The waving of the Hawaiian flag is like a soft, peaceful breeze that carries the beauty and spirit of the archipelago and is an iconic symbol of unity and pride for Hawaiian natives. The State Flag of Hawaii was adopted in 1845, boasting eight horizontal stripes of white, red, and blue with the UK Union flag at its corner.
La Hae Hawaii, or “Flag of Hawaii,” was designed by a group called Ka Lahui Hawai’i and featured eight alternating vertical lines representing the eight islands. Finally, Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiian people) also fly their version featuring two inverted triangles pointing towards each other and symbols from nature, such as the sun.
Let’s explore the history behind these flags: The State Flag of Hawaii and the Kanaka Maoli Flag. We’ll look at how they came about, what inspired their designs, and why we continue to honor them today. By understanding these flags better, we can gain insight into not just our past but present too – into what it truly means to live Aloha!
The Origins Of The Hawaii State Flag
Did you know that the state flag of Hawaii is one of the oldest flags in America, adopted as early as 1845? With a design of eight horizontal stripes – white, red, and blue – with the British Union Flag in its canton corner, it has been an iconic symbol for Hawaiians since it was first proposed.
The origins of the Hawaii State Flag date back to 1816 when King Kamehameha I established his standard Ka Hae Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian Flag). It featured a yellow background with another version of the British Union Flag placed inside a large red X. This flag became popularly known as La Hae Hawaiʻi, and many ships used it when trading between Hawaii and other nations during this period.
In 1843, King Kamehameha III asked his council members to create a new banner for the Kingdom of Hawaii. Several designs were submitted, including some which featured elements from Kanaka Maoli culture, such as geometric patterns or symbols like the kahili feathers. However, it was not until 1845 that they approved a design inspired by Britain’s Union Jack and France’s Tricolore – eight horizontal stripes alternating white, red, and blue. The union jack remains at its top left corner today.
History Of Adoption In 1845
The Hawaii state flag was adopted in 1845, making it one of the longest-standing flags in the United States. This 175-year-old symbol has endured many changes to become a hallmark of Hawaiian culture and identity. Let’s take a look at its history:
Following the independence of Hawaii from Great Britain on July 31, 1843, King Kamehameha III sought to create an official flag for his people. On February 16, 1845, a royal decree designated Hawaii to use the current design as the national flag. It consisted of 8 white, red, and blue horizontal stripes with the British Union Flag in the top left corner. The iconic ‘La Hae Hawaii’ phrase is also featured along with a Kanaka Maoli flag, signifying native Hawaiian sovereignty over their islands.
This traditional design has remained unchanged since its adoption all those years ago; however, what may go unnoticed are some exciting statistics surrounding this beloved emblem. Here are a few fun facts:
- There are eight stripes representing each major island group
- The colors represent both nations (white = UK union Jack & Red/Blue = USA)
- The words’ La Hae Hawaii’ mean ‘flag of Hawai’i
- The small kanaka maoli shield represents unity between native Hawaiians and other ethnicities living in Hawaii today.
These points provide good insight into why this particular banner holds such great significance for local residents across these Pacific Islands – not just as a political statement but also as a celebration of cultural diversity and harmony within Hawaii. As we further explore the symbolic meaning behind its design, it is clear that this classic image contains much more than meets the eye!
Symbolic Meaning Of The Design
The design of the state flag of Hawaii is rich with symbolism. One example is Aloha Aina, a movement to restore Hawaiian sovereignty and land rights in the late 19th century. The eight horizontal stripes on the flag represent the eight major islands of Hawaii as well as unity among them; three red stripes for Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Molokaʻi; two white stripes for Maui and Kahoʻolawe; and three blue stripes for Hawaiʻi island, Lānaʻi, and Niʻihau. In addition, the canton of the flag contains a British Union Flag honoring King Kamehameha I’s allegiance to Britain before 1845 when he united all Hawaiian Islands under one rule.
The Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) people have also adopted their version of this same flag called La Hahe Hawaii (the four-colored flag). It features four vertical lines instead of horizontal ones—red at the top left, yellow at the bottom left, black at the center-right, and green at the top right—along with a traditional kahili patterned circle beneath it. The flag reflects an ancient symbol associated with royalty in Polynesia and represents spiritual power and resistance against colonialism.
The La Hae Hawaii Flag
The fourth part of the history and background behind Hawaii’s state flag concerns the La Hae Hawaii Flag. This iconic symbol has been adopted by many as a representation of Hawaiian culture and heritage since 1845, when they first introduced it alongside other designs for consideration.
It consists of eight horizontal stripes in red, white, and blue, which feature the United Kingdom Union Jack in its canton corner. The design represents the connection between Hawai’i and the British Empire during this period; however, deeper symbolic meanings are also at play. It also recognizes that all citizens – regardless of ethnicity or national origin – are obligated to serve each other with kindness and respect. As such, it represents unity amongst diversity within Hawaiian society.
The Kanaka Maoli Flag
The Kanaka Maoli Flag is a sight to behold – its bright colors of white, red, and blue dance around the flagpole in unison like an Olympic athlete on the podium. But beyond its beauty lies a deep connection to history and culture that dates back centuries.
The Kanaka Maoli design, also known as the original flag of the Kingdom of Hawaii, is a highly contested symbol. It features nine alternating green, red, and yellow stripes, a green shield, crossed paddles, and a kahili, an ornamental feathered standard. Despite its significance, the authenticity of the flag’s origins remains unverified and disputed.
This flag is meaningful for Hawaiians and serves as a reminder of how important it is for all citizens to recognize indigenous people’s rights and cultures. It stands for respect, justice, equality, and remembrance – more critical today than ever!