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Branch Requirements for Heraldic Submissions - An Tir College of Heralds

Branch Requirements for Heraldic Submissions

The general requirements for branch submissions are just like any personal heraldic submission. However, branches have extra requirements imposed by Corpora, Laurel Sovereign of Arms, and kingdom policy.

Registration Limits

Registration limits are goverened by the SCA College of Arms Administrative Handbook (AH) §I.A. In brief, ensure that there is a good purpose for the registration.

Society branches, including kingdoms, principalities, and local branches, are subject to no limit on the number of items they may register. However, submissions should be limited to meet current or identified need; excessive submissions with no clearly identified purposes may be returned.

For badges, make use of the "Associated With" field of the submission form, to specify what the badge is for. For example, "baronial sergeantry", "populace badge", "Order of the Goutte de Sang".

Registration Requirements for Official Branch Status

Corpora §III.C.4-7 specifies that an incipient barony, province, principality or kingdom must have both a registered name and registered arms before it may become an official branch. Other local branches must have a registered name before they may become official, but need not have registered arms before it becomes an official branch.

Evidence of Support

AH §IV.C.5 discusses Evidence for Support for branch submissions (emphasis added):

Submissions involving the branch name or arms of an active branch must include evidence of support for the action on the part of a majority of the active members of the branch. [... information on the form of the evidence, discussed below ...]

Branch badges, order or award names, and other Branch names (such as names for guilds, heraldic titles, etc.) do not require evidence of support at the Laurel level. Kingdom may require it if they so desire, for their internal procedures.

Kingdom policy is to require support for badges, order and award names, and other names registered by a branch. Submissions for a branch with ruling nobles are required by kingdom custom to have the form, or a letter describing the items, signed by the ruling nobles of that branch. Even submissions such as branch guild names and badges must be signed by the ruling noble, not just by the guild head. The ruling nobles are sufficient evidence in these cases.

Signatures should be their modern names in ink.

Sample text (not for branch names or arms):

We [modern name] and [modern name], known in the SCA as [SCA name] and [SCA name], [title] and [title] of [branch], allow the submission of the following items:

[date and modern signatures]

Required Charges on Branch Arms

Per AH §II.E:

By Society convention, all branch arms must include one or more laurel wreaths as an important element in the design; only branch arms may have laurel wreaths as an element. Kingdoms must also include a crown or coronet in the design. Principalities may include a crown or coronet, but are not required to do so.

Orders, Group Names and Badges

As described in AH §II.B, order names may only be registered to kingdoms, principalities, baronies or equivalent branches. Other types of names may be registered by any sort of branch as a household name. §II.E specifies that any branch may register badges.

Herald's Titles

AH §II.B.4:

Titles for the use of heraldic officers. There are several types of heraldic titles:

a. Kingdom and Principality Heralds: Titles for principal heralds of a kingdom or chief heralds of principality. These may be registered to the Kingdom or to the Principality directly, at the discretion of the kingdom.

b. Other Branch titles: Titles for heralds in service to local branches. These may be registered to the kingdom to which the branch belongs or to the branch in which they will be used, at the discretion of the kingdom. In either case, the kingdom must approve the form of any heraldic title.

c. Staff titles: Kingdoms and principalities may register titles for such heraldic positions as are necessary to meet the staffing needs of the organization. Kingdom staff titles are registered to the kingdom in which they are used; principality staff titles may be registered to the kingdom or by the principality directly, at the discretion of the kingdom.

By long-standing custom, branches without ruling nobles may not register herald's titles, but may instead use the name of the branch.

Example: The Shire of Cranehaven's branch officer may style themselves Cranehaven Pursuivant, without a branch submission.

If a branch with ruling nobles wishes to have a herald's title, it must submit forms and a submissions fee for that title through the An Tir College. The forms should designate the title as being registered to the branch, with the normal evidence of support described above.

Kingdom custom designates baronial heraldic officers as pursuivants and kingdom staff and principality officers as either pursuivants or heralds, at the discretion of Black Lion.

Petitions for Kingdom and Principality Names and Arms

AH §IV.C.5 also states that:

If a submission would result in the registration or modification of the Branch Name or Branch Arms of a kingdom, principality or equivalent branch, support must be demonstrated by the results of a poll conducted in the relevant official newsletter and certified by the seneschal of the appropriate branch. Petitions, statements of support, and poll reports must be hand-signed and include dates, as they must demonstrate current support for the submission. Facsimiles of these documents are also acceptable.

This requirement applies to the Consort's arms as well as the Sovereign's Arms per a Laurel ruling.

The form of the petition is also described in AH §IV.C.5:

A valid petition must include a clear description of the item submitted; either the blazon or emblazon is sufficient for a petition regarding branch arms, though both are preferable. If the petition contains multiple pages, the branch name (for a name petition) or blazon or emblazon (for device petition) must appear on all pages. If a submission would result in the registration or modification of the Branch Name or Branch Arms of a kingdom, principality or equivalent branch, support must be demonstrated by the results of a poll conducted in the relevant official newsletter and certified by the seneschal of the appropriate branch. Petitions, statements of support, and poll reports must be hand-signed and include dates, as they must demonstrate current support for the submission. Facsimiles of these documents are also acceptable.

Each petition should clearly state its intent:

The petitions should indicate the signatories' SCA and legal names, and office (if any) they hold with the branch. The reason offices are requested is that, by Laurel policy, support may be shown by the signature of the seneschal and by either a majority of the members of the branch, or at least three-quarters of the other local officers. If the branch name or arms submission is from a branch with ruling nobles, the support of all ruling nobles of that branch is required.

It is strongly recommended that the branch work closely with the kingdom staff to ensure everything proceeds smoothly.