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Flag of Hawaii

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Ka Hae Hawai‘i, or the Flag of Hawai‘i.Image provided by Classroom Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
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Ka Hae Hawai‘i, or the Flag of Hawai‘i.Image provided by Classroom Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Ka Hae Hawai‘i, or the Flag of Hawaii, is the official standard symbolizing Hawaii as a kingdom, protectorate, republic, territory and state. Ka Hae Hawai‘i is the only state flag in the United States to have been flown under so many various forms of government and the only one that features the Union Flag, the flag of the United Kingdom. Ka Hae Hawai‘i is one of the oldest flags in the world in continuous use, and officially predates a majority of the states of the Union.

Design

The canton of Ka Hae Hawai‘i is the Union Flag, prominent over the top quarter closest to the flag mast. The field of the flag is composed of eight horizontal stripes symbolizing the eight major inhabited islands. The stripes alternate in color from the top: white, red, blue, white, red, blue, white, red. They represent the islands of Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Niihau.

Origins

There are various accounts of the earliest history of Ka Hae Hawai‘i. One relates how king Kamehameha I flew a Union Flag given to him by British explorer capitain George Vancouver as a token of friendship with King George III. An advisor to Kamehameha noted that the Union Flag could draw Hawaii into international conflict as it would be seen as an ally of the United Kingdom. Kamehameha lowered the Union Flag from his home. The following account as to the raising of the United States flag has been challenged. A story states that the flag of the United States was raised over Kamehameha's home. British officers in the court of Kamehameha vehemently objected and the American standard was also removed.

In 1816, Kamehameha commissioned his own flag to avoid conflict. As a result, Ka Hae Hawai‘i was born. Historians attribute the design of Ka Hae Hawai‘i to an officer of the Royal Navy, based on a form of the British naval flag. There is debate as to the name of the officer. The original flag was designed to feature stripes alternating red-white-blue, also attributed to various historical flags of the United Kingdom. However, some have argued that the stripes were influenced by the American flag. In error, the flag used at the first official flying of Ka Hae Hawai‘i ordered the stripes white-red-blue. The latter arrangement was adopted and is used today.

The first two nations to officially recognize Ka Hae Hawai‘i for official international use were the United Kingdom and France. The United States and Japan followed.

La Hae Hawai‘i

In 1990, Governor of Hawaii John D. Waihee III proclaimed July 31 to be La Hae Hawai‘i or Hawaiian Flag Day. It has been celebrated each year since then.



Flags of the U.S. states
Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Flags of the inhabited insular areas and the Federal district
American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands | Washington D.C.
Unofficial flags of the uninhabited insular areas
Johnston Atoll | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island
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