The Kanaka Maoli – the true native Hawaiian flag
The Kanaka Maoli—or “native Hawaiian”—flag (right) is said to have been Kamehameha’s personal flag long before the modern Hawaiian flag. British navy Captain Lord George Paulet destroyed it when he took control of Hawaii for five months in 1843. Go figure – “Paulet” was an ass. I might add – “WTF!”
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.
The flag’s color scheme is red, yellow and green, meant to represent different groups within Hawaiian society. The yellow is symbolic of ke ali’i, the powerful royal class. Red represents the konohiki, the landed caste that served ke ali’i. Green signifies the maka’ainana, or commoners.
I noticed the Kanaka Maoli flag on a recent trip to the Big Island. It’s become popular in the community in recent years and can be found on everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers. I’ll be looking for one on my next trip – as I’ll be there Friday. This week. Aloha.