How to Be a Local Herald

This is a handout I wrote in 2013 specifically for the East Kingdom. I have edited it here to remove kingdom-specific references.

Basics:

  • Contact your kingdom’s Principal Herald before you take office and regularly thereafter
  • Report on time (quarterly) to that Principal Herald
  • Join the kingdom’s heraldry email list in addition to any kingdom FaceBook Group (if you do FaceBook)
  • Know how to contact the kingdom staff heralds (there should be a list on the kingdom or kingdom heralds website) – especially the Submissions Herald – and what the chain of command is in the College of Heralds (and the Society-wide College of Arms)
  • Know important websites:
  • If you are a baronial herald, send court reports in a timely fashion to: the local ruling noble/nobles (Baron/Baroness), the kingdom Precedence Herald/Clerk, and the kingdom Principal Herald
  • Let heraldic submitters know the process for submitting names and armory and know how to help them and/or direct them to good resources
  • Go to business meetings for the branch
  • Never let the Principal Herald, your seneschal, or nobility be surprised! If something might end up needing their involvement, let them know. Ask for help/advice if you need it.
  • Know the boundaries of your knowledge

How to be better:

  • Participate – at events and on the email lists and groups
  • Practice – the only way to get better
  • Read the herald’s handbook and your kingdom’s heraldic policy
  • Know your limitations – be willing to say “I don’t know … but I’ll ask”
  • Learn! Ask questions of the kingdom staff heralds and senior heralds
  • Consult on submissions – run consult tables, build a branch heraldic library
  • Make it happen … but you don’t have to do it all yourself
  • Keep track of submissions from people in your branch

How to be awesome:

  • Encourage heraldic display – throw banner painting parties, share articles/photos on heraldic clothing and other items, give tokens to those who display armory, etc.
  • Comment on Internal Letters of Intent on OSCAR – many eyes makes sure things aren’t missed
  • Get others to help – deputize! Invite other people to give things a try.
  • Share your knowledge with other heralds and the populace
  • Write heraldic articles for your branch’s newsletter
  • Check the Order of Precedence for people in your branch to make sure it’s up to date
  • Learn more! Ask around to find out who knows the answers to strange random questions about toasting, precedence, circlets, standard design, etc.
  • Make heraldry fun – heraldic scavenger hunts (for people who have awards or for displayed armory), document silly names, make an OP of just the members of your branch, play Herald Sez or heraldic bingo, etc.