Tuesday 27 January 2015

Heraldic Badge

In a recent discussion in the Heraldry Society of Scotland forum I was reminded that Lord Lyon Balfour Paul wrote in Heraldry in Relation to Scottish History and Art, p.126: “What should be put on liveries is the badge which can be selected at the individual will of the owner.” I am of course aware that more recent Lords Lyon have lent the impression that they have assumed authority over the granting of badges (restricting the granting of them to certain ranks) and that very recently, post the Abolition of Feudal Tenure, a statement has been issued to the effect that newly minted feudal barons (Scottish) will not be granted badges (or standards) however, there remains a view that Lyon’s grant (or recognition) is not required; one writer participating in the discussion commented that “The fact that recent Lyons have allowed or disallowed badges is irrelevant because Lyon has no authority over them. Anyone, including post AFT barons, may assume badges at will, and if Lyon does elect to grant them, they have no greater authenticity than assumed ones. The Lord Lyon is King of Arms, not the Grand Panjandrum. Balfour Paul was quoted as an authoritative ( = knowledgeable) source.”

This discussion has been of great interest to me not least because Balfour Paul’s authoritative comment brought me to the undoubted fact that for a great many years now I have had the quiet enjoyment of my own heraldic badge (and I have not sought “official” recognition of that badge from anyone as I have never felt that I needed it). With a few moments to spare this afternoon, I mocked up my own “statement of fact” which is, I suppose, a statement of assumption; unfortunately, I have been using the badge for so long now, I can’t recall the actual date of its invention.

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