No recreation of the Middle Ages would be complete without lots of heraldry! So it is that members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) each design a personal heraldic “coat of arms” (called a heraldic “device” in the SCA) to serve as their personal “logo”, and each official SCA Chapter designs a heraldic device for the group that identifies the lands where they live (their Kingdom, Barony, Shire, etc.)
Heraldry is very important at Estrella War, because heraldic devices originated in times of war. During the chaos of battle, it was important to decide within seconds whether someone approaching was friend or enemy. So the heraldic device evolved to allow this. Painted on a shield, a device identified who was behind that shield.
In the middle ages, heraldry was also displayed in many other places, including flags, clothing, household items and crafts, and architecture. When used on a banner, a person’s heraldic device, or the heraldic device of a group, announced to everyone that the person or group was present at an event. On tableware, it identified who was sitting in that place at the table. When displayed at an encampment, it identified who was camped there. At Estrella War, you will see heraldry used everywhere to identify people, encampments, and armies on the fighting field.
Because a heraldic device must identify one, and only one, person or group, it is very important that no two people or groups have the same device. The SCA College of Arms was formed to resolve conflicting claims on a device, and the herald’s office in the SCA gradually assumed the job of keeping track of who owned which device.
During the Middle Ages, heralds also served as the “official voice” for Royalty and Landed Nobility, and were responsible for announcing the official decisions and the business of Royal Courts to the populace. Within the SCA, this tradition has been continued, so heralds serve both as “town criers” disseminating the news of the Current Middle Ages, and as the voice of Royalty as Crowns and Landed Nobility conduct official SCA business.
Herald’s Point is located at the North end of the Town Square with all of the other Points At Estrella War. The following services will be coordinated from Heralds Point:
Estrella Town Criers
Twice each day, mid-morning (10am) and mid-afternoon (4pm), a volunteer staff of “town criers” are sent from Heralds Point to designated locations around the event site where they make “vocal cries” of the news and announcements of the day. If you wish to have an announcement included, or if you wish to volunteer to serve as an Estrella Town Crier, please contact The Town Cryer Wrangler at Heralds Point.
Deadline for submission of an announcement for inclusion in the morning announcements is 5pm the previous day. Deadline submission of an announcement for inclusion in the mid-afternoon announcements is noon of that day.
Heraldic Consultation Center
An SCA Heraldic Consultation center is operated at Heralds Point so attendees may consult with SCA Heralds to select an appropriate SCA name and/or design a unique heraldic device that they can register with the SCA College of Arms. This consultation is free to everyone in the SCA, although the SCA College of Arms does charge a small registration fee when the name or device you wish to use is sent to them for review and registration. If you wish an SCA herald to help you select an SCA name or design an SCA device while you attend Estrella War, you should visit Herald’s Point during the following consulting hours:
Helping Out at Herald’s Point
Many volunteers are needed to provide the services run at Heralds Point, and that includes volunteers who have no prior heraldic experience as well as those who have been involved with SCA heraldry for many years. We ask that you review the below list, and consider volunteering to assist at Heralds Point:
- Heralds with all levels of experience are invited to assist with name and armory consultations. This is a great opportunity for aspiring Heralds to learn from highly skilled and recognized teachers.
- Armorial Artists are invited to assist with creating/revising proposed armory.
- Volunteers with no prior heraldry experience are invited to assist with greeting/sign in, errands, and completion and organizing the heraldic library and forms.
If you have questions about Herald’s Point, or wish to volunteer to assist at Herald’s Point at Estrella War, please contact the Herald’s Point Coordinator, at Heralds Point.