Helmet

Is it legal? Does it matter? Discuss it here.
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Edward Hillenbrand
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Re: Helmet

Postby Edward Hillenbrand » 19 Jan 2013, 03:16

The more I think on this, the more trouble I know I am going to get into. As a paramedic I have never worn a tin pot except in jest. My head gear is an American style baseball cap or or a slouch hat (a tri-corn or cowboy at that has seen better days!). Why shouldn't my wyvern have on his (her?) head a rendition of the same? Simply put it is who I am. Is that not the idea of heraldry? While we don't wear tabards at an accident scene this art form that we dedicate so much time to is our view of ourselves. My hat is as much a part of me as my arms are. I have worn the same hat for over 20 (damn I'm old!) years. It has gone through Scouting, mini- MCIs, and a few hurricanes. If the weather is nasty and we are called out, the local police wouldn't recognize me without the water streaming off of my hat!
Ed Hillenbrand

"Memento te esse Mortalum"

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Jonathan Webster
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Re: Helmet

Postby Jonathan Webster » 19 Jan 2013, 03:54

At the end of the day, as there are no heraldic 'rules' as such in the U.S.A., nor an heraldic authority to enforce such rules, you can pretty much do as you please. Heraldic good taste is your only guide, but bear in mind your arms represent your descendants as much as yourself (as they also will bear your arms-or; at least, members of your patriline will).

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GJKS
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Re: Helmet

Postby GJKS » 19 Jan 2013, 04:49

Jonathan Webster wrote:Heraldic good taste is your only guide, ...


This really is the crux of your problem, Edward! What may appear to be heraldic good taste to you just wouldn't even get a nibble at the feast where those who follow traditional heraldry are eating. By all means, as you are in an unregulated heraldic jurisdiction, do just as you please, but please don't wonder why you get verbal brickbats thrown at you and your 'arms' should you do so.
Last edited by GJKS on 19 Jan 2013, 05:09, edited 4 times in total.
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Geoff

Iain Boyd
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Re: Helmet

Postby Iain Boyd » 19 Jan 2013, 21:51

Personally, I do not like the crested Spanish morion in Ramon Gonzalez's coat of arms - particularly, the way the torse has been displayed at an angle with the 'flange' of the helmet.

If the two were depicted properly aligned, the torse would still sit precariously on the edge of the 'flange' rather than wrap round the top of the helmet - as should be the case. After all, a crest should be a three-dimensional object on a three-dimensional helmet!

On the other hand, I would not mind the use of the morion alone as in the World War II German bookplate.

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Iain Boyd

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Chris Green
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Re: Helmet

Postby Chris Green » 20 Jan 2013, 06:20

It should be borne in mind that crests, when they were used at all, which was pretty much restricted to jousting, needed to be as light as possible. They were often made of papier-mache or painted on flat pieces of metal. If the armourer chose to use a flat piece of metal, anything could be painted on it, particularly things that would be impossible three-dimensionally. I chose my crest of a mailed glove holding a velvet glove because, had it been used historically, it could have been simply created by stuffing a spare mailed glove with straw.

As for crests on unusual helmets, it depends very much on the helmet. The morion is singularly unsuitable for any sort of crest as it comes complete with its own protective ridge or cockscomb. A morion might conceivably be enhanced by attaching a coloured feather however. I have seen two flappy hands attached to the top of a motor-cycle helmet (though it did rather detract from the motor-cyclist's image). A flying helmet is no place for a crest be it traditional (leather) or modern. A crest on a traditional helmet would have blown away in the slipstream and on a modern helmet would be knocked off by the canopy.
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Edward Hillenbrand
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Re: Helmet

Postby Edward Hillenbrand » 20 Jan 2013, 17:32

GJKS wrote:
Jonathan Webster wrote:Heraldic good taste is your only guide, ...


This really is the crux of your problem, Edward! What may appear to be heraldic good taste to you just wouldn't even get a nibble at the feast where those who follow traditional heraldry are eating. By all means, as you are in an unregulated heraldic jurisdiction, do just as you please, but please don't wonder why you get verbal brickbats thrown at you and your 'arms' should you do so.


Ah yes. Good taste. We have a helm and mantling in our blazon, but the words are meant to convey an image that when rendered often makes us wonder what the armiger or artist was thinking. Take for example azure. Blue. Ok which blue? Wikipediea defines it as color # 007FFF or 210 degrees. They get a lot better with halfway between blue an cyan except that azure is blue! I can live with the color of the sky on a summer's day. That one actually makes sense until one asks what time of day? I feel that "helm" is the same way. We do not describe it other than to say "helm". Mantling is worse. I have seen some very nice, discrete mantling and some that I think is Ursula from "The Little Mermaid".

Which brings me back to my point: heraldry is an art form. The words are used to depict symbols that humans gave meaning to that the armiger feels are important to them. Lets face it, why a wyvern? Has anyone ever seen one? Why do some people feel that acorns represent life and a life saved and others feel that same nut represents strength? Some feel a great helm is in good taste. OK, maybe for them it is, but for others? If we are going to grow our love of this art form we should examine all possibilities. The US is a perfect example where growth is possible.

Take classical music. My wife hates it. Then she hears a piece that she heard as a child in a Bugs Bunny clip. Now she likes it. (There are a ton of classical pieces in those old cartoons.) Lets take that example further. Make heraldry less ... stuffy for everyday use. Why not render my arms as my wyvern holding the shield in one paw and the sword in the other? Is anyone going to care if that wyvern has a slouch hat on his head in a logo rendition or a helm versus the full, formal rendering?

In essence what I am saying is there is a time and place for formal and a time and place for informal.
Ed Hillenbrand

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Jonathan Webster
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Re: Helmet

Postby Jonathan Webster » 20 Jan 2013, 17:45

-and heraldry is a place for the formal.

Jonathan Webster
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Joined: 11 Jul 2012, 21:47
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Helmet

Postby Jonathan Webster » 20 Jan 2013, 17:47

Edward Hillenbrand wrote: The US is a perfect example where growth is possible.

-This; however, I wholeheartedly agree with :)

Jonathan Webster
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Re: Helmet

Postby Jonathan Webster » 21 Jan 2013, 09:19

Also; another problem with using 'modern' items in an heraldic achievement is that they date really, really quickly. It's all very well featuring a baseball cap in a coat of arms, but what happens in the future when baseball caps are no longer worn by anyone, and people ask your descendants: 'what the heck is that on the head of the monster on top of your coat of arms?' -for them to reply 'I have no idea-I think it has something to do with what my great-great grandfather did for a living.' -a similar problem now faced by arms created during Victorian times that tried to incorporate 'modern' elements for the time, but now look odd and nothing more than examples of debased heraldry, ( The arms of Swindon being a good example) and I feel this will happen as regards the Parka hoods and motorcycle helmets used at times by the Canadian Heraldic Authority . .Whereas sticking to what heraldry has been for hundreds of years will be and always has been timeless. Lets's face it, heraldry has been 'out of date' since early Stuart times when people stopped having tournaments, and yet it has continued to be used and has not disappeared in the slightest for nearly half a millennium precisely because it is timeless.

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Edward Hillenbrand
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Re: Helmet

Postby Edward Hillenbrand » 22 Jan 2013, 03:01

Jonathan Webster wrote:Also; another problem with using 'modern' items in an heraldic achievement is that they date really, really quickly. ... .Whereas sticking to what heraldry has been for hundreds of years will be and always has been timeless. Lets's face it, heraldry has been 'out of date' since early Stuart times when people stopped having tournaments, and yet it has continued to be used and has not disappeared in the slightest for nearly half a millennium precisely because it is timeless.


Jonathan (as well as others) has made several good points here. And I am too tired to think of any witty responses! So at that I will leave this topic for a while. :D
Ed Hillenbrand

"Memento te esse Mortalum"

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