A heraldic submission consists of a number of forms (called a "packet"), and in most cases, a fee.
All submissions require fees, with the exception of resubmissions made within one year of the date on the return letter, which require no fees. A name, a device, and a badge are each a separate action. Fees should be paid by check or money order which must be made out to College of Heralds -- An Tir. (Residents of Tir Rígh do things slightly differently. Go here for Tir Rígh instructions.) All submissions received by Lions Blood Herald are US $10.00 per action. Canadian residents are permitted to pay these fees by cheques in Canadian Dollars. The fee for an action in Canadian Dollars is Can $10.00. Payments in Canadian funds should be clearly labeled as Canadian Dollars.
Once you have assembled the packets for each action, you should send them, including all required copies (listed below) to Lions Blood Clerk. Before you send in the full packets, make one extra copy for your local herald, and one extra copy for you to keep.
A name packet consists of:
A device or badge packet consists of:
Official SCA branches (Shires, Baronies, Strongholds, Principalities, etc.) use the An Tir College of Heralds Branch Name Submission Form for all their name submissions (Branch name, Order names, Guild names, etc.) The latest An Tir College of Heralds Branch Name Submission Form is dated 2013. Branch submissions may have extra requirements for the packet, depending on the type of submission. See the An Tir College of Heralds' handout entitled Branch Requirements for Heraldic Submissions.
The ruling noble (Baron or Baroness, Prince or Princess), Seneschal or branch herald should be the submitting person on the branch name submission form. The person signing as submitter should be someone who will be in office for the rest of the submission process (about 7 months) if at all possible.
All other people use the An Tir College of Heralds Name Submission Form. The latest An Tir College of Heralds Name Submission Form is dated 2013.
All personal devices and Branch arms are submitted on the An Tir College of Heralds Device Submission Form and the latest form is dated 2013. All other armory (personal badges, household badges, Baronial Order badges, etc.) are submitted on the An Tir College of Heralds Badge Submission Form and the latest form is dated 2013.
The "colored" emblazon form will have the large shield or square colored in as you wish it to appear in heraldic records. The "uncolored" emblazon shows the large shield or square in an outline (photocopiable) form, with all the details, but no solid blocks of color (not even black). Think "coloring book" drawing.
Branch submissions may have extra requirements for the packet, depending on the type of submission. See the An Tir College of Heralds' handout entitled Branch Requirements for Heraldic Submissions.
Basic information on how to design a name, device or badge can be obtained from the Æstel Herald, or found on the An Tir Heralds' web page. Your local branch herald should have resources, or be able to point you toward assistance, as well.
Æstel Herald can help you design and document your name, device or badge via email or surface mail. To find Æstel Herald, look for Æstel's contact information in the front of The Crier under Black Lion Staff, or check the staff page here on the web site.
All documentation should consist of a photocopy of the book page(s) in question along with a photocopy of the title page of the book. Underlining pertinent passages (or marking them in the margins) is encouraged. Highlighting is also recommended but remember to highlight after you photocopy.
There are some books considered "standard references" by the SCA College of Arms for which no photocopies are necessary, just citations of the header spellings, page numbers, and pertinent information including all spellings and dates of the submitted name elements. These books are on a list available from your local herald or Lion's Blood Herald. You may also find a listing of these sources here.
Submissions should be sent directly to Lions Blood Clerk, or the Tir Rígh Submissions Herald if you are in Tir Rígh.They should be shown to the local herald (who should get a copy) but they should never be given to the local herald for submission, nor should they be sent to Black Lion or anyone else. However, it is always a good idea to check the idea out with your local herald before sending any forms to Kingdom. Your local herald can give you valuable advice and save you time in the submissions process.
Your submission will go through two levels of processing: Kingdom and Known World (Laurel). As an example, a submission received by Lions Blood in January will be put on an internal letter dated in early February. Two months later there will be a Kingdom meeting in April to decide on whether to send your submission on or return it for more work. If your submission is returned at a Kingdom meeting, you will receive a letter from Lions Blood explaining why. No letter is sent for submissions passed at Kingdom, but feel free to ask Lions Blood what happened. The in-kingdom review is a first check and should help iron out any obvious problems of conflict, lacking documentation, or rules violations.
Submissions passed at Kingdom are sent to Laurel Sovereign of Arms where they are ruled on four months later (in this case, in August). It takes a month or more for Laurel to issue the results of the meeting. As a result, Kingdom will hear the results in September or October, and Lions Blood will write you a letter shortly after in all cases (whether the submission is passed or returned.)
For more information about the process and how to track your submission, see The Life of a Submission and Tracking your Submission Online.
Names submitted must have some kind of documentation. If you need help with documentation, contact the Æstel Herald (see The Crier under Black Lion Staff, or check the staff page here on the web site.) Please also see the Documentation section on this page above for the desirable format for name documentation.
If you are using an element from your modern name in your S.C.A. name, it must be in the same 'place' in the names. For example, if you are legally named 'John Richards', you can use your modern name to document 'Stephan Richards', but not 'Richard Smith'. If you are going to use an element from your modern name, make a photocopy of your birth certificate or driver's license and include that with your documentation.
Please remember to black out important numbers on personal identification, such as your drivers' license number or SSN. We do not need that and it is unsafe to send it.
When making the "uncolored" forms, please make this an outline drawing. Don't color in anything, even the parts you want to be solid black! Do include internal details, though.
When making the colored forms, for the best results, be careful about what you use to color in the emblazons. Don't use colored pencils; they don't make a good solid color and they fade. No crayons; for the same reasons, plus they can make the forms stick together. No metallics; they don't last, flake off, and may end up looking dark brown or black instead of silver or gold. You can use metallics on your shield or banner, but please, when you color in your submission forms, use white for argent (even if you mean it to be silver), and plain yellow for Or (even if you just hate yellow.) These forms have to last for years and years in Laurel Sovereign of Arms' filing cabinet, where they will be examined to help resolve possible conflicts and other heraldic issues in the future.
So, what can you use to color in the forms? We recommend good watercolor markers, like Crayola Classic colors. Stick with good solid midrange colors not sky-blue or midnight blue, just blue. Avoid using color printers. The ink is not stable and within weeks the purple you printed might turn red, or blue, or even black. Blues tend to fade, greens turn blue, and reds can end up pink in a matter of days. It is extremely important that the color of the forms stays the same throughout the six-month submission process at the very least.
While you must submit your device on the shield-shaped form, and any other armory on the square-shaped form, you may display your device or badge on any appropriate shape once it is registered. Thus, you submit your arms on a shield shape even though you wish to fight with them painted on a round shield. If you are submitting a fieldless badge, use the square shape, and check the box for a fieldless badge.
Although "your local herald" has been mentioned throughout this article, please feel free to go to any experienced herald you feel comfortable working with, and get second opinions when needed. An Tir does not require that submitters work through any particular herald, and a good working relationship between submitter and herald is very important to help submitters achieve the registrations they want within the rules. Æstel Herald is an excellent resource if your local herald is unavailable or doesn't have the resources you need.