heraldc-wills-msg - 12/22/14
SCA heraldic wills and giving permission to conflict.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: December 22, 2014 at 11:06:25 AM CST
From: Dorcas or Jean <dorcas_jean at yahoo.com>
To: "StefanliRous at GMAIL.COM" <StefanliRous at GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] SCA & Heraldic Wills
In October of 2014, I registered two Blanket Permissions to Conflict with my name and a Heraldic Will. Someone asked me what that was, via the Calon List. The gist of my answer follows, edited to be a little more clear and accurate, and to include some detail that I originally left out.
One of the requirements for registering a name or device in the SCA is that it must be unique. When a submitted item is too much like something that is already registered, that failure of uniqueness is referred to as a conflict. Two of the items I registered recently are referred to as "Blanket Permission to Conflict".
There are a couple of kinds of conflict when talking about names. Identity conflict is when two people share a name, like Duncan. A simple way to clear this conflict is to add some kind of descriptor, like "Eardstapa" or "of Skeene", or a surname, like "Mac Torquill". But identity conflict might happen when two names aren't exactly alike, but close enough to be confusing. Imagine "Duncan Mac Torquill" and "Duncan MacTorville" both fighting in the Toys for Tots tournament! Therefore, SCA rules say that to be clear of identity conflict, two names must be substantially different in both sound and appearance. Now, Duncan Mac Torquill could grant permission for somebody to register the name Duncan MacTorville. There's a process for the other person to ask for a Letter of Permission to Conflict. He might not get it, but it's worth asking. One of my Blanket Permissions simply removes the need for somebody to track me down and explicitly ask me if it's okay to register a name like "Dorcas Lightcap" or "Fnorcas Whitecap". My personal feeling is that I'm fine with that. YMMV.
Another kind of name conflict is by relationship. Relationship conflict is when names make two people appear to be related, by marriage or by blood. "Rhianwen ferch Bran ap Gruffydd" is the daughter of Bran, who is the son of Gruffydd. This name can be registered as long as there is nobody with the registered name of "Bran ap Gruffydd", or if there is, he grants permission for Rhianwen to register a name that implies she is his daughter. My second Blanket Permission again removes the need for somebody to track me down to explicitly ask me if it's okay to register a name like "John DorcasWhitecapson". Okay, that name has other problems, but relationship conflict won't be one of them, since my Blanket Permission is on record.
The third item I registered is a Heraldic Will. If you die without a Heraldic Will on file, your heraldry goes to your legal heirs. What if they don't play SCA? You can will your heraldry to somebody. If you do that, it actually belongs to that heir. That person can fly your banner, wear your surcote, carry your shield, and use your badge, just as if it were his/her own, because it is.
Laurel King of Arms informally decided that you could will things to a limited number of officers, namely the Kingdom Seneschal and the Kingdom Herald, and probably to the Laurel Sovereign of Arms as well. Most people do not take advantage of this, but I did. If I'm not around to decide what to do with my name and armory, my heraldic will specifies that Gold Falcon gets to decide. I could register a Blanket Permission to conflict with my device, like I have done with my name, but I don't care to at the present time. If somebody wants to register a device that looks like mine, after I'm dead I don't imagine I'll need it, so some future Gold Falcon can grant that permission.
A Heraldic Will, just like any other will, can be as simple or as complicated as you choose. At this time, I only have a single name and a single device registered, and my Heraldic Will simply grants legal authority to administer my heraldic holdings to one person, that is, Gold Falcon. I could will my SCA name to one heir and my device to another. If I register other names or armory in the future, it would be a good idea to update my Heraldic Will. Like any other will, you can change or revoke your Heraldic Will at any time.
Registering a Heraldic Will or a Blanket Permission to Conflict doesn't cost anything. Doing so is an act of generosity and kindness toward future SCAdians. Somebody might come up with a really cool name or device, and you might not think that it conflicts with yours, or might not mind, but if they can't find you to get your permission, they are out of luck. See your local herald about registering a Heraldic Will or Blanket Permission to Conflict today!
I hope this is useful, and suitable for inclusion in the Florilegium.