Encyclopedia > Flag of Hawaii

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Flag of Hawaii

The flag of Hawaii is unique in that it is the only state flag to feature a Union Jack, the flag of the former colonial master of the United States.

The story of the flag's origins tell that King Kamehameha once flew a Union Jack flag during the War of 1812 that had been sent to the Hawaiian monarch by King George III of England. A U.S. lieutenant commented that flying this flag might serve as an indication to others that Hawaii was allied with the British. The King responded by flying the American flag, which drew similarly disparaging remarks from British officials. Finally, King Kamehameha designed a new Hawaiian flag that included both a small Union Jack and the stripes from the U.S. flag. He was thus able to show his kingdom's friendship to both nations without offending either.

Unlike the U.S. flag, the stripes on the Hawaiian flag are red, white and blue, and there are 8 stripes for the 8 major inhabitable islands of Hawaii: Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe.



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