Legends of the Porcupine
...Where else has this prickly but adorable creature been used as a symbol? Well, as early as 1394, Louis I, Duke of Orléans established the chivalric Order of the Porcupine, proclaiming himself Grand Master and bestowing this honor upon loyal knights who would wear “a tortil of three gold chains, at the end of which a gold porcupine hung on a green-enamelled flowered terrace”. The motto of the order was « Cominus et eminus » (“From close and from far”). Kind of like Porcupines in New Hampshire!!
Meanwhile, across the Channel, a blue porcupine was used as the heraldic symbol of the Sidney family. Sir Philip Sidney, poet and soldier of Penshurst in Kent, inherited the Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick, and placed his mark above its doors. Note that the hospital is not actually a medical establishment; the word “hospital” is used in the medieval sense of a charitable institution for the old and infirm. This establishment has served as a retirement home for ex-servicemen for centuries.... read more at Sovereign Sandy