An 808 way of life

The Kanaka Maoli – the true native Hawaiian flag

native-hawaiian-flagThe 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.

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3 responses

  1. Just thought I’d drop a line to mention that the Hawaii State flag with the Union Jack in the upper left was designed by King Kamehameha the First. I’d like to learn more about this “kanaka maoli” flag. Do you have any references to share about it’s origins? Your post was the first mention I had seen that give credit to Kamehameha for the design.

    Aloha, McH

    May 6, 2009 at 4:33 am

  2. Thanks for sharing this informative post with us . Will visit your blog again.

    May 20, 2009 at 9:47 am

  3. Anonymous

    hi, i’m doing a report on hawaii, and this was really helpful, thanks!!! TT_TT

    July 23, 2009 at 5:49 am

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