Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Our Homeland, Beloved Ealdormere: Appendix 2

Appendix 2

From Master Sylard of Eagleshaven, musings on the symbols of Ealdormere (taken from a letter to the Moot of Ealdormere). Designed by Mistress Mortraeth Llanelli Colwyn, O.L., the collars he refers to were subsequently used as the collars for the Prince's and Princess's Champions of the Principality of Ealdorrnere, They had been retired to a safe place during the period of the Proscription.

...Now it may be helpful to quickly run over the history of the 'wolfs head' design. In the days when our region was first forming, and the original Champion and Consort were chosen, it was decided to create a pair of jeweled collars to denote them. To this end several designs were tendered, the design that was finally chosen being submitted by Mistress Mordreth. The central 'wolfs head' was used as much for its graphic qualities as its symbolism. Thinking at the time was to use the wolf as a main charge on the eventual heraldry, but only a few rough designs had been suggested. With the outlawing of the Region, the wolfs head design took on a life of its own. Especially since the old English term for outlaw happens to be 'wolfs head', a great amount of energy was exerted in the use of our wolfs head design in 'subversive' art, craft, song and verse. In this way the symbol had served us yet again, becoming a rallying point at a time when unity was badly needed.

As we contemplate a possible new device for our Region, it would be wise to reflect on the effect of symbols, as much as their context. Heralds, too often, think in terms of rules and conflicts, which of course is exactly what their job is about. Artists, too often, think in terms of colour and line. To be effective as a symbol of regional identity, our device must register on people at a 'gut' level. If the underlying symbolism gets too complicated or the graphics get too convoluted, the 'punch' can be lost. It would serve us better to use a simple design than trying to pack too much symbolism in. I would suggest that specific artists, known for their strong designs, be personally requested to submit ideas. The general populace should be encouraged as well. Designs could be screened by the council and checked by heralds to ensure they could be registered. At this point, the general populace could choose between a small number of possible designs (a similar process as was used in the choosing of the name ELDERMERE).

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