History of The Hawaiian Flag? Union Jack on Hawaiian Flag?
History of The Hawaiian Flag?
Pat Duffus from Clearwater, Florida inquires: What is the origin of the Hawaiian flag? When I look at it, it reminds me more of Britain than Hawaii. Is there a former Hawaiian flag?
Pat is correct regarding the link to Britain. In the late 18th century, King Kamehameha I displayed a British flag across his realm, which had been gifted to him as a sign of amity by King George III.
In the War of 1812, an American banner was raised over King Kamehameha’s residence in an effort to satisfy American concerns. However, it was quickly taken away due to resistance from British officers at the court of Kamehameha.
SEE MORE: What are the 8 Hawaii Islands Nicknames? (and their meanings)
Kamehameha ordered a banner to be made that included components from both countries.
Today, we are familiar with the flag that resulted from this combination: the Union Jack of the British Empire is in the top left corner, while the main portion is made up of the stripes of the United States’ Stars and Stripes. The eight stripes of the Hawaiian flag symbolize the main islands. It is believed that the design of the flag is attributed to an officer in the Royal Navy, who drew inspiration from a naval banner of Britain.
Some people assert that the ensign, which has been adopted as Hawaii’s official state flag, is not the original banner of the Hawaiian kingdom.
The controversial Kanaka Maoli—or “native Hawaiian”—flag (right) was introduced to the public by Gene Simeona of Honolulu in 2001. Simeona stated that this unearthed design was “resurrected from an ‘original’ Hawaiian green, red and yellow striped flag, destroyed by British navy Capt. Lord George Paulet when he seized Hawaii for five months in 1843” and maintained that it was Kamehameha’s personal flag long before the modern Hawaiian flag.
At the flag’s center is a green shield bearing a coat of arms, which include a kahili , the original Hawaiian royal standard, and two paddles, meant to represent the voyaging tradition of the Native Hawaiians.
SEE MORE: Do’s and Don’ts in Hawaii – Planning A Trip to Hawaii 2023
The flag’s palette of red, yellow and green is meant to represent the various social divisions in Hawaiian culture. The yellow stands for the alii, the nobility of the time. Red is a representation of the konohiki, the class of people in service to the alii. Green symbolizes the makaainana, the commoners.
Many of Hawaiian ancestry deem the noncolonial flag to be “the people’s flag”, which better epitomizes the real identity and culture of the Hawaiian nation than the official flag. This flag has become extensively popular in the local population, appearing on all kinds of items such as t-shirts and car bumper stickers.
Why does the Hawaiian flag have the Union Jack?
The flag of the United States of America is unique to each state. A lot of them are just dull representations of the state seal on a navy blue background. Some are a little more daring, like Maryland’s riot of colors and shapes that take their cues from heraldry. But one stands out more than the others; Hawaii is the only flag with a design that incorporates the Union Flag of the United Kingdom.
With three red stripes, three white stripes, and two blue stripes, it is one of the more colorful state flags. The choice of red, white and blue stripes makes it a recognisably American design. The unmistakable Union Flag of the United Kingdom is flown in the canton, an obvious feature that is strikingly un-American.
The conflicting claims to the Pacific island group are detailed in the history of Hawaii’s state flag. In 1959, they joined the other 50 states as the country’s 50 newest states, taking the place of Hawaii. But in 1898, they had become part of the Territory of Hawaii. However, Britain had its eyes on the region as the Sandwich Islands because of their importance to the navy.
SEE MORE: The 13 Best Historical Places in Hawaii You Must Visit
One of the myths surrounding the adoption of the current flag is that King Kamehameha I received a Union Flag from the British. In homage to King George III and as a gesture of friendship with Britain, the Hawaiian king had flown it. Americans living on the islands during the War of 1812 were not pleased with such a partisan act. The current design, which combines elements from both flags, was the result of a compromise reached in Hawaii.
There isn’t any conclusive proof that this actually happened, like with many great historical legends. It is more likely that Hawaii needed a flag to identify its own ships in an era when national symbols and maritime dominance were commonplace. According to the Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site’s website, the design was developed in 1816, long after hostilities between Britain and the USA had ended.
“Kamehameha built up positive relationships with the various British sea captains and explorers who visited Hawaii in the late 1700s. The “Union Jack” was included in the flag Kamehameha had the designer create for the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1816.
It is the only state symbol to fly the British flag, even though it is the only state flag to feature the Union Flag. The Union Flag is also depicted on Alabama’s coat of arms, which is divided into quarters to represent various nations that have ruled over Alabaman territory in the past.
Topic: History of The Hawaiian Flag? Union Jack on Hawaiian Flag? (Why)
Become a member of Our Community on Facebook “I Left My Heart in Hawaii”. A place where members open up to one another, share their stories, travel photos, and experience a different way to travel Hawaii – together.
By: Travel Pixy
Leave a Reply