(We do need stinkin’ badges!)

What is the difference between Arms and Badges?

The College of Heralds registers two types of armory – arms/devices and badges. This can be a confusing concept – what is the difference, and how are they used?


When submitted, the College refers to an individual’s arms as a Device. If the bearer is entitled to an Award of Arms, then the design is called the Coat of Arms (Arms). Historically, one would not be able to have a device without an Award of Arms, but as the SCA allows anyone of any rank to register heraldic items, the term Device was chosen to refer to a generic armorial item that would cover any rank.

These items are unique to, and used to identify, the bearer. The bearer alone has the right to display their device. When displayed, it marks the presence of the owner. Mundanely we find this practice still being used by Queen Elizabeth II – her personal flag is flown over the residence or conveyance where she is present, and never when she is not.

Arms say “This is ME.”


Badges come in two varieties: fielded (with a background) and fieldless (no background). Both types can be used in the same manner.

These items are registered to an individual, or jointly with another party, but are used by many to show affiliation to the owner(s). This affiliation can be found in several manners: the symbols denoting the officers of a territory, Award medallions bearing the badge of the Order, fighting units using special symbols, makers marks used by artisans, and the first emblem on the flags found around events, among many others.

Badges say “This is MINE.”

PRO TIP: Badges are considered a form of livery. This term comes from the French word “livrée”, meaning “dispensed” or “handed over” – just as the livery was dispensed by the owner to their military units, household attendants, dependents, friends, and followers, or marking items of ownership.

Caid Populace Badges

The Kingdom of Caid has two registered badges that may be used by all members of the populace to show allegiance or membership in the Kingdom of Caid. The official blazons are:

Azure, a Cross of Caid argent

[Fieldless] a Cross of Caid argent.

Historically the main charge on these badges has been blazoned: “four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward argent”. Recently, a ruling has allowed it to be called a Cross of Caid. These terms are now synonymous.

Properly drawn, the Caid populace badges look like:

PROTIP: The Crescents on this design create a diamond shape in the center when drawn correctly. If you find it makes a more square shape, you probably need to rotate it. 

In common English, this reads: a blue background, four white or silver crescents (moon shapes) arranged in an x-formation, with the closed sides pointed to center, and the open sides facing away. The designator “(fieldless)” means that the design itself can be placed on any shaped or colored background. or none at all. However, it is most commonly placed on azure (blue) to match the first badge.

Most territories in Caid also have their own registered populace badge (listed at the end of the article). While this article discusses the Kingdom populace badge, what follows also applies to any Territorial badge.

A Note on Artistic license

It is important to note that while artistic license is encouraged, there is a limit as to what can be considered viable within heraldic conventions. Turning the orientation or changing the color of, or adding or subtracting the armorial elements causes a “blazonable difference”, which means that it is no longer the registered badge and no longer appropriate for use.

Imagine Garfield the cartoon cat – he is well known to be an oversized black-striped orange cat. If the artist were to draw him thin and grey with no stripes, he would still be a cartoon cat but he would no longer be recognizable as Garfield. In the same way, this particular design is recognizable as “Caid” – any changes to it would remove that identification. The same goes for any territorial badges or armory.

What can I do with the Kingdom Arms or Populace Badge?

If you want to make something that ONLY the current Sovereigns can use, you can use the Kingdom Arms. Anything made in this manner become Regalia that is passed down from Crown to Crown. This also goes for any items being made for the Heads of State for other territories. As this limits use to two people, these the least versatile items. Please check with the Keeper of the Regalia before making anything in this manner to ensure it is needed or useful. 

If you want to make something specifically for the Crown’s use during and AFTER their reign, you should use the populace badge and/or Their own personal armory. These items will not become Regalia, and can become the personal property of that person.

If you want the make an item that anyone in the kingdom can use, you should opt to use the Populace Badge. These items can be worn or used by the Crown during Their reign, and either kept for personal use, or they can be passed along from populace member to populace member within the Kingdom. These are the most versatile items, and make excellent largesse.

Examples of badge uses:

  • Carve or paint it on your tourney chest
  • Cast it in pewter and make a pin or necklace out of it
  • Link multiple copies together to make a necklace or livery collar
  • Embroider it on a favor
  • Make trim with a repeating motif (tablet weaving, fabric paint, embroidery…)
  • Hang it on a small banner, or print stickers, in the back window of your vehicle while traveling to and from events
  • Applique it to the fabric door of your pavilion
  • Embroider it on the breast of your cloak
  • Paint it on pottery or glassware.
  • Make silk-screened guy rope flags or eric rope flags
  • Use it on a standard, which is a particular kind of heraldic flag. Standards have a special place for badges of allegiance, and this badge would be quite appropriate there.

Arms and Badges aren’t limited to the escutcheon (shield shape). They can be displayed on a variety of shapes including: Delf (square), Roundel (circle), Lozenge (diamond), Heart, and Cartouche (pill-shaped oval). Fieldless badges can be displayed on a variety of backgrounds – consider making ranks be different colors for your fighting group, or showing off Pride or territorial livery colors underneath your badge.

Livery Colors

If you don’t want to use the artwork, either armory or badges, you can opt to use a color theme instead. This type of heraldic display is called livery colors. For Caid, the appropriate livery colors are blue and white/silver (some gold accents are okay, but should not be a primary color). A full table of all territorial colors is listed at the end of this article.

Examples of livery color usage:

  • When creating award cords, use a pattern of alternating colors.
  • Wear bi-party clothing (left half is one color, right half is another).
  • Outfit your entire war band, household, or autocrat team with Matching tabards.
  • Color themed stationary (great use for the badge too!).
  • Use it as a pennon for your fighting unit. Either solid colors or split colors.
  • Use it to create a cloth cover for your folding chair or wagon, or other camp equipment.
  • Use it as your sword tape colors.
  • Use them to pick out gifts for friends, tournament favors, or the like. Using the other person’s livery colors instead of yours is always a nice personal touch.

Territory Badges and Livery Colors of Caid

Below is a table of the badges and livery colors for the territories of Caid. Their emblazons (the pictures) of these items can be found by clicking here.

Territory Badge Livery Colors
Caid Azure, a Cross of Caid argent, or
(Fieldess) a Cross of Caid argent
Blue and White/Silver with Yellow/Gold Accents
al-Sahid Azure, a scorpion fesswise reversed Or. Blue and Yellow/Gold
Altavia Argent, a fret sable and a chief vert. Green, Black, and White/Silver
Angels (Fieldless) A set of seraph’s wings Or. Red and Yellow/Gold
Calafia Azure, a sea serpent ondoyant-emergent sable fimbriated and overall a trident Or. Blue, Black, and Yellow/Gold
Carreg Wen None registered. Purple and White/Silver
Darach * Argent, in pale an oak leaf fesswise reversed embowed conjoined to an acorn sable, a bordure nebuly azure. Black and White/Silver
Dreiburgen Argent, on a pile inverted throughout azure a tower argent, within a bordure embattled azure. Blue and White/Silver
Dun Or * (Fieldless) A tower per pale Or and azure. Blue and Yellow/Gold
Gyldenholt (Fieldless) On a hurst Or, four crescents conjoined in saltire, horns outward, azure. Blue and Yellow/Gold
Isles * (Fieldless) A tower gules. Red, Blue and White/Silver
Lyondemere (Fieldless) An escallop Or. Green, Yellow/Gold, and White/Silver
Naevehjem Argent, an ermine spot gules on a chief sable two annulets Or. Red, Black, and White/Silver
Nordwache (Fieldless) In pale a phoenix Or rising from a tower azure. Blue and Yellow/Gold
Starkhafn ** (Fieldless) A six-sided coffin palewise sable charged in chief with a mullet of eight points argent. Black, Blue, White/Silver – accents of Red. Checky Blue and White/Silver is often used.
Western Seas (Fieldless) A wa’a outrigger, sail to dexter, sable within and conjoined to an annulet azure. Green, Blue, and White/Silver or Yellow/Gold
Wintermist (Fieldless) A snowflake gules. Red and White/Silver
(*) Denotes that at the time of publication, the territory has a registered badge and is used as the Populace Badge within that territory, but there is no registered association for the populace listed in the Ordinary and Armorial with Laurel Sovereign of Arms.
(**) Starkhafn’s listed badge has a registered association of “fighters”. This has in large become used as the Populace Badge, and there is no other badge with a registered association for the populace listed in the Ordinary and Armorial with Laurel Sovereign of Arms.

© 2021 Stephanie Rendt-Scott. All rights reserved. Limited publication rights may be granted upon written request to the author.