Laurel LoPaD dated 2018-03-31

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Juliana Laurel, Alys Pelican, and Cormac Wreath, greetings.

This letter contains the issues raised in the January 2018 LoAR for CoA discussion. The text in this letter is copied verbatim from that LoAR; it is provided here for convenience. As with a March LoI, these matters are currently scheduled for the Pelican and Wreath meetings in June 2018. Original commentary, responses, and rebuttals to commentary must be entered into OSCAR no later than Thursday, May 31, 2018.

1: Brunissende Dragonette - New Badge Change

OSCAR finds the name registered exactly as it appears in May of 2013, via the East.

Azure, in cross four fleurs-de-lys Or

Old Item: (Fieldless) On a goblet argent a pomme, to be released.
This submission is to be associated with Chrestienne la pescheresse

The motifs protected by registration for France are Azure, semy-de-lys Or and Azure, three fleurs-de-lys Or. By longstanding precedent, the use of three or more Or fleurs-de-lys on an azure background has been considered presumptuous:

There is no pretense problem with the use of two Or fleurs-de-lys on an azure field or charge. The strictures against the use of three or more Or fleurs-de-lys on an azure design element is due to the period practice of French augmentations that used the arms of France on an armorial element such as a charge or field. These augmentations were found using the ancient form of the French arms, Azure semy-de-lys Or, or the modern form, Azure, three fleurs-de-lys Or. An azure design element with only one or two Or fleurs de lys does not presume on these period augmentations. Per the LoAR of June 1995 p.13: "...It is thus the use of three or more fleurs-de-lys Or on azure which is restricted; not a single gold fleur on a blue field." [David d'Orleans, A-Caid, March 2007 LoAR]

The submitter argued that under the current standards the change in number of fleurs-de-lys from the two forms of the French royal arms shown as protected in the Armorial whose blazons were specified in the precedent above meant that the submitted badge was clear of presumption with France and so was eligible for registration. And it's true that under SENA A5E3, the submitted badge is clear of presumption from both France Ancient and France Modern by change of number of the primary charges.

However, presumption arises from other causes besides differencing and conflict. The very use of certain motifs can be presumptuous, regardless of differencing, and this is discussed in the remainder of SENA A6. One can get sufficient difference from the Tudor rose by number, or adding a field, or other charges, thus clearing presumption under SENA A5E3's metric. But the use of the Tudor Rose is still considered presumptuous; no matter how much difference is added to (Fieldless) A rose argent charged with a rose gules, the submitted armory will be returned if it uses a red rose on a white rose. Differencing is irrelevant: the motif itself is presumptuous.

That said, the policy of the College of Arms for Tudor roses changed substantially after a thorough review of actual uses of the badge in period, with much stricter definitions of what constitutes a Tudor rose for purposes of presumption.

In the interest of resolving the dispute between the registered armory for France, the listing of restricted armory in the Glossary of Terms, and decades of precedent, this badge is pended for discussion on the following questions:

  • Are there examples in period of Azure, [four/five] fleurs-de-lys Or being used to presume a relationship with France?

  • What forms of display in armory do existing claims of presumption with France take?

  • Based on the available evidence, what forms of display of French armory should be protected in SCA registrations?

Presumptions include, but are not limited to, territorial claims (as with the arms of England), augmentations (as with the arms of Medici), and bastardy (as with the arms of Saint Remi de Valois).

This was item 5 on the East letter of October 31, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=81025)


2: Caerwynt, Barony of - New Branch Name & New Device

Per pale argent and sable, a tower counterchanged, on a chief embattled vert a laurel wreath argent

No major changes.

Submitted as Caer Gwynt, this construction is not grammatically correct in Welsh. Following the word Caer, the word Gwynt must mutate to Wynt. In fact, Caerwynt and/or Kaerwynt is an attested period place name -- it is the Welsh name for the city of Winchester in England. If this branch name is registerable, it will be in the period spelling Caerwynt.

Because this branch name uses the name of an actual place, we must consider presumption and whether the English city of Winchester is important enough to protect. Winchester was the capital of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex under Alfred the Great. The fact that it was capital of Wessex does not, by itself, require its protection. The December 2016 Cover Letter states:

[T]he only capital cities that will be automatically protected from presumption are the capitals of modern independent sovereign entities and historically significant states. All other cities will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for significance. Thus, the capital of a U.S. state (such as New Jersey) or a Canadian province (such as Alberta) will not automatically be protected. Likewise, Dinefwr, the capital city of the kingdom of Deheubarth (a kingdom within Wales that ceased to be independent by that late 12th century), is not automatically important enough to protect. While the fact that a city such as Trenton or Edmonton is a capital should be taken into account when considering the significance of the place, a city that has little historical significance apart from being the capital of a political subdivision will not be protected from presumption.

In addition to being capital of Wessex, Winchester was also an extremely significant city in its own right; it is considered by historians to have been the most important city in England prior to the Norman Conquest. Even after the Norman Conquest, some period authors, including Thomas Mallory, identified Winchester as home of Camelot and King Arthur. Accordingly, we are pending this name to seek additional commentary concerning the historical significance of Winchester, both as Alfred the Great's capital city and otherwise.

This was item 11 on the Middle letter of October 31, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=80984)

As we cannot create holding names for branches, the armory must be pended as well.

This was item 11 on the Middle letter of October 31, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=80985)


3: Eyricke Rycard - New Device

OSCAR finds the name on the Northshield LoI of October 31, 2017 as submitted.

Per bend sinister embattled gules and Or, a chamfron Or and a t'ai-chi sable and argent

This device is pended for discussion and research on period European armorial uses of what we have, to this date, blazoned a t'ai-chi.

The t'ai-chi was last registered in 2011, prior to implementation of SENA, where it was ruled a step from period practice as a non-European artistic motif. However, SENA does not provide for such a step from period practice. In the August 2017 return of Tyok Liftfot's badge, (Fieldless) A Chinese dragon's head cabossed azure, the following breakdown was given for criteria in considering that motif:

Allowed steps from period practice fall under a handful of categories, including non-European armorial elements, non-European plants and animals, other European artifacts, and certain post-period elements. This is neither a European artifact, nor an allowable post-period element, nor a non-European plant or animal, which leaves us with non-European armorial elements.

The ruling further noted that

We have yet to find any examples of Chinese dragons in any period artwork that may be construed as armorial in nature. They are an artistic motif. We don't have a pattern in SENA or precedents that allow for European artistic motifs, let alone non-European motifs (in fact, SENA A2B5 specifically includes artistic elements that are not found in heraldry i.e. Celtic knotwork and Greek "key" patterns). It would appear that Chinese dragon's heads should likewise fall under this category.

Likewise, no evidence was presented and none could be found that a t'ai-chi was used in period Asian armory. As a non-European artistic motif, a t'ai-chi is unregisterable under SENA, which means that we must consider it under European armorial standards.

Commenters are asked for feedback on the viability of the t'ai-chi motif under core rules, including any examples of the full motif in period European armorial contexts, evidence of embowed counter-embowed as a period complex field division, and discussion on roundels as armorial display.

This was item 1 on the Northshield letter of October 31, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=80690)


4: Proposed Addition to Administrative Handbook - New Other

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

In order to bring our requirements for signatures of heraldic wills into line with our requirements for signatures of permissions to conflict, we propose that the following language become a new section, IV.G.7, of the Administrative Handbook:

The physical signature (or a facsimile thereof) of the person making the will is preferred. If a physical signature is not available, an emailed signature is permitted, but the identity of the person making the will must be confirmed through the personal knowledge of a Kingdom Principal Herald or a Kingdom Submissions Herald. In general, that means face to face or voice contact with the person giving permission.


Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Juliana de Luna
Laurel Queen of Arms


OSCAR counts 1 Branch Name, 2 Devices, 1 Badge Change and 1 Other. There are a total of 5 items submitted on this letter.