Device Submission Process
The process starts when someone conceives a design for his/her device (coat of arms). This can be done with or without the help of a herald, but it is better to get some assistance because not all designs are heraldic. The design and accompanying information is put on the appropriate forms and given to the local herald along with the appropriate fee. It is strongly suggested that you keep a copy for yourself.
The local herald reviews and blazons the device and sends it to the Kingdom (White Stag) Herald. The review process should take no more than a month, unless there is something unusually complex about the submission. This does not include time for drawing if you have need for an heraldic artist. The clock starts when the local herald has all the forms, complete, in his/her hands.
At the Kingdom level, the device is discussed between members of the College of Heralds, re-blazoned, and checked for conflicts (depending on the office's resources). Your name is also checked and documented for either period use or for being constructed in a period style. After the meeting, a set of minutes is published and copies are sent to other heralds for comments.
After comments are received back, and if everything checks out, the device is forwarded to the Laurel King of Arms (national level) for final registration. The blazon (verbal description) and the emblazon (picture) of the device are also put on a Letter of Intent, which is sent to the members of the College of Arms (kingdom, principality/regional heralds and some others). These members offer alternate blazons, check for conflicts in sources they have, and do any additional research required on the name or device. They have one month to comment, the Kingdom Herald has one month to respond, and 2-4 weeks are allowed for "parting shots". Many devices simply receive a "no comment", meaning there is nothing more to clarify about them. At the end of this 1 0-12 week period, the device is considered at a College of Arms meeting. If approved, it is registered to you.
At any point along the line, your device can be either held (generally for further information) or rejected. If this should happen, it is the local herald's responsibility to clarify the problem to you. You will receive a letter from the Kingdom Herald if it is registered. Should the Laurel King of Arms reject your device, you will receive a letter explaining the problem. Many of the problems are simple and can be corrected right away; others take more time. Sometimes the decision to reject a device is subjective rather than objective; in those cases, an appeal to the herald who rejected it is possible. Your local herald can advise you on this. An appeal on a subjective rejection means it will be reconsidered and generally passed on to the next level, providing there is an "argument" (a valid reason) behind it. You will find that most heralds are quite willing to advice on how to correct any problems with your submission.
Owing to scheduling vagaries and mailings, the actual submission process (assuming no problems) takes about 6 months. Considering the fact that your device has to be checked against every device registered in the S.C.A., and some in the mundane world, that is not bad. If rejected or held, the process may take longer depending on how long you take to act on it. You must resubmit your design within one year, however, or the fee must be paid a second time. Otherwise, the single fee will cover as many resubmissions as are needed. In cases where there is no local herald, you can send your submission either to the nearest herald or directly to the Kingdom Herald.
--Originally written by Mistress Keridwen of Montrose, Former White Stag Herald and revised in August, 1988, by Mistress Saerlaith l'Estrangere, another former White Stag Herald