[MR] pentagrams in devices
mckennawerks at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 20 16:22:54 PDT 2009
(I never throw out old emails :-)
As Disreali said: all things come to those who wait. Back in October 2000
there was a discussion on the Merry Rose between the then Golden Dolphin,
Pedro, Myself, a Lady Brenna and others regarding the College of Arms
refusing to register pentagrams/pantacles. I am pleased to report that this
precedent was overturned in March 2009. My Lady Brenna, if you are still on
this list I hope you find this information useful.
Fwd from SCA_Heralds:
This precedent was overturned in March 09:
Ailis Linne. Badge. (Fieldless) A mullet of five points voided and
interlaced within and conjoined to an annulet azure.
There is a long history of rulings regarding the unregisterability of
mullets voided and interlaced (also known as pentacles or pentagrams),
beginning as early as 1973 by Ioseph of Locksley and including rulings or
correspondence in 1976, 1978, 1979, 1990, 1994, and 1996. The ruling in
1990 was appealed to the Board of Directors, as reflected and discussed on
the April 1991 Cover Letter. As specified in that Cover Letter, the primary
argument against the registerability of this charge was that "the device
was not returned for its specific religious content as perceived by the
submitter and her co-religionists, but for the specific anti-religious
content as perceived by a far larger number of people, both within and
without the SCA." The 1996 ruling was an appeal of a return from 1994, and
after considering the various arguments, the then Laurel King of Arms,
Da'ud ibn Auda, felt "compelled to uphold the prior precedents disallowing
the registration of mullets of five points voided and interlaced, whether
within and conjoined to an annulet or standing by themselves. [Based on the
evidence presented, s]uch charges still are perceived by a significant
portion of the population as [a] "satanic symbol", and hence cannot be
registered by the College."
The current submission presents extensive documentation showing that the
pentacle or pentagram is no longer perceived as a specifically satanic
symbol. Instead, it has become more closely recognized as a symbol of the
Wiccan religion. For example, the US military services have acknowledged
the Wiccan religion in their Chaplain's handbook since at least 1990, and,
more recently, the association of the pentacle with the Wiccan religion was
acknowledged by the US government when the pentacle became the Wiccan
religious symbol allowed on the government-furnished headstones of fallen
We received a large amount of commentary on this submission from the
College, and the consensus was overwhelmingly in favor of dropping the ban
on this charge. We hereby overturn the ruling from 1996, and allow the
registration of mullets voided and interlaced, both inverted and not, and
both conjoined to annulets and not, so long as the overall design in which
this charge is used does not otherwise violate RfS IX.2 Offensive Religious
Of course, just to make matters difficult, we find this on the same month's
>From Wreath: Charges Within Annulets
On the November 24 LoPaD, we pended a device using a charge within an
annulet which was not the central design in the device. Several questions
were asked at that time, and the College has answered.
A widget within an annulet will continue to be considered a primary widget
and a secondary annulet, or a primary annulet and secondary widget, when
those charges are the only charges on the field. Which of the two charges
is primary depends, as always, on the emblazon.
When both are present in a design as part of a primary charge group, or
where they would be expected to be a secondary charge, the widget and
annulet will both be considered part of the same group.
These answers do not depend on the types of charges in question.
Heralds should note that using a widget within an annulet is not a step
from period practice. Multiple instances of items within a single or
multiple concentric annulets appear in Stemmario Trivulziano (plates 178,
194, 225, and 352), Siebmacher (plates 63, 152, and 156), Humphrey-Smith's
Anglo-Norman Armory Two (page 335), and other heraldic references.
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