Extraordinary Recognition

During the Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium this weekend, I learned from Master Yehuda ben Moshe that, as one of his final actions as Brigantia, I had been elevated to the rank of Herald Extraordinary, a recognition for which I am deeply grateful.

Unlike nearly all of the awards and honors of the Society, this rank can not be bestowed by royalty or their representatives in the baronage; instead it stems from the authority of the Sovereigns of the College of Arms and the Principal Heralds of each kingdom.

The term “extraordinary” is used here not in the sense of “unusual,” but rather to mean “outside the typical order” — a recognition of work being done sui generis, rather than in a fixed role within the Colleges’ normal organization.

“Such a rank shall have no fixed duties, unless such shall be agreed upon by the holder and the Kingdom Principal Herald, but instead the holder of the rank shall be a senior member of the College who shall lend heraldic expertise as s/he sees fit.”
— Wilhelm Laurel, July 1981 LoAR

The rank was established over forty years ago, and is closely held; the record suggests that only a dozen Extraordinaries have been named here in the East over the last two decades, and even fewer in the two decades before that.

This recognition is especially meaningful to me in coming from Master Yehuda, because it was during his elevation to Herald Extraordinary at KWHSS in 2018 that I first came to see this title as one to which I could aspire, and the members of this rank as a group of which I could hope to one day be considered a peer.

So, my thanks to Yehuda for the recognition, and to the Heralds of the Colleges for their companionship and conviviality over the last seven years — I will endeavor to continue to be worthy of this honor in the years ahead.

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