems that already exist with their registered armory.

An armorial element from a registered piece of armory of an individual may also be registered by a close legal relative (such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, etc.). To do this, the submitter must demonstrate the relationship through legal documents or through attestation of relationship from the individual whose armory is already registered.

Documentation under the grandfather clause does not exempt a design from conflict, presumption, or offense rules, unless that rules violation is itself grandfathered.

Proposed Rule

3. Legacy Registration Allowance: Armorial elements which are registered to an individual or branch may be used in a new submission by that individual or branch, even if they are no longer allowed under the rules. Only the exact, actual elements which are registered may be used, not variants or patterns. The use of the legacy registration allowance does not allow the submitter to evade new style problems (as discussed in A.1 through A.3). It only allows the submitter to evade style problems that already exist with their registered armory.

An armorial element from a registered piece of armory of an individual may also be registered by a close legal relative (such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, etc.). To do this, the submitter must demonstrate the relationship through legal documents or through attestation of relationship from the individual whose armory is already registered.

Branches may also utilize the legacy registration allowance to register armory incorporating armorial elements from the registered armory of individuals closely associated with the branch. This generally means a resident of the branch or an active supporter. The permission of the individual or their heraldic heir is required for this use.

Documentation under the legacy registration allowance does not exempt a design from conflict, presumption, or offense rules, unless that rules violation is itself a legacy registration.

Insert/Delete Version

3. Grandfather Clause: Legacy Registration Allowance: Armorial elements which are registered to an individual or branch may be used in a new submission by that individual, individual or branch, even if they are no longer allowed under the rules. Only the exact, actual elements which are registered may be used, not variants or patterns. The use of the grandfather clause legacy registration allowance does not allow the submitter to evade new style problems (as discussed in A.1 through A.3). It only allows the submitter to evade style problems that already exist with their registered armory.

An armorial element from a registered piece of armory of an individual may also be registered by a close legal relative (such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, etc.). To do this, the submitter must demonstrate the relationship through legal documents or through attestation of relationship from the individual whose armory is already registered.

Branches may also utilize the legacy registration allowance to register armory incorporating armorial elements from the registered armory of individuals closely associated with the branch. This generally means a resident of the branch or an active supporter. The permission of the individual or their heraldic heir is required for this use.

Documentation under the grandfather clause the legacy registration allowance does not exempt a name from conflict, presumption, or offense rules, unless that rules violation is itself grandfathered.a legacy registration.


3: Change to SENA A.3.A.3 - New Rule Change

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

Current Rule

3. Augmentations of Honor: An augmentation is a mark of honor bestowed by the Crown that is added to an existing device. An augmentation may not be added to a badge. An augmentation may take many forms, including but not limited to a charged canton, a charged chief, charges in canton or chief, a charge associated with the Crown, or a charge associated with the individual receiving the honor.

While the right to an augmentation is bestowed by the Crown, its specific form must be determined through the normal registration process. Both the augmentation itself and the augmented device must follow the style rules and restrictions on charges. Because an augmentation adds complexity, augmented devices are often allowed to violate certain style rules, such as allowing charges on tertiary charges or a complexity count of greater than eight, as long as the identifiability of the design is maintained. However, they may not violate the rules on contrast.

For example, the arms of a branch may not be granted as an augmentation, because they contain a laurel wreath, which cannot be registered to an individual.

An augmentation that appears to be a display of independent armory, such as a charged canton or a single charged escutcheon, must also be evaluated as if the augmentation itself were a submission of independent armory for purposes of style, conflict, offense, and presumption. Kingdoms may designate a badge as a standard augmentation for its subjects who receive augmentations. Such a badge is considered to be grandfathered to the submitter and does not need to be further checked for style, conflict, offense, or presumption. However, it must maintain good contrast with the field or charge that it is on.

Proposed Rule

3. Augmentations of Honor: An augmentation is a mark of honor bestowed by the Crown that is added to an existing device. An augmentation may not be added to a badge. An augmentation may take many forms, including but not limited to a charged canton, a charged chief, charges in canton or chief, a charge associated with the Crown, or a charge associated with the individual receiving the honor.

While the right to an augmentation is bestowed by the Crown, its specific form must be determined through the normal registration process. Both the augmentation itself and the augmented device must follow the style rules and restrictions on charges. Because an augmentation adds complexity, augmented devices are often allowed to violate certain style rules, such as allowing charges on tertiary charges or a complexity count of greater than eight, as long as the identifiability of the design is maintained. However, they may not violate the rules on contrast.

For example, the arms of a branch may not be granted as an augmentation, because they contain a laurel wreath, which cannot be registered to an individual.

An augmentation that appears to be a display of independent armory, such as a charged canton or a single charged escutcheon, must also be evaluated as if the augmentation itself were a submission of independent armory for purposes of style, conflict, offense, and presumption. Kingdoms may designate a badge as a standard augmentation for its subjects who receive augmentations. Such a badge is considered to be a legacy registration and does not need to be further checked for style, conflict, offense, or presumption. However, it must maintain good contrast with the field or charge that it is on.

Insert/Delete Version

3. Augmentations of Honor: An augmentation is a mark of honor bestowed by the Crown that is added to an existing device. An augmentation may not be added to a badge. An augmentation may take many forms, including but not limited to a charged canton, a charged chief, charges in canton or chief, a charge associated with the Crown, or a charge associated with the individual receiving the honor.

While the right to an augmentation is bestowed by the Crown, its specific form must be determined through the normal registration process. Both the augmentation itself and the augmented device must follow the style rules and restrictions on charges. Because an augmentation adds complexity, augmented devices are often allowed to violate certain style rules, such as allowing charges on tertiary charges or a complexity count of greater than eight, as long as the identifiability of the design is maintained. However, they may not violate the rules on contrast.

For example, the arms of a branch may not be granted as an augmentation, because they contain a laurel wreath, which cannot be registered to an individual.

An augmentation that appears to be a display of independent armory, such as a charged canton or a single charged escutcheon, must also be evaluated as if the augmentation itself were a submission of independent armory for purposes of style, conflict, offense, and presumption. Kingdoms may designate a badge as a standard augmentation for its subjects who receive augmentations. Such a badge is considered to be grandfathered to the submitter a legacy registration and does not need to be further checked for style, conflict, offense, or presumption. However, it must maintain good contrast with the field or charge that it is on.


4: Change to SENA Appendix F - New Rule Change

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

I propose changing the beginning of the appendix as follows.

Current Text

Charges which were listed as being in use before 1600 in standard references such as Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme and Akagawa Yoshio, A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry, Gerald Brault's Early Blazon, and James Parker, A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry do not need to be further documented. A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry is available from the SCA Stock Clerk. Parker can be found online at: http://www.heraldsnet.org/saitou/parker/

Many charges which were registered in the distant past are not currently registerable; as our knowledge of pre-1600 practice becomes better, we can say clearly that some charges are not used. It is generally safe to assume that most charges registered in the last decade do not need to be documented to be used (but beware grandfathering, which allows a submitter to register charges that would otherwise not be registerable). Charges which have not been registered in over a decade should be redocumented.

Proposed Text

Charges which were listed as being in use before 1600 in standard references such as Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme and Akagawa Yoshio, A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry, Gerald Brault's Early Blazon, and James Parker, A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry do not need to be further documented. The second edition of A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry is available from the SCA Stock Clerk, and the third edition can be found online at http://mistholme.com/pictorial-dictionary-of-heraldry/. Parker can be found online at: http://www.heraldsnet.org/saitou/parker/

Many charges which were registered in the distant past are not currently registerable; as our knowledge of pre-1600 practice becomes better, we can say clearly that some charges are not used. It is generally safe to assume that most charges registered in the last decade do not need to be documented to be used (but beware the legacy registration allowance, which allows a submitter to register charges that would otherwise not be registerable). Charges which have not been registered in over a decade should be redocumented.

Insert/Delete Version

Charges which were listed as being in use before 1600 in standard references such as Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme and Akagawa Yoshio, A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry, Gerald Brault's Early Blazon, and James Parker, A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry do not need to be further documented. The second edition of A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry is available from the SCA Stock Clerk. Clerk, and the third edition can be found online at http://mistholme.com/pictorial-dictionary-of-heraldry/. Parker can be found online at: http://www.heraldsnet.org/saitou/parker/

Many charges which were registered in the distant past are not currently registerable; as our knowledge of pre-1600 practice becomes better, we can say clearly that some charges are not used. It is generally safe to assume that most charges registered in the last decade do not need to be documented to be used (but beware grandfathering, the legacy registration allowance, which allows a submitter to register charges that would otherwise not be registerable). Charges which have not been registered in over a decade should be redocumented.


5: Change to SENA PN.1.B.2.g - New Rule Change

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

Current Rule

g. The Grandfather Clause: In a new personal name submission, an individual may use name phrases already registered to them, even if that name phrase would no longer be allowed under the current rules. Only the exact, actual name phrase from the registered form may be used, not variants, patterns, etc. The use of the grandfather clause does not allow the submitter to evade new style problems (as discussed in PN.2 below). It only allows the submitter to keep style problems that already exist with the registered name.

A name phrase from a registered name of an individual may also be registered by a close legal relative (such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, etc.). To do this, the submitter must demonstrate the relationship through legal documents or through attestation of relationship from the individual whose name is already registered. Documentation under the grandfather clause does not exempt a name or name phrase from conflict, presumption, or offense rules, unless that rules violation is itself grandfathered.

Proposed Rule

g. Legacy Registration Allowance: In a new personal name submission, an individual may use name phrases already registered to them, even if that name phrase would no longer be allowed under the current rules. Only the exact, actual name phrase from the registered form may be used, not variants, patterns, etc. The use of this legacy registration allowance does not allow the submitter to evade new style problems (as discussed in PN.2 below). It only allows the submitter to keep style problems that already exist with the registered name.

A name phrase from a registered name of an individual may also be registered by a close legal relative (such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, etc.). To do this, the submitter must demonstrate the relationship through legal documents or through attestation of relationship from the individual whose name is already registered. Documentation under this allowance does not exempt a name or name phrase from conflict, presumption, or offense rules, unless that rules violation is itself part of a legacy registration.

Insert/Delete Version

g. The Grandfather Clause: Legacy Registration Allowance: In a new personal name submission, an individual may use name phrases already registered to them, even if that name phrase would no longer be allowed under the current rules. Only the exact, actual name phrase from the registered form may be used, not variants, patterns, etc. The use of the grandfather clause this legacy registration allowance does not allow the submitter to evade new style problems (as discussed in PN.2 below). It only allows the submitter to keep style problems that already exist with the registered name.

A name phrase from a registered name of an individual may also be registered by a close legal relative (such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, etc.). To do this, the submitter must demonstrate the relationship through legal documents or through attestation of relationship from the individual whose name is already registered. Documentation under the grandfather clause this allowance does not exempt a name or name phrase from conflict, presumption, or offense rules, unless that rules violation is itself grandfathered.part of a legacy registration.


6: Change to SENA PN.2.C.2.d - New Rule Change

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

Current Rule

d. A name which includes name phrases documented under the legal name allowance, the grandfather clause, or the branch name allowance follows special rules. These name phrases are treated as neutral in language and time. Such name phrases may be combined with name phrases from a single regional naming group dated to within 500 years of one another. They may not be combined with name phrases from two or more regional naming groups. If a name phrase can also be documented as either an attested or constructed name, it may be treated in whichever way is more favorable for registration.

In addition, if a grandfathered name phrase was found in a registered name that combined languages from two or more regional naming groups, the new submission may combine those same regional naming groups. If this allowance is used, then no new regional naming group may be added.

Proposed Rule

d. A name which includes name phrases documented under the legal name allowance, the legacy registration allowance, or the branch name allowance follows special rules. These name phrases are treated as neutral in language and time. Such name phrases may be combined with name phrases from a single regional naming group dated to within 500 years of one another. They may not be combined with name phrases from two or more regional naming groups. If a name phrase can also be documented as either an attested or constructed name, it may be treated in whichever way is more favorable for registration.

In addition, if a legacy name phrase was found in a registered name that combined languages from two or more regional naming groups, the new submission may combine those same regional naming groups. If this allowance is used, then no new regional naming group may be added.

Insert/Delete Version

d. A name which includes name phrases documented under the legal name allowance, the grandfather clause, legacy registration allowance, or the branch name allowance follows special rules. These name phrases are treated as neutral in language and time. Such name phrases may be combined with name phrases from a single regional naming group dated to within 500 years of one another. They may not be combined with name phrases from two or more regional naming groups. If a name phrase can also be documented as either an attested or constructed name, it may be treated in whichever way is more favorable for registration.

In addition, if a grandfathered legacy name phrase was found in a registered name that combined languages from two or more regional naming groups, the new submission may combine those same regional naming groups. If this allowance is used, then no new regional naming group may be added.


7: Change to SENA PN.2.C.2.d - New Rule Change

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

Current Rule

g. The Grandfather Clause: Name phrases from a name registered to an individual or branch may be used in a new non-personal name submission by that individual or branch, even if the name phrase is no longer registerable under the rules. The use of the grandfather clause does not allow the submitter to evade new style problems (as discussed in NPN.2 below). It only allows the submitter a pass on style problems that already exist with the registered name. Documentation under the grandfather clause does not exempt a name from conflict, presumption, or offense rules, unless that rules violation is itself grandfathered.

The element used may be the entire substantive element, the designator, or part of the substantive element. Only the exact, actual name phrase from the registered form may be used, not variants, patterns, etc. with the exception of submissions of branch heraldic titles and order names.

A name phrase from a registered name of an individual may also be registered by a close legal relative (such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, etc.). To do this, the submitter must demonstrate the relationship through legal documents or through attestation of relationship from the individual whose name is already registered.

Branches may register new heraldic titles and order names based on patterns used in their existing heraldic titles or order names. To use the grandfather clause, the new submission must be similar in content to the existing pattern.

For example, if a branch had registered an order name Crimson Sleeve, they could use that to modify a new, similar object such as Crimson Glove. However, they could not register Crimson Bowl, as a bowl is not the same type of object as a sleeve. Likewise, the owner of Diamond Herald and Ruby Herald could use the grandfather clause to register Order of the Saphire. The owner could not register Order of the Diamond Ring or Order of the Gold, because the pattern of registered items is limited to precious stones, not jewelry or precious items in general.

Branches may also utilize the grandfather clause to register non-personal names incorporating name phrases from the registered names of individuals closely associated with the branch. This generally means a resident of the branch or an active supporter. The permission of the individual or their heraldic heir is required for this use. Only the whole, exact, actual name phrase from the registered form may be used, not variants or patterns. Under no circumstances will this privilege be extended to use names or to other unregistered names.

Proposed Rule

g. Legacy Registration Allowance: Name phrases from a name registered to an individual or branch may be used in a new non-personal name submission by that individual or branch, even if the name phrase is no longer registerable under the rules. The use of this legacy registration allowance does not allow the submitter to evade new style problems (as discussed in NPN.2 below). It only allows the submitter a pass on style problems that already exist with the registered name. Documentation under this allowance does not exempt a name from conflict, presumption, or offense rules, unless that rules violation is itself a legacy registration.

The element used may be the entire substantive element, the designator, or part of the substantive element. Only the exact, actual name phrase from the registered form may be used, not variants, patterns, etc., with the exception of submissions of branch heraldic titles and order names.

A name phrase from a name registered to an individual may also be used in a non-personal name registration made by a close legal relative (such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, etc.). To do this, the submitter must demonstrate the relationship through legal documents or through attestation of relationship from the individual whose name is already registered.

Branches may register new heraldic titles and order names based on patterns used in their existing heraldic titles or order names. To use the legacy registration allowance, the new submission must be similar in content to the existing pattern.

For example, if a branch had registered an order name Crimson Sleeve, they could use that to modify a new, similar object such as Crimson Glove. However, they could not register Crimson Bowl, as a bowl is not the same type of object as a sleeve. Likewise, the owner of Diamond Herald and Ruby Herald could use the legacy registration allowance to register Order of the Saphire. The owner could not register Order of the Diamond Ring or Order of the Gold, because the pattern of registered items is limited to precious stones, not jewelry or precious items in general.

Branches may also utilize the legacy registration allowance to register non-personal names incorporating name phrases from the registered names of individuals closely associated with the branch. This generally means a resident of the branch or an active supporter. The permission of the individual or their heraldic heir is required for this use. Only the whole, exact, actual name phrase from the registered form may be used, not variants or patterns. Under no circumstances will this privilege be extended to use names or to other unregistered names.

Insert/Delete Version

g. The Grandfather Clause: Legacy Registration Allowance: Name phrases from a name registered to an individual or branch may be used in a new non-personal name submission by that individual or branch, even if the name phrase is no longer registerable under the rules. The use of the grandfather clause this legacy registration allowance does not allow the submitter to evade new style problems (as discussed in NPN.2 below). It only allows the submitter a pass on style problems that already exist with the registered name. Documentation under the grandfather clause this allowance does not exempt a name from conflict, presumption, or offense rules, unless that rules violation is itself grandfathered.a legacy registration.

The element used may be the entire substantive element, the designator, or part of the substantive element. Only the exact, actual name phrase from the registered form may be used, not variants, patterns, etc. etc., with the exception of submissions of branch heraldic titles and order names.

A name phrase from a registered name ofname registered to an individual may also be used in a non-personal name registration made registered by a close legal relative (such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, etc.). To do this, the submitter must demonstrate the relationship through legal documents or through attestation of relationship from the individual whose name is already registered.

Branches may register new heraldic titles and order names based on patterns used in their existing heraldic titles or order names. To use the grandfather clause, legacy registration allowance, the new submission must be similar in content to the existing pattern.

For example, if a branch had registered an order name Crimson Sleeve, they could use that to modify a new, similar object such as Crimson Glove. However, they could not register Crimson Bowl, as a bowl is not the same type of object as a sleeve. Likewise, the owner of Diamond Herald and Ruby Herald could use the grandfather clause legacy registration allowance to register Order of the Saphire. The owner could not register Order of the Diamond Ring or Order of the Gold, because the pattern of registered items is limited to precious stones, not jewelry or precious items in general.

Branches may also utilize the grandfather clause legacy registration allowance to register non-personal names incorporating name phrases from the registered names of individuals closely associated with the branch. This generally means a resident of the branch or an active supporter. The permission of the individual or their heraldic heir is required for this use. Only the whole, exact, actual name phrase from the registered form may be used, not variants or patterns. Under no circumstances will this privilege be extended to use names or to other unregistered names.


8: Change to the Admin Handbook - New Rule Change

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

Admin Handbook

The Admin Handbook includes the phrase "grandfather clause" five times: in III.A.1, III.B.1, III.C.1, IV.C.2, and Appendix D. We propose replacing this phrase by "legacy registration allowance" each time it appears.


Written at Cynnabar three days before the Ides of March in the year of grace mmxvii.

Ursula Georges

Palimpsest Herald


OSCAR counts 8 Rule Changes. These 8 items may or may not require payment. There are a total of 8 items submitted on this letter.

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