Order of the Pelican
Order of the Pelican
The Order of the Pelican is one of the three SCA Bestowed Peerages, along with the Order of Chivalry and the Order of the Laurel.
Companions of the Order of the Pelican (or 'Pelicans') have been recognized by the Crown for their exemplary service to the Kingdom and/or the Society, along with their consistent display of the virtues of Grace, Courtesy and Chivalric Demeanor. Their elevation is accompanied by a Patent of Arms (the highest level of arms)
Generally, the service being recognized is long-term, on-going, and has made a great difference to other members of the SCA. Such service can be rendered through running events, holding offices, or assisting with the organizational aspects of their local or regional group, their Kingdom, or the Society as a whole.
As for the virtues, the SCA Governing Documents state the requirements for any Peerage candidates: "They shall have:
- been obedient to the governing documents of the Society and the laws of the kingdom.
- consistently shown respect for the Crown of the kingdom.
- set an example of courteous and noble behavior suitable to a peer of the realm.
- demonstrated support for the aims and ideals of the Society by being authentic in dress, equipment and behavior as is within their power.
- shared their knowledge and skills with others.
- practiced hospitality according to their means and as appropriate to the circumstances.
- 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.
- participated in Society re-creations of several aspects of the culture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance."
The Governing Documents also state that the duties of the members of the order include:
- To set an example of courtesy and chivalrous conduct.
- To respect the Crown of the kingdom; to support and uphold the laws of the kingdom and the governing documents of the Society.
- If the member has sworn fealty to the Crown, to support and uphold the Crown of his or her kingdom.
- To enrich the kingdom by sharing his or her knowledge and skills.
- To advise the Crown on the advancement of candidates for the Pelican.
Symbols of the Order
The heraldic symbol of the Order of the Pelican is 'A Pelican in her piety' - that is, piercing her breast with her beak to feed her chicks with her own blood. This symbol can only be worn, used or displayed by members of the order of the Pelican.
Some members also wear a brimless round hat trimmed with fur and/or banded with white feathers, called a cap of maintenance. This cap is not a reserved symbol and is not recognized as a mark of rank in all SCA kingdoms.
Elevation to the Order
(to be added)
As Knights may take on squires, Pelicans may take on dependents known as 'Protegés'.
History of the Order of the Pelican
The Order of the Pelican was established in 1972 by the SCA Board of Directors. It was initially intented to be awarded by the Board to honor service to the central organization of the SCA. In 1974, Corpora included both the "Imperial" Pelicans, and a version awarded by the Kingdoms. By 1977 the Board had ceased giving the award.
(See a more detailed history at [http://history.westkingdom.org/Misc/PelicanHistory.htm history.westkingdom.org/Misc/PelicanHistory.htm)