Chris Green wrote:
Selvester wrote:Archbishops are their own bosses. They do as they like.
The Vatican's inexplicable abdication of all heraldic authority was the signal for the anarchy that now prevails.
The Holy See never claimed any heraldic authority. Those who suggest that they once did and later relinquished it are, sadly, misinformed.
Chris Green wrote:The problem with heralds and heraldic artists bowing to the concept that one RC Archbishop can do as he likes heraldically, is that others will use it as a precedent. "If Archbishop Coleridge could change his personal arms, so can I!"
Actually, I think you've misunderstood me. I'm not complementing bishops when I say this but they aren't interested one bit if there is precedent. They do what they like, precedent or not which is why they don't heed the advice of learned people when told, "You may not do that". In addition, the problem is compounded by the flood of self-proclaimed heraldic experts that have arisen after the advent of the internet. Being "expert" in heraldry or even a simply well-educated heraldic enthusiast used to be something people attained with scholarship. These days anyone who joins any number of online entities having to do with heraldry claims to be a heraldic expert and starts offering themselves to design coats of arms. In addition, the rise of the herald/heraldic artist (rather like the singer/songwriter) has made for many a person with artistic talent but not a great deal of knowledge in the science of heraldry butting in where they don't belong. This, in turn, has increased the instances where a bishop wants his own way and gets it because he's not dealing with a heraldic expert but with a person who can draw/paint well who thinks
they know a lot about heraldry. The problem is twofold: bishops abusing power and
the "heraldic community" who don't know what they're doing!
Selvester wrote:in places where there is no clear and undisputed heraldic authority there is no one to stop them.
Chris Green wrote:There may be no formal heraldic authority to stop them, but the whole weight of 800+ years of heraldic and genealogical tradition should be deployed as a form of peine forte et dure until the fancy passes. The alternative is for the herald or artist concerned to shrug his/her shoulders and contribute to the decline of heraldry into a mere art-form.
See my comment, above, about the rise of the combination heraldist/artist. I'm not overstating it when I say: I blame them!
Chris Green wrote:"Oh dear, all that gules doesn't go with the new wallpaper. I'm going with azure this year!" That may sound far-fetched, but heraldically it is no different to changing bendy of eight gules and argent to bendy sinister of six argent and gules because it "harmonizes better".
Well, all I can say is (as you have also acknowledged) at least the archbishop's decision had to do with heraldry. He requested changes that made for greater heraldic
harmony, in his opinion, rather than some external concern, like wallpaper.