In the SCA you have the opportunity to register your name and device (a shield design as appears on a coat of arms) with the SCA College of Heralds. Registered names and devices are protected within the SCA and cannot be used by another person. They are not protected in mundane law and in some countries (like Great Britain) their use may be actually illegal. Here in Australia we don't have that problem, but we don't recommend you using the design outside the SCA.
The rules for heraldry in the SCA are similar to those concerning names. You can't have a device that is offensive, obscene or has an offensive modern connection. (The swastika is a quite period heraldic charge that many modern people find greatly offensive.) We try to keep our heraldry in period style (no modern inventions) and we have somewhat simplified the complicated rules of heraldry.
The person that you really need to talk to on this subject is your local group herald. Because heraldry is such a complicated science they may not be well versed in its intricacies, but they will be able to put you in touch with someone who is. River Haven is quite fortunate in that we have a few people who are quite knowledgeable in this area.
Here is a few Device ideas to get you started:
1) Consider the seven colours (tinctures) to use:
2) Consider some of the many divisions to use:
3) Visit An Heraldic Primer, an
online course in SCA Device Design.
This primer has been designed to equip the interested novice. A sampling of the more commonly seen charges and/or field divisions have been selected for their representational value. Original concept by: Iulstan Sigewealding (Stephen Gold) and updated by: Meradudd Cethin (Timothy Shead)
4) Download the Device Submission Form.
Forms and Notices:
- SCA Laurel Sovereign of Arms Online System for Commentary and Response. Go to LoI and click on Lochac listings for recent registration.
International S.C.A. Heraldry Names.
S.C.A. Name Search Engine, (very handy for checking names).
"Misplaced" Names, an interesting place to find inspiration.
International S.C.A. Heraldry Home Page
S.C.A. Blazon Pattern Search Engine
Roll of Arms, Devices registered in Lochac.
Books in the River Haven Library
Cliver, Stefan "An Introduction to Heraldry" , New Burlington Books, London, 1987.
Fox-Davies, A.C. "A Complete Guide to Heraldry" , Bloomsbury Books, London, 1985.
Rothbury, Guy Cadogan "Concise Encyclopedia of Heraldry" , Bracken Books, London, 1985.