The White Scarf Treaty
Treaty as of AS XXXIX
The crowns of the Kingdoms of Ansteorra, the Outlands, Trimaris, Atenveldt, An Tir, Atlantia, Caid, Aethelmearc, Artemisia. and Lochac mutually agree to the following:
By these our letters we publish and proclaim our intent to create an order in our kingdoms to be known as the Order of the White Scarf. We do mutually recognize that this order shall be chartered in our kingdoms as custom allows. We pledge to honor the styles and precedence as shall be established by charter and to allow and encourage those or our royal Cousins who may wish to establish this order in their own kingdoms. By this document we command our heralds to present the title and badges of this order to the College of Arms, that it may be registered to the titularies of our kingdoms.
The following kingdoms have entered into the Treaty of the White Scarf:
- Ansteorra and the Outlands in October of AS XXI (1987)
- Trimaris in June of AS XXVII (1992)
- Atenveldt and An Tir in the Spring of AS XXIX (1994)
- Atlantia in January of AS XXX (1996)
- Caid in November of AS XXXI (1996)
- Aethelmarc in October of AS XXXII (1997)
- Artemisia in January of AS XXXII (1998)
- Lochac in July of AS XXXVII (2002)
Further, We, the Crown of the Kingdom of Northshield do enter into the Treaty of the White Scarf, in accordance with out laws and customs.
Done by Our hands this 16th day of October, AS XXXIX being 2004 AD at Silfren Mere in Kingdom of Northshield.
This is the text of the White Scarf Treaty, used when Northshield joined. Since then, the West Kingdom has set up a separate, but essentially identical order, the Western White Scarf. Rather than signing the Treaty--which would not have been feasible, due to internal political considerations--they received separate "Permission to Conflict" letters from the other White Scarf kingdoms. Functionally speaking, however, there is no difference between the Treaty and those Permissions to Conflict, or between a Western White Scarf and one from another kingdom.
The White Scarf was initially an award in the principality of Ansteorra, to recognize excellence on the rapier field. When Ansteorra became a kingdom in AS XIV, the award was released by the parent kingdom of Atenveldt to Ansteorra.
In AS XXI (1987) the Kingdom of the Outlands asked if they could use the name "White Scarf" for their rapier award as well. After some discussion between the Crown and the White Scarves, it was agreed that they could, and the Heralds of the respective kingdoms drew up the original Treaty. Since then, several other kingdoms have also asked to join. At this time, there are thirteen kingdoms with the White Scarf, although some of them have closed their Order with the inception of the Masters of Defence.
Essentially, the White Scarf Treaty is a heraldic agreement that allows signatory kingdoms to use an award name that was originally registered to Ansteorra. It also agrees that White Scarves from one kingdom will be treated the same as White Scarves from any other kingdom--welcome at WS meetings, for example.
Until the Masters of Defence were created, there was also an unwritten understanding that the White Scarf would be the highest award for rapier in the kingdom.
Here are some SCA myths about the White Scarf Treaty. Note that none of them are true:
- The Treaty defines the role of Cadets, and how red scarves may be worn.
- The Treaty mandates the titles "Don" or "Dona", for White Scarves.
- Treaty members are required to fight together at wars. (This one is particularly funny, since the first two Treaties were signed at wars between the signatory kingdoms.)
- The Treaty requires that the Order must operate the same way in each kingdom.
- The Treaty was an attempt to get around SCA rules and form some kind of back-door peerage.