Last modified: 2006-07-08 by rick wyatt
Keywords: hawaii | kuhina nui | kanaka maoli |
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Summarizing the book "The History of the United States Flag", by Quaife, Weig, and Appleman (1961):
The Hawaiian flag is traditionally held to have been commissioned, and possibly designed, by King Kamehameha I, who was, of course, not haole. However, this site at www.hawaiiankingdom.org/national-flag.shtml quotes the following from the "Polynesian Newspaper" of May 31, 1845:
"At the opening of the Legislative Council, May 25, 1845, the new national banner was unfurled, differing little however from the former. It is octo (eight) parted per fess (horizontal band), first, fourth and seventh, argent (silver represented by the color white): second, fifth and eighth, gules (the color red): third and sixth, azure (light purplish blue), for the eight islands under one sovereign, indicated by crosses saltire, of St. Andrew and St. Patrick quarterly, per saltire counter changed, argent (white) and gules (red)."Unfortunately, they don't give any further source citation for this than the name and date noted above. Not that Capt. Hunt is credited with the design of the new (and current) flag, which doesn't preclude the traditional association of the earlier design with King Kamehameha I.
The Hawaiian flag previous to 1845 differed only in the amount of stripes, which was formerly "seven", and also the arranging of the colors. Previous to 1845 the white stripe was at the bottom instead of the present position of at the top. The person accredited with the designing of the new flag, which was unfurled before the 1845 Legislative Assembly, was Captain Hunt of H.B.M.S. (Her British Majesty's Ship) Baselisk. The Union Jack represented the friendly relationship between England and Hawai'i, and also noting that it was England and France that formally recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom as an Independent State and admitted her into the Family of Nations on November 28, 1843."
image by Andreas Birken
Meyer's Konversations-Lexikon of 1897 had a different version of the Hawaiian flag. The Union Jack is smaller, the height corresponding only to three stripes instead of four. This could be the pre 1903 version.
Andreas Birken, 4 October 2001
image by Randy Young
This flag is from the book "Flags to Color, Washington to Lincoln," and is on page 30. It's listed as "Kuhina Nui's flag, 1850s."
Quoted from the book:
"Colors: Crown, letters, comma and period red; field white."Randy Young, 11 October 2004
"Hawaii is the only part of the United States which was previously a separate monarchy. In the 1850s one of the important advisors to the king was the Kuhina Nui; her flag is shown here and incorporates the distinctive royal crown of Hawaii. American settlers overthrew the monarchy in 1893 in the hope that the islands would be annexed by the United States, but this did not happen until 1898 when concern was raised about way-stations for ships heading to newly acquired territories in the Far East."
image by Rick Prohoska, 14 September 2005
A flag like this, but with a white field only, is described and shown at
http://kaiwakiloumoku.ksbe.edu/makalii/royalstandard.php. The Royal Standard of King Kalākaua was displayed in 1881.
Mohamed Hossam el Din, 4 April 2006
image by Nelson Luis Román, 9 July 2002
The Kanaka Maoli flag has green, red, yellow stripes. At the center of the
flag is a green ornamental, protective shield that bears the coat of arms that
is composed of a Kahili in front of two crossed, pointed paddles.
Lil Morris, 6 July 2002
A copy of this flag can be viewed at
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/2001/Feb/12/212localnews29.html. It is
alleged to predate the current red/white/blue Kingdom of Hawaii, later State of
Ned Smith, 8 July 2002
I find this idea strange in the light of the fact that the Hawaiian flag as a
state in the USA is the same as the flag used by the Kingdom of Hawaii before it
was annexed to the USA in the late 19th Century. Why come up with another flag?
Elias Granqvist, 8 July 2002
My curiosity is piqued by the Hawaiian Kingdom authorities not accepting
their "documentation" as satisfactorily convincing. The statement "we’re not
going to give it any more life than it deserves" is pretty strong.
Rick Wyatt, 8 July 2002