Aten pelican piety 1.png
"Aten pelican piety 1.png" by Cookieman1.1.1 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 / A derivative from the original work
Award Information
Blazon: (Tinctureless) A pelican in its piety.
Type: Armigerous
Founded: January 4, 1975 by
Premiere(s): Anne Dudley de Brandhard and Barbara Fitzhugh de Brandhard
Recipients: [{{{recipients}}} People with this award]

To see a list of the Kingdoms Pelicans go to Order of the Pelican

Who They Are

The Order of the Pelican is a Society-wide order that is awarded for significant services to the Society.. It is one of the four major Bestowed Peerages and confers a Patent of Arms.[1]

Members are recognized for their selfless and long-term service to their kingdom or to the SCA as a whole. The Crown creates a Pelican after consultation with the Order.

As it is an accolade recognized throughout the Society, any Pelicans who move into Atenveldt are welcomed as equal members of the Order of the Pelican in Atenveldt.


The SCA College of heralds reserves the following badge/regalia for the Pelican Peerage[2]

  • (Tinctureless) A pelican in its piety.
  • (Fieldless) A cap of maintenance gules trimmed ermine.

As laid out in the "Sumptuary Traditions and Guidelines of the Kingdom of Atenveldt"[3], by tradition, they are entitled to wear a “a pelican in her piety,” (a pelican piercing her breast to feed her young with her own blood) in many forms, including hanging from a small link chain or on a Collar of Estate.

Pelicans may also wear a cap of maintenance which is, according to Merriam-Webster[4] a heraldic cap formerly worn as a symbol of office or high rank; its appearance shows a fur lining turned up about the bottom and split at the back. [5]

Cap of Maintenance for SCA Pelicans
Cap of Maintenance[6]


Pelicans are often addressed as “Master” (name) or “Mistress” (name).  However the SCA encourages peers to use alternative titles[7] that may fit their persona's culture or persona.

Peerage Qualities

Peerages are the highest level of award given in the SCA and they recognize outstanding service to the Kingdom or expertise in a particular area.  However a peer is more than that, they have to show qualities worthy of the title of peer – such as courtesy and respect to others, be passionate about sharing their knowledge, and play a significant role in our community.  In short, be the kind of person we want to admire.  SCA Corpora[8] outlines these traits as follows:

Our Peers can be some of the most well-known and respected members of the SCA community. The Candidates for any order conferring a Patent of Arms must meet the following minimum criteria. Additional requirements may be set by law and custom of the kingdoms as deemed appropriate and necessary by the Crown.

  1. They shall have been obedient to the governing documents of the Society and the laws of the kingdom.
  2. They shall have consistently shown respect for the Crown of the kingdom.
  3. They shall have set an example of courteous and noble behavior suitable to a peer of the realm.
  4. They shall have demonstrated support for the aims and ideals of the Society by being as authentic in dress, equipment and behavior as is within their power.
  5. They shall have shared their knowledge and skills with others.
  6. They shall have practiced hospitality according to their means and as appropriate to the circumstances.
  7. They shall have made every effort to learn and practice those skills desirable at and worthy of a civilized court. To this end they should have some knowledge of a wide range of period forms, including but not limited to literature, dancing, music, heraldry, and chess, and they should have some familiarity with combat as practiced in the Society.
  8. They should participate in Society recreations of several aspects of the culture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Each candidate for a patent order must satisfy the general requirements listed above, as well as the specific requirements listed here


Members of the Order of the Pelican may choose to swear fealty, but are not required to do so. The candidate must have attained the standard of service to the Society or any of its branches equal to that of his or her prospective peers, which is above and beyond that normally expected of members of the Society..[9]

The duties of the members of the order are as follows:

  1. To set an example of courtesy and chivalrous conduct.
  2. To respect the Crown of the kingdom; to support and uphold the Laws of the kingdom and Corpora.
  3. If in fealty, to support and uphold the Crown of his or her kingdom.
  4. To enrich the kingdom by sharing his or her knowledge and skills.
  5. To advise the Crown on the advancement of candidates for the Pelican.


SCA protege belt
Protege yellow belt

All members of the Pelican are entitled to take associates, they are known as "Protégé's" and this title is used throughout the SCA to denote this relationship.

The Kingdom of Lochac's Pelican page[10] has a good definition of a protege in the SCA, however the role means many things to many people - so do your research and talk to peers before you commit to 'taking a belt'.

Atenveldt Sumptuary Laws[3] allow apprentices the exclusive use of yellow belts to show their association.

Ceremonies & Vigils


  1. Vibert, Milesent. “Pelican.” MiddleWiki RSS, Kingdom of the Middle, SCA Inc, 10 Sept. 2007, middlewiki.midrealm.org/index.php/Pelican. Basic description of the Pelican peerage in the SCA
  2. “Glossary of Terms - Table 1 Reserved Regalia.” SCA Inc. College of Arms Glossary of Terms, December 23, 2003, College of Arms for the Society of Creative Anachronism, Nov. 2019, heraldry.sca.org/coagloss.html.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kingdom Seneschal. “Sumptuary Traditions and Guidelines of the Kingdom of Atenveldt.”, Kingdom of Atenveldt, SCA Inc, 1 May 2018, docs.google.com/document/d/114dEXuQtmK0YujX0bTf9W5CEtlhGFcZSR0B7XtvqEoc/edit.
  4. “Cap of maintenance.Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cap%20of%20maintenance. Accessed 29 Dec. 2020.
  5. “Cap of Maintenance.Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Sept. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_of_maintenance.
  6. "Aten Cap_of_Maintenance.png" by Tom Lemmens, is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 / A derivative from the original work
  7. The List of Alternate Titles as Approved by the SCA College of Arms.” Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., Nov. 2019, heraldry.sca.org/titles.html. Titles from different languages/cultures. Good for all titles within the SCA (AoA, Peers,Royalty)
  8. Section VIII.A.1 "Patent of Arms - General Requirements" The Corpora of the SCA, SCA Inc., 19 Oct. 2019, www.sca.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/govdocs.pdf.
  9. “Section VIII.A.4.c "Patent Orders - The Order of the Pelican" The Corpora of the SCA, SCA Inc., 19 Oct. 2019, www.sca.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/govdocs.pdf.
  10. “Protégés.” Order of the Pelican in Lochac (SCA), Kingdom of Lochac, SCA Inc, pelicans.lochac.sca.org/protege.htm.

Clipart and Images

A great source for all kinds of heraldry images is Wikimedia Commons - there are scalable SVG files as well as JPG and PNG formats. Remember - always check out the licence before you use a file. For Pelican clipart try Category:Pelican in her piety in heraldry.

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