Problem Charges to update your Pic Dic

Last Updated September 21, 2002.

The majority of this list was taken from the list of Reserved and Prohibited charges constructed by Dmitrii Volkovich, Dragon Principal Herald Emeritus and updated by Meradudd Cethin, which is available at the Laurel Website under Educational Articles. That list was drawn from several sources, primarily from the SCA Glossary of Terms [Glossary], Laurel Cover Letters, and Letters of Acceptances and Returns [LoAR]. I spent several hours going through the Laurel precedents looking for charges that had been returned. Many of the ones I found were already on Jaelle's list, but I found a few more that I have added to the list below.

My main motivation for searching for returned charges was so that people could update their copies of "A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry As Used in the Society for Creative Anachronism" (Pic Dic) by Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme and Akagawa Yoshio, illustrated by Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, and put an X on or by the ones that can no longer be registered. Jaelle does not want to list the Pic Dic illustration numbers because her list appears on the Laurel website and she does not want to imply that the Pic Dic is an official SCA document. That is perfectly understandable, but I offer this list as an alternate resource for those who are interested in the update.

Neither the first nor the second edition of the Pic Dic has page numbers, so each of the charges has a reference to the illustration number:
PD1-# indicates the illustration number in Pic Dic edition 1.
PD2-# indicates the illustration number in Pic Dic edition 2.
You may jump to the end for a list of illustration numbers in numerical order.

Reserved Charges

In the Pic Dic these are marked with a reversed X, which resembles four lozenges in cross.

Baldric - White baldrics can only be used in the armory of Masters of Arms. [Glossary]
Belt - (PD1-42 PD2-49) White belts can only be used in armory of Knights of the Society. [Glossary]
Cap of Maintenence (also Chapeu) - (PD1-307 PD2-348) Reserved to members of the Order of the Pelican. [Glossary]
Chain - Closed loops of chain (of any color) are reserved to members of the Knighthood. (Links of chain are not restricted) (Glossary)
Chaplet of Roses - (PD1-710 PD2-810) Reserved to Princesses. [Glossary]
Crowns & Coronets - (PD1-194,195,196,197 PD2-224,225,226,227) May only be registered in the arms of Society branches of Principality level or above, or in the personal armory of Dukes, Duchesses, Counts, Countesses, Viscounts, Viscountesses Court Barons and Court Baronesses. [Glossary]
Pelican in its piety (or pelican vulning itself) - (PD1-487 PD2-557) Can only be used in armory of members of the Order of the Pelican. [Glossary]
Two straight trumpets crossed in saltire - (A single straight trumpet can be found at PD1-668 PD2-761) Reserved to registrations of seals of Principal Heralds. [Glossary]
Wreath (laurel wreath) - (PD1-709 PD2-809) May only be registered in the arms of Society branches. [Glossary]
Wreath of Roses - Reserved to Queens and members of the Order of the Rose. [Glossary]

There are charges in the Pic Dic that are marked as reserved, but are no longer reserved:
Caduceus - (PD1-69 PD2-81) Was reserved for medical professionals until it was overturned on the LoAR Cover Letter of February 1994.
Rod of Aesculapius - (PD1-70 PD2-82) Was reserved for medical professionals until it was overturned on the LoAR Cover Letter of February 1994.
Tierce - (PD1-640 PD2-731) I'm not sure why this was marked as reserved. Even the description says it is compatible with SCA heraldry.

Prohibited Charges

Aloe vera plant. (LoAR 6/93, pg. 2)
Annulets of five mullets conjoined. (LoAR 2/91 p.22)
Arbor. (LoAR 12a/93 p. 17)
Baby animals. (LoAR 8/88, p. 22) (LoAR 10/92, pg. 12)
Bagpipe of three drones. (LoAR 9/92, pg. 52)
Belt in annulo. (with a badge) - PD1-42 PD2-49 (LoAR 1/90, p.20)
Bengal tigers PROPER. - (A Picture of a natural tiger can be found at PD1-672 PD2-767) Natural tigers proper (Or, with sable markings) are still allowable, but "Bengal tigers" have been drawn in Or, gules, and even Tenne (orange), and therefore their tincture is uncertain. (LoAR Cover Letter 3/97)
Black Widow Spider. (4/92 p.24) (LoAR 7/92, pg. 20)
Bog Beast. - PD1-50 PD2-59 (1/93 p.2) (LoAR 4/94, p.17)
Bordure triple-parted and fretted. (LoAR 4/91 p.14).
Brooch, Celtic Triquetrum. PD1-63 PD2-75 (LoAR 6/91 p.17).
Brooch, Moorish Hair. PD1-64 PD2-74 (LoAR 8/90 p.15).
Chevron disjoint. - PD1-99 PD2-117 (LoAR 10/95 p. 16)
Chevron écimé. [with a blunted top]. PD1-95 PD2-111 (LoAR 10/93, pg. 15)
Chinese Phoenix. (LoAR 9/88, p. 15)
Chipmunks. (LoAR 7/93, pg. 4) Though now this may just be considered a weirdness.
Crane, Japanese displayed in annulo was returned for being not identifiable some time ago, having more in common with roundels and crescents than European renditions of birds. (LoAR 9/94 p. 16)
Conjoined by the tail. (LoAR 5/94 p. 18)
Cross couped gules. - PD1-145 PD2-170 Reserved by International treaty to the International Red Cross.(LoAR 5/92,p.25)
Cross of flame. (or composed of flame) - PD1-150 PD2-176 (Glossary)
Cross, Fillet. PD1-148 PD2-174 (You may not use single diminutives of an ordinary)
Cross, Non-. PD1-168 PD2-196 (LoAR 08/00)
Cross, Papal. - Granted only by the Pope. (Glossary)
Cross of two thornvines wavy. (LoAR 2/94 p. 18)
Cross, Ukranian sun. - PD1-192 PD2-222 (LoAR 11/99)
Crosses of six arms. (LoAR 12b/93, p.12)
Cross, Star-. PD1-186 PD2-215. (LoAR 3/94 p.14)
Crowned Rose. - Royal Badge of England. (Glossary)
Crowned Shamrock. - Royal Badge of Ireland. (Glossary)
Crowned Thistle. - Royal Badge of Scotland. (Glossary)
Domino mask of leaves. (LoAR 4/94 p. 19)
Double tressure flory counter-flory. (and variants) - Used in Scottish armory as a Royal Augmentation. (Glossary)
Dragon's Eye. PD1-233 PD2-269. (No precedent found. It is already marked in the PicDic 2nd ed. where it is said to be a Germanic rune no longer permitted for use in SCA heraldry.)
Dragon, Imperial. (five-toed Chinese Dragon) - A symbol of the Emporer of China. (Glossary)
Dragon, Dun. PD1-216 PD2-250 (The term, not the charge itself. It would now be blazoned as a "wingless dragon".)
Dragon, Royal. (four-toed Chinese Dragon) - Symbol of the Ruler of Korea. (Glossary)
Dragon's Scale. PD2-625.(Still not found, but I marked it so it must have happened sometime in the last 6 years.)
Dragon's Tongue. PD1-642 PD2-733 (LoAR 8/92, pg. 27)
Eagle, Three-headed. (displayed) - Badge of the Holy Roman Emporer.
English Sheepdog. (LoAR 5/88, p. 28)
Escarbuncles ending in arrowheads. [sign of Chaos] (LoAR 30 Sep 89, p. 11)
Fang. - PD1-643 PD2-734 (LoAR 5/96 p. 20)
Flames. - PD1-251 PD2-290. Flames are allowable as charges, but must be drawn correctly. This means that flames "proper" cannot be drawn as "a flame gules, fimbriated Or" (or vice-versa). They should be drawn as alternating gules and Or (or, Or and gules) tongues of flame. (CL 5/95, p.3)
Flames (charges composed of.) - Charges composed of flames are not allowed, both because of a lack of period evidence and because the identifiability of the charge is always severely reduced. (LoAR 5/95 p. 11) (LoAR 2/94 p.22) (LoAR 7/94, p.11)
Fleur-de-lys (gold fleur-de-lys on blue fields.) - The use of three, or a semy of, gold fleur-de-lys on anything blue is so strongly associated with the Royalty of France that their use in SCA arms is considered presumptuous. (Glossary)
Fimbriated ermine. (LoAR 10/92, pg. 26)
Gargoyle. PD1-353 PD2-407. (LoAR 2/91 p.23).
Gateway. - PD1-274 PD2-315. (LoAR 8/93, pg. 8) (LoAR 11/96 p.1)
Gophers. (LoAR 3/93, pg. 23) Though now this may just be considered a weirdness.
Grinding Wheel. (LoAR 1/93, pg. 35) I don't think this is the millstone PD1-437 PD2-504, but I'm not certain.
Hands of glory. (hands enflammed or on flames) - PD1-299 PD2-342 Associated with "black magic". [Glossary]
Helm, Mongol. (LoAR 12/92, pg. 15)
Honeycombed. PD2-382 (LoAR 9/01)
Hrassvelg Monster. PD1-344 PD2-398 (The term, not the charge itself. It would now be blazoned as "a chimerical monster with the head of a cobra, the fore and hind legs of an eagle, the wings of a bat, and the body and tail of a lion".)
Humpback Whale. (LoAR 9/92, pg. 44)
Keyhole. - PD1-364 PD2-421 (CL 11/97 ; LoAR 3/98]
Kirin. (ch'ilin - Chinese Unicorn). (LoAR 6/91 p.20).
Knot, Donnelly. - PD1-376 PD2-448 (LoAR 9/96, p.9)
Knot, Fidelis. PD1-377 PD2-449. (LoAR 3/96 p. 11)
Knot, Mascle. PD1-385 PD2-450. (LoAR 3/96 p. 12)
Lightning flash. (shazam style lightning bolt) - PD1-406 PD2-468. There is a period form for a lightning bolt, but it is not the same as what we modernly draw (sometimes called a "shazam", after similar comic book illustrations). (LoAR 8/83, p.6)
"Linnean heraldry". - The CoA will no longer register flora and fauna in their natural "proper" tinctures if to do so they require the Linnaean genus and species. (LoAR Cover Letter 4/91)
Lion dimidiated with ship. - (LoAR 1/98)
Lisbjerg gripping beast. - PD1-460 PD2-529 (LoAR 12/95, p.21) See Norse Twistie Beasties.
Maily. (on an ordinary) - PD2-488. (LoAR Cover Letter 11/91, p2)
Mamluk rosette. PD1-536 PD2-610. (LoAR 7/97 p. 21)
Mitre. - PD2-350. Only used in arms of bishops.
Norse twistie-beasties, Book of Kells beasts. PD1-458,459,460 PD2-527,528,529 (LoAR 8/97 p. 24)[a Norse serpent nowed] The Lisbjerg gripping beast is actually just a variety of the Borre-style gripping beasts which were banned in 11/86, and therefore the Lisbjerg gripping beasts were banned at the same time. Finally, after the October 1998 Laurel meeting we will no longer register zoomorphic beasts of any kind. (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR May 1998, p. 28).
Orchids. (LoAR 11/94 p. 14)
Orle Flory. because of its resemblance to the protected double tressure flory listed above. (LoAR 8/93, pg. 19)
Orm. PD1-465 PD2-535. (see Norse twistie-beasties)
Pallium. - PD1-476 PD2-546. Only found in arms of archbishops.
Paschal Goat. - The use of a Paschal goat blurs the distinction between a goat and a Paschal lamb (LoAR 2/97 p.24)
Pentacle. (also the Pentagram.) - Associated with satanism and "the occult". (Glossary)
Pictish dolphin. (LoAR 8/97 p. 24) See Norse Twistie Beasties.
Piping Beast. - PD1-499 PD2-569.(LoAR 5/92, p.26)
Point Dexter and Point Sinister. - (LoAR 12/93, p10)
Pronghorn Antelope. (LoAR 1/93, pg. 23) Though now this may just be considered a weirdness.
Red Hand of Ulster. - Used as an augmentation in England. (Glossary)
Ribbon. - PD1-527 PD2-601. Not a re-constructable charge. This means that ribbons may not appear by themselves, however, uses where the ribbon is not a significant design element (a falcon "belled and jessed", or a hawk's lure on a ribbon) would still be registerable. [LoAR 9/94, pp.15-16]
Ring-necked Pheasant. (LoAR 12/92, pg. 20) Though now this may just be considered a weirdness.
Riven Star. PD1-449 PD2-518. (LoAR8/92, pg. 32)
Rose en soleil. - Badge of the Plantagenet family. (Glossary)
Rose, Tudor. (a white & red rose combined) - (Glossary)
Rosebud. - PD1-534 PD2-608 (LoAR Cover Letter 11/94)
Roundel enchancré. - PD1-539 PD2-613 (LoAR 3/97, p.2)
Saxaphone. (LoAR 9/92, pg. 52)
Sea Serpent *ondoyant/emergent*. PD1-561 PD2-640. (LoAR 6/90, p.13).
Semy of Cockroaches. Considered offensive. (LoAR 12/91 p.19).
Shark's tooth. See Fang.
Ship's Wheel. (LoAR 6/91 p.21).
Six-legged critters. (in this precedent it was a weasel) (LoAR 8/89, p. 24)
Snowflake. - PD1-598 PD2-682. (LoAR Cover Letter 8/94, p.2)
Spiral. (LoAR 12/92, pg. 21)
Starfish. (LoAR 10/92, pg. 18)
Stream. PD1-622 PD2-707 (LoAR 9/95 p. 23)
Sun eclipsed of the field. (LoAR 11/91 p.16)
Swastika. (also called Fylfot.) - PD1-156 PD2-182. (Glossary)
Tarask. PD1-636 PD2-724. (Both versions of the Pic Dic note that "it appears to be unique to society heraldry".)
Tooth. or Teeth. - PD1-644 PD2-736. As with fangs (above), having no standard form, they cannot be accurately reproduced from a blazon.
Triskellion Gammadion. - PD1-664 PD2-757. (LoAR 9/92, p.39)
Triskelion of Scythes. (LoAR 12b/93 p.10)
Troll. (LoAR 10/90 p.21) (LoAR 6/91 p.20)
Unicornate Horse. - LoAR Cover Letter 7/92 p.4)
Unicornate seahorses. (LoAR 8/98)
Unicorn horns on random animals. (LoAR 10/92, pg. 22)
Variously tinctured spots. (LoAR 3/98 p.19)
Viking tent arch. (LoAR 5/94 p. 17)
Wave, Occidental. PD1-689 PD2-786. (LoAR 06/87 p.6)
Wavy Crested. (LoAR 9/93 pg.21)
Whale's Tail. (LoAR 6/95 pg.22)
Whip nowed. (LoAR 10/92 pg.29)
Winch. (LoAR 9/92, pg. 42)
Xonecuilli. PD1-713 PD2-813. (LoAR 02/00)
Zalktis. [a squared off `S' shape, set on its side]. (LoAR 1/93, pg. 28)
Zoomorphic beast. - See Norse Twistie Beasties above.

Here are lists of banned charges by illustration number. I did not include reserved charges or charges where only certain drawings or tinctures have been banned. If the illustration number features two drawings, please look on the list to see which of the two was actually banned.

Pic Dic first edition:
50, 63, 64, 95, 99, 148, 150, 168 186, 192, 216, 233, 274, 344, 353, 364, 376, 377, 385, 406, 449, 458, 459, 460, 465, 476, 527, 534, 536, 539, 561, 598, 622, 636, 642, 643, 644, 664, 689, 713.

Pic Dic second edition:
59, 74, 75, 111, 117, 174, 176, 196, 215, 222, 250, 269, 315, 350, 382, 398, 407, 421, 448, 449, 450, 468, 488, 518, 527, 528, 529, 535, 546, 601, 608, 610, 613, 625, 640, 682, 707, 724, 733, 734, 736, 757, 786, 813.

Please report any problems or corrections to Pendar the Bard, former Rampart Herald

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