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Hawaii - Independence Movements (U.S.)

Last modified: 2014-11-01 by rick wyatt
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Nation of Hawai'i

[Flag of Nation of Hawai'i] image by Antonio Martins, 11 June 1997

Nation of Hawai'i is a pro-independence group of people descended from the original inhabitants of the islands. They have a white-yellow-black flag with a 'Kahili' symbol in the middle yellow band (the white and black bands are half the size of the yellow). See for a full explanation of the flag and the coat of arms.
Jan Oskar Engene, 24 August 1995

The white and black bars represent the balance of all things - Heaven and Earth, night and day, the positive and negative. The gold represents the entire human `ohana (family), with precious life as pure as golden light. The purple represents the original inhabitants of the Hawaiian Archipelago, Na Kanaka Maoli, caretakers of the Spirit of Aloha. The Kahili is an ancient symbol of communication between Heaven and Earth, inspiring leadership of the `ohana. The Kahili is embraced by La`i, leaves of Ti, a sacred plant of Hawai`i with powers of spiritual protection and healing.
Steve "Scooter" Kramer, 9 September 1996

The flag is a new flag that was created to distingish the independence movement from the de facto state flag, and to move beyond using the same Kingdom flag upside down (as a nation in distress symbol) to show that we have moved beyond distress and into restoration. However, it is true that the Kingdom flag which is the same as the de facto state flag is rich in history, and though it has not been determined yet, I would guess that the final decision of the people will be to continue to use the same flag that has been used since the Kingdom, which has always been associated with Hawaii, independent or under occupation.
Scott Crawford, 20 December 1998

Ka Lahui Hawai (Polynesian Sovereignty Movement)

[Ka Lahui Hawai Flag] image by Ivan Sache, 17 September 1999

Flags of Aspirant Peoples.
179. "Ka Lahui Hawai (Polynesian sovereignty movement) - Hawaiian Islands, United States."
Dark blue field with a constellation of stars.
Ivan Sache, 17 September 1999

Hawai'i Ko Aloha Flag

[Hawai'i Ko Aloha Flag] image by Peter Orenski, 16 January 2005

The colors in the background represents the Nine islands of the inhabited Hawaiian chain prior to the arrival of Western civilization.

Starting at the top:

  • Hawaii Island - Was the seat of power of Kamehameha I, its color is red which stands for the lehua blossom, which is the flower of the ohia tree found throughout the island.
  • Maui Island - the color is pink which stands for the pink rose like flower called lokelani, the meaning is heavenly rose. The flower is rare but represents Maui.
  • Kahoolawe Island - Its color is gray, the color of the hinahina plant found on this island.
  • Lanai Island - The color carrot yellow or orange for the color of the kaunaoa plants.
  • Molokai Island - The green is representative of the leaves of the kukui tree Its commonly referred to as the candlenut tree. Its nuts used for oil, food & medicine.
  • Oahu Island - Is yellow, for the yellow ilima blossoms.
  • Kauai Island - Its color is purple for the purple mokihana flower. The seeds of this plant were very fragrant and were strung into leis.
  • Niihau Island - Is represented by white. Stands for the small pupu (shells) that were strung there into leis. A ten strand lei of these tiny shells goes for about $2,500.00.
  • Nihoa Island - The northernmost inhabited Hawaiian island (not anymore) is represented by blue and stands for the blue sky and water which surrounds this island. No vegetation anymore.
The names of the colors in Hawaiian red - ulaula, pink - akala, gray - ahina, orange - alani, green - oma'oma'o, yellow - mele mele, purple - maku'e, white - ke'oke'o, blue - uli uli.

The word for flag in Hawaiian is hae (pronounced 'high'). The saying "Hawaii ko Aloha: means "Love of our land" or " Love of Hawaii". Our original (now state motto) is "ua mau keia o ka aina I ka pono" means "The life of our land is held in righteousness".

At the top of the crest is a mahiole. This was the Hawaiian crown, a battle and ceremonial helmet only worn by high chiefs. It was covered by feathers, and last made 250 years ago. The shield is called palulu and in ancient time was an 'aha ula or feathered cloak. This was used as a shield in time of battle and is represented by the red drape at the top of the shield. In the center is the hae kahili, or feathered standard. This was the ancient flag of the chiefs. Each island and chief had their own colors. This kahili represents all nine islands (nine colors). On each side is the pulo'ulo'u or kapu sticks. Between them is sacred and none may pass. It separates the reality from the spiritual. The paddle called hoe (pronounced 'hoy'), was used to bring our people on voyages of discovery which discovered this chain and to maintain contact between all peoples on all islands. The ihe (pronounced 'ee-hay') was used to defend our families from aggression, used to defend ourselves in time of war, and used to procure food from the mountains into the sea. The blue background of the shield represents the blue sky & sea surrounding our land.
  1. The name of the flag is is HAWAI'I KO ALOHA
  2. It represents the cultural people of Hawaii, lineal descendents of Hawaiians from Maka'ainana to Alii.
  3. The design was given in a dream to Arthur M. Mahi, lineal descendent of Kamehameha I. The rest of us helped. We began talking with you about 1 month after it was initialized.
  4. It was approved on December 9th, 2004
  5. It will be used by the cultural court at all gatherings - parades, meetings, and when we travel to visit our relatives like the two trips coming up for New Zealand (Aotearoa) and Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Flags will be presented to the chiefs there. Any person of Hawaiian blood can fly this flag. Any person of any blood can have one. It represents the people of these islands.
Hugh Lovell, 15 January 2005