A Revised Armory Conflict-Checking Checklist

[Editor’s Note: This is a revised version of a checklist I assembled in 2019, which was rendered out-of-date by the new rules for considering changes to the field approved by the March 2021 Cover Letter. This updated version of the document reflects those changes. — Mathghamhain]

SENA devotes over 10,000 words to conflict checking armory, which the below guide attempts to summarize in one-twentieth of the space.

Many details have been omitted, so references are included to the relevant sections of SENA to facilitate additional research as needed. Continue reading “A Revised Armory Conflict-Checking Checklist”

A Badge for Heraldic Artists

Most people who’ve had any contact with the Society’s College of Arms would recognize the badge of the Heralds — “vert, two straight trumpets in saltire Or” — which may generally be displayed by anyone working for or associated with the College.

But there wasn’t a distinctive badge reserved specifically for the artists who assisted the College by illustrating armory, a role that in period was referred to as a “herald painter.” (For more on the history of herald painters, see this essay by Robert Parsons, who held that role for the British College of Arms.) Continue reading “A Badge for Heraldic Artists”

An Updated Catalog of IAP Submissions

Back in 2017, I dug through a decade’s worth of LoARs and posted a set of examples of Individually Attested Pattern submissions.

I’ve updated that listing a handful of additional times over the subsequent years, but when I was gathering additional items for this update I realized I wanted to make a few changes to the way the information was organized and figured that was a good opportunity to create a new document, which I have now posted as “A Catalog of Individually Attested Pattern Submissions.”

Heraldic Authority In the Earliest Bylaws of the SCA

The Society for Creative Anachronism started as a party in 1966 and was named as a joke, but over the subsequent years elaborated a set of governing policies which today control an international not-for-profit organization with over a hundred thousand participants.

It’s interesting to look back at the early practices of the organization to see the seeds that grew into the structure we know today, and so I was pleased to discover a copy of the earliest bylaws archived on the web site of Master Justin du Coeur, a former historian of the East Kingdom. Continue reading “Heraldic Authority In the Earliest Bylaws of the SCA”

An Overview of Historical Armory Practices in England

The best part of this little booklet from the Heraldry Society in England is that it provides dates for when various types of armorial practices were introduced, along with citations to the reference works they drew those dates from.

Historic Heraldry Handbook
(PDF, 20 pages)

What Does the Brigantia Herald Do?

On April 25, 2020, as part of the East Kingdom Officer Schola online event, Master Malcolm Bowman led a session reviewing the role of two kingdom-level heraldic positions he holds, including that of Brigantia Herald.

I am attaching my notes from this session below in hopes that they might be of interest to other members of the community, but please be aware that this is not an official transcript and may contain errors or omit relevant details.


The Brigantia Herald has overall responsibility for all heraldic activity in the kingdom, including courts, events, and submissions. Continue reading “What Does the Brigantia Herald Do?”

What Does the Eastern Crown Herald Do?

On April 25, 2020, as part of the East Kingdom Officer Schola online event, Master Malcolm Bowman led a session reviewing the role of two kingdom-level heraldic positions he holds, including that of Eastern Crown Herald.

I am attaching my notes from this session below in hopes that they might be of interest to other members of the community, but please be aware that this is not an official transcript and may contain errors or omit relevant details.


The Eastern Crown Herald is the East’s royal court herald, sometimes styled “Vox Regis,” or voice of the crown. Continue reading “What Does the Eastern Crown Herald Do?”

Rules on the Appearance of Armorial Displays Within Armory

Some elements are so distinctively suggestive of independent armorial displays that there are rules that limit their use as part of a larger design.

Inescutcheons, cantons, pennons, and sails should not look like they are displaying secondary arms that the submittor has no right to display.
[Artair MacArtair of Orkney, Return, May 1983 LoAR]

As noted above, this protection applies to single escutcheons, cantons, banners, and sails, but the rules are slightly different for each of these shapes, as I will catalog further below. Continue reading “Rules on the Appearance of Armorial Displays Within Armory”

Precedent Review: May Flags and Sails Be Divided or Charged?

During my recent review of precedents on “independent forms of armorial display” I collected a number of decisions that document how the Society’s College of Arms developed its current rules.

Some of those older precedents are no longer relevant, but I figured I’d post them here for those who are interested in the history of this subject. Continue reading “Precedent Review: May Flags and Sails Be Divided or Charged?”

Precedent Review: Can Lozenges, Roundels, and Delfs be Escutcheons of Pretense?

During my recent review of precedents on “independent forms of armorial display” I collected a number of decisions that document how the Society’s College of Arms developed its current rules.

Some of those older precedents are no longer relevant, but I figured I’d post them here for those who are interested in the history of this subject. Continue reading “Precedent Review: Can Lozenges, Roundels, and Delfs be Escutcheons of Pretense?”