Another month has passed, and here are the results of the April meeting of the Laurel King of Arms and his crack team of ubergeeks — uh, sorry, typo, I mean his highly respected deputies. A small haul for Lochac this month, but still some good news to hand around:
Mairi of Kilravok. Name and device. Gules, a rose and on a chief argent a holly branch reversed vert fructed gules.
Sibilla Walsingeham. Name.
Ulfgeirr refskegg. Blanket permission to conflict with name.
Ulfr fra Jorvik. Name.
Sadly, this month we do have one return for conflict, which inspires me to write about one of my favourite tricks for combining heraldry and the internet: the search for a Letter of Permission to Conflict, or LoPtC for short.
When you find a conflict between your nice new device and one that already exists, you have a choice. You can change your design to clear the conflict, or you can try to find whoever registered the older one and ask them for an LoPtC. Presuming you’re in love with your design and can’t bear to change it, you need to take some careful steps.
First, you make sure there are no other conflicts. An LoPtC won’t help you if you’ve fluffed this step. But if you’re sure, it’s time to have a chat with Google. Type in the full SCA name of the person you’re looking for. Put it in quotation marks to reduce the chance of false positives. You will typically get three kinds of result: a reference to their heraldic registration, which you can ignore; one of dozens of spammy, computer-generated Linked In pages and equivalent, which you can curse loudly and ignore; and some SCA-related pages about the person, which you must now look through carefully.
Some of the pages are history. “Way back in AS mumblety-foo, Lord Froderick von Flintschtone helped found our little canton before leaving for Patagonia to become a yak dandler” is the sort of thing you’ll find, and these aren’t a huge amount of help. But in other cases, you’ll find more recent mention: regnums and A&S teacher lists from a couple of years ago; blogs mentioning the fun someone had at a War with the person in question; and, if you’re really lucky, a personal website or a Facebook page, in that person’s SCA name, with candid shots of the tent they were camping in just last month.
If you’re lucky — and this sort of luck is becoming more and more common — you then have a job to do. Contact me on email@example.com. I will send a message directly, and also CC the baronial and kingdom heralds as appropriate. I will send them a document, like this:
I, [THEIR MUNDANE NAME], known in the SCA as [THEIR SCA NAME], give [YOUR MUNDANE NAME], known in the SCA as [YOUR SCA NAME], permission for his/her armory “[YOUR DEVICE]” to look similar but not identical to my armory “[THEIR DEVICE]”. I understand that this permission cannot be withdrawn once her armory is registered.
I instruct them to print this out, sign it, then either (a) post it to me, or (b) scan it and email the scan to me. When I have it, I pass it on to Rocket Herald, and your device submission can proceed!
Of course, you can do all this yourself, or have your local branch herald do it, but it’s the sort of thing I like to be included in so I know how often it’s needed, and I have contacts among the other Principal Heralds who may be of use, so let me help. In recent months, I’ve had very good results. There are a lot of people who have been active in the SCA for a long time and who are still happy to share the heraldic joy around. The process of getting a Letter of Permission to Conflict is easier than it ever was, and the result is that you get the
heraldry you want. Keep it in mind!
: Karl Faustus von Aachen, Crux Australis :