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Author Topic: Heraldry Registrations in the US  (Read 6584 times)

Sir Edward

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Heraldry Registrations in the US
« on: 2012-06-28, 19:12:52 »
In other threads we've previously discussed places to register your arms, outside of the SCA. Here are two we considered:

http://usheraldicregistry.com/ (never heard back after submitting mine)

http://www.americancollegeofheraldry.org/ (expensive)

I saw these mentioned on another forum (specifically, the Chivalry Now site registered arms with both):

http://usarmorials.com/

http://www.armorial-register.com/

Has anyone else looked into these?
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Sir James A

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #1 on: 2012-06-29, 13:30:45 »
I submitted with, I believe the US Heraldic Registry (if that's the one you and Sir Brian submitted to) and never heard back either.
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Sir William

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #2 on: 2012-06-29, 18:32:17 »
I think I submitted to the American College one, and haven't heard anything of it.

Edited to add: I just applied to register my CoA with the US Heraldry site listed above...lets hope I hear back from them, despite no one having done so yet.
« Last Edit: 2012-06-29, 18:52:52 by Sir William »
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Joshua Santana

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #3 on: 2012-07-02, 15:02:33 »
Looks like I have to get mine registered soon!  Thank you Sir Edward for the links, most helpful.
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Sir Brian

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #4 on: 2012-07-02, 17:10:05 »
I submitted with, I believe the US Heraldic Registry (if that's the one you and Sir Brian submitted to) and never heard back either.

Same for me! Nada!  :(
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #5 on: 2012-07-05, 00:00:07 »
SCA College of Heralds for myself.
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Cavaliere di Fiore

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #6 on: 2012-07-06, 15:46:17 »
You only have to register Heraldry if you make it yourself, correct? You don't have to apply for Heraldic imagery that you family already posses'? You would just have to prove that you are of that family if challenged I would assume.

Thorsteinn

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #7 on: 2012-07-06, 18:04:25 »
You only have to register Heraldry if you make it yourself, correct? You don't have to apply for Heraldic imagery that you family already posses'? You would just have to prove that you are of that family if challenged I would assume.

For the SCA?
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Sir Edward

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #8 on: 2012-07-06, 19:03:56 »
You only have to register Heraldry if you make it yourself, correct? You don't have to apply for Heraldic imagery that you family already posses'? You would just have to prove that you are of that family if challenged I would assume.

In terms of European Heraldry, it's more complex than that. There are rules about who inherits the heraldry and who doesn't, so direct lineage doesn't automatically indicate that you have the rights to use it.

In the US, there are no "legitimate" government-backed heraldic registries. They're all private, and operate under their own rules, and that includes the SCA.
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Cavaliere di Fiore

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #9 on: 2012-07-06, 20:04:40 »

In terms of European Heraldry, it's more complex than that. There are rules about who inherits the heraldry and who doesn't, so direct lineage doesn't automatically indicate that you have the rights to use it. 

Understood. I believe my family has Heraldry, and also a Crest from Italy. I will need to look into whether or not I can legally use it.

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #10 on: 2012-07-07, 02:46:58 »
ya for the KoM i use my family crest so i couldn't do anything other than that.

Sir Siegfried

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #11 on: 2012-07-17, 04:23:02 »
In European countries, heraldry is highly regulated, as is its inheritance. Other than a few notable exceptions (Scotland being one), a coat of arms does not belong to a family, but instead to an individual. The rights to those arms usually pass to the first born son, who can use them undifferenced after the passing of his father, the original armiger.

In America, however, there are no official rules or laws governing the creation, use, or proliferation of heraldry. Basically, it's a free-for-all, and whether or not you register your arms with any of those private establishments in the original post, there's really nothing that you can do to prevent someone else from using your arms outside of copyrighting the specific image itself.

This lack of regulation, along with the general layman's knowledge that Coats of Arms were passed down, has given rise to the incorrect notion of "my family's coat of arms" and such like. Most of these so-called family crests tend to just be the individual arms of a certain person in their ancestry (and sometimes, someone of no relation who happens to share a surname), and laws in the country of origin may not give you any claim to them whatsoever. In scotland, there are blazons that are strictly linked to a surname, rather than an individual. However, they are still only used undifferenced by the head of the clan, while all descendants use a complex system of marks to show their relation to that person. And I believe in Scotland one must still be granted the use of arms by an official royal source before use, even if a relationship can be proven.

That being said, it's the US, so do whatever you want!
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Sir Edward

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #12 on: 2012-07-17, 13:36:14 »
Thank you, Sir Siegfried, that is some good clarification that this thread needed. Folks don't always realize how heraldry is regulated in European nations, or historically.

Here in the US, registration with these services really only serves the purpose of trying to avoid accidental use of each others' arms, but if someone sets out to do it intentionally, there's nothing you can do outside of copyright or trademark. And that has its own can of worms.

For trademarks, the rules are a bit circuitous, since registration of it often involves explaining the business use of that mark. For copyright, registration is optional, though the level of legal protection is different for a registered copyright versus an unregistered one. For unregistered, you'd have to demonstrate to the court some form of actual damages, in order to make someone stop using your image.

However, an unregistered copyright is extremely easy to do, as there is no paperwork or fees. All it takes is a copyright notice (example:  Copyright 2012, Sir Edward, All Rights Reserved.) However, this copyright notice is legally not required, but significantly strengthens your case. Under copyright law, your work is copyrighted the moment you create it.


« Last Edit: 2012-07-17, 13:38:07 by Sir Edward »
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Sir Siegfried

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #13 on: 2012-07-18, 05:14:36 »
Yeah, I suppose that if your intent was to keep other conscientious people from creating the same coat of arms as you, any of those registration sites would serve that purpose. It stands to reason that someone who goes to the trouble of attempting to register their arms (or better yet, searched the registry prior to creating one, just in case) would be respectful to a person who already used the same site to register the arms.

If that is the intent, I would probably just go with whichever registry is free/easiest to use/most popular, because that's probably where the most traffic is heading through, anyway. None of them are any more official than the others.
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Jeffrey Boyd Garrison

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Re: Heraldry Registrations in the US
« Reply #14 on: 2015-09-23, 23:17:56 »
Sorry to necro, but this is the most appropriate thread I think.

US HERALDIC REGISTRY is active again, so Americans who have assumed arms and wish to register them for FREE should go there now and you will finally get a response (Phil Blanton has taken over management of the site and is handling it quite well).
Website: http://usheraldicregistry.com/

AMORIAL REGISTER - INTERNATIONAL REGISTER OF ARMS costs I believe 100 british pounds to register assumed arms for Americans BUT, you get your arms entered (with art you provide for the emblazonment unless you wanna buy the additional service of having their resident artist Ljubodrag Grucic do the honor) into their armorial publication (they are currently filling up slots for Vol. III.
website: http://armorial-register.com/

Here are examples of my dad's registry entries for his arms:
http://armorial-register.com/arms-us/garrison-bs-arms.html
http://usheraldicregistry.com/index.php?n=Registrations.20141214B

You can order "certificates" from both organizations as well, the USHR's is about $20 USD right now I believe.

Hope this info is helpful for the subject.
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