HAWAI’I

 

 

INTRODUCTION

HERALDRY

The Kingdom

U.S. Rule

The Achievements

Kingdom

Provisional Government

Republic

Territory

State

Armed Forces

 

Back to United States

 

Introduction

 

In the archipelago in the Pacific called the Sandwich Islands by European explorers, there existed a military and polictical organisation in which an important role was played by captains or chiefs. As a badge of rank they wore precious cloaks (‘ahu’ula) and helmets (mahiole) of red and yellow feathers. The feathers had to be of the Hawai’ian Honeycreeper (Drepanidæ) in particular of the Himatione sanguinea, the Vestaria coccinea and the Drepanis pacifica, species which are very rare or completely extinguished now.

 

Kings of Hawai’i

Kamehameha I

1810-1819

Kamehameha II

1819-1824

Kamehameha III

1825-1854

Kamehameha IV

1855-1863

Kamehameha V

1863-1872

Lunalilo

1873-1874

Kalakaua

1874-1891

Lili’uokalani

1891-1893

Himatione sanguinea

Vestaria coccinea

Drepanis pacifica

 

The foundation of the cloaks and helmets was a netting of bark-cordage (olonā) on which feather-bushes of different colors were knotted. [1]

Cloaks, capes and helmets were the privilege of men. An other symbol of dignity could be worn also by women. It is a kahili, a fan of feathers, mounted on a long staff. Kahili were used at funerals and ceremonies around royal persons.

A device of policital and religious power of the captains was the pulo’ulo’u, a staff of about one and a half metres long with a globe of white or black bark and a diameter of about 20 cm on top.

Pulo’ulo’u were carried before the high-priests as a symbol of untouchability. Seeing it the people had to bow, squat or, depending from the rank of the official, lay flat on the ground as a sign of submission. They were placed at the entrance of temples, near springs, holy forests, paths and washing places as a sign that the entrance was forbidden. On Hawai’i the pulo’ulo ‘u developed into a symbol of oppression, nuisance and danger to the people. Trespassing the tabu indicated by the pulo’ulo ‘u was often a capital crime.

Feathercloak (ahu’ula) of King Kamehameha I.

Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin. Kat.-Nr.VI 366

 

Regalia

 

 

The crown was designed in 1842 on the voyage of Timothy Ha’alilo, together with the achievement. The crown consists of a diadem set with precious stones, and three square crosses between six taro-leaves. The crown is lined with a purple velvet cap and has four hoops crested with a globe with a square cross on top. 

At the occasion of the coronation of Kalakaua in 1883 two crowns were ordered in England of this shape, one crown for the king and one for the queen to be used at the coronation.

In 1893 the royal crown was stolen from the palace and the stones were removed. The remainder was found back in 1925 and repaired with artificial gems. Both crowns are in the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.[2]

The other regalia: a Sceptre, a Sword of State and a Ring of State were also made for the coronation of 1883. [3]

 

Hawai’ian Sceptre, 1883.

 Eagle on globe. L.: 93.5 cm.

 

The Order of Kamehameha I was established in 1865 by king Kamehameha V on 11 April 1865, to commemorate his grandfather, Kamehameha the Great. It was bestowed on Hawai’ian subjects and foreigmers as an award of merit or for service to the Kingdom.

Its cross of silver gilt, set with brilliants and crowned with the royal crown shows the name and  cypher ‘K’ of Kamehameha I. [4]

 

Some of these symbols of power are in the achievement of Hawai’i.

 

Heraldry

 

The Kingdom

 

At the end of the 18th century the chief of Hawai’i, Kamehameha succeeded in submitting all the islands of the archipelago. In 1810 he founded the kingdom of Hawai’i over which he ruled until his death in 1819 as King Kamehameha I.

Kamehameha I maintained good relations with the British. In 1794 he had put himself under their protection, without, however provoking any reaction from them. When, under his successors Hawai’i wanted to present itself internationally, the example was sought in England. This caused the need for a flag, a coat of arms and regalia.

In 1842 on the initiative of King Kamahameha III, rev. William Richard, adviser to the king and the private secretary, Timothy Ha’alilo, were sent to the United States, France and England to negotiate treaties garanteeing the continued independence of the kingdom. Commissioned to seek help with a royal seal or crest, the delegation consulted with professionals in Brussels and Paris before settling on a  design suggested by Ha’alilio and prepared by the Herald’s College in London. The design was finally adopted in 1845.

On the arms are the stripes of the Hawai’ian flag adopted in 1816 (barry of eight pieces white, red and blue and in the upper right corner the Union Jack). In the second and third there is the pulo’ulo’u described above and on an escutcheon is a triangular banner paly Gules and Or (puela) and two spears (alia) in saltire, which are some other ancient symbols of power.

On the shield is the Hawai’ian crown, of European fashion and designed at the same time as the achievement. The supporters are the twin-brothers Kameeiamoku nd Kamanawa, who served King Kamehameha I uniting the archipelago. They are vested in feather-cloaks and helmets of the model of the ones brought to England by captain Cook from his voyage to the Sandwich-islands in 1799. The brother on the dexter side has a spear and the brother on the sinister side a kahili in his hand. The motto finally, is a part of the thanksgiving expressed by Kamehameha III in a speech on 31 July 1843 at the retreat of the British who, for a short time had occupied the islands. The motto UA MAU KA EA OKA AINAI KA PONO means: The Survival of the Nation is Warranted by Justice.[5]

The oldest representations of the achievement show a shield, a crown, supporters and motto. From the reign of Kalakaua I the achievement was surrounded by an uncrowned mantle. Somewhat later it was augmented with the cross of the Order of Kamehameha I, founded 1865.

In 1883, at the occasion of the coronation of Kalakaua I who liked to surround himself with as much pomp copied from Victorian England, the mantle was changed. It became: ‘purpure, fringed and tasseled Or, lined ermine and crowned with the royal Hawai’ian crown’.

 

U.S. Rule

 

At a coup-d’état on 17 January 1893 Queen Liliuokalani was deposed by American colonists. They founded a provisional government anticipating the admission to the United States. The arms were changed. In the second and third the pulo’ulo’u was removed and replaced by eight black stars, symbolizing the eight islands of the Kingdom: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, Kahoolawe en Hawai’i. On the escutcheon, now tinctured Or the banner and spears were maintained. All exterior ornaments but for the supporters were removed.

The United States proved not to be willing to accept the request for admission to the Union. As a result a Republic was proclaimed on 4 July 1894. On 25 May 1896 a seal with an achievement, again renewed, was adopted. On the escutcheon, Vert again, the banner and spears were replaced by a five-pointed star as an expression of the desire to join the United States. From the upper border of the shield a sun radiant is rising, symbolizing the post-monarchical era.

In base of the shield the cross of the Order of Kamehameha I was replaced by a resurrecting phoenix as a symbol of the renewal of the nation.

The princely twin was replaced by King Kamehameha I and Liberty, supporting the Hawai’ian flag.

Finally, the achievement was surrounded by a garland of leaves of taro (Colocasis esculenta), maidenhair fern (Adiantum cuneatum - Polypodiacea) and banana-leaves.

The motto was made a part of the legend of the seal together with the name of the republic.

After the Republic had been annexed by the United States on 12 August 1898 it received the status of a U.S. Territory in 1900. On the seal the word “Republic” was changed accordingly in “Territory”.

When, in 1959 Hawai’i was admitted at last, the word “Territory” was replaced by “State” and the date 1900 by 1959. The achievement in the meantime, was not changed.

 

The Achievements

 

Kamehameha III

1825-1854

1845

A.: ¼: 1 & 4: Barry of eight Argent, Gules and Azure; 2 & 3: Or a pulo’ulo’u per pale proper. In fess point an escutcheon Vert with a puela and two alia in saltire Or.

Crown: The Royal Hawai’ian crown.

S.: The twin brothers Kamanawa with a spear and Kameeiamoku with a kahili, vested in red and yellow ahu’ula and mahiole proper.

Motto: ua mau ke ea oka ainai ka pono (The Survival of the Nation is Warranted by Justice).

 

Kamehameha IV

1855-1863

 

Royal Achievement at the Palace Gate

- 1865

A.: ¼: 1 & 4: Barry of eight Argent, Gules and Azure; 2 & 3: Or a pulo’ulo’u per pale proper. In fess point an escutcheon Vert with a puela and two alia in saltire Or.

Crown: The Royal Hawai’ian crown.

S.: The twin brothers Kamanawa with a spear and Kameeiamoku with a kahili, vested in red and yellow ahu’ula and mahiole proper.

Motto: ua mau ke ea o ka ainai ka pono (The Survival of the Nation is Warranted by Justice).

Mantle: A ahu’ula proper.     

  

Kalakaua

1874-1891

           

1882 ca.

A.: ¼: 1 & 4: Barry of eight Argent, Gules and Azure; 2 & 3: Or a pulo’ulo’u per pale proper. In fess point an escutcheon Vert with a puela and two alia in saltire Or.

Crown: The Royal Hawai’ian crown.

S.: The twin brothers Kamanawa with a spear and Kameeiamoku with a kahili, vested in red and yellow ahu’ula and mahiole proper.

O.: Of Kamehameha I (1865)

Cypher: K.R. (Kalakaua Rex)

Motto: ua mau ka ea oka ainai ka pono (The Survival of the Nation is Warranted by Justice).

Mantle: A ahu’ula proper. [6]

 

 

1883-1893

A.: ¼: 1 & 4: Barry of eight Argent, Gules and Azure; 2 & 3: Or a pulo’ulo’u per pale proper. In fess point an escutcheon Vert with a puela and two alia in saltire Or.

Crown: The Royal Hawai’ian crown.

S.: The twin brothers Kamanawa with a spear and Kameeiamoku with a kahili, vested in red and yellow ahu’ula and mahiole proper.

O.: Of Kamehameha I (1865)

Motto: ua mau ke ea oka ainai ka pono (The Survival of the Nation is Warranted by Justice).

Mantle: Purpure, fringed and tasseled Or,  lined Ermine and crowned with the Hawai’ian royal crown

 

Provisional Government of Hawai’i

1893-1894

 

 

A.: ¼: 1 & 4: Barry of eight Argent, Gules and Azure; 2 & 3: Argent, eight mullets Sable 2, 3 and 3. In fess point an escutcheon Or with a puela and two alia in saltire Sable.

S.: The twin brothers Kamanawa with a spear and Kameeiamoku with a kahili, vested in red

 and yellow ahu’ula and mahiole proper.

 

Hawai’ian one cent stamp, 1894

Black stars on a white field

Meyers Konversationslexikon

After 1897: white stars on a blue field (incorrect)

 

Republic of Hawai’i

1894-1900

 

Great Seal of the Republic of Hawai’i,

Bishop Museum, Honolulu.  Inv. n° 1933.46. [7]

 

Achievement on the seal of 1896.05.25:

 

A.: ¼: 1 & 4: Barry of eight Argent, Gules and Azure; 2 & 3: Or a pulo’ulo’u per pale proper. In nombril point an escutcheon Vert, a five pointed  star Or.

Crest: A rising sun proper.

S.: King Kamehameha I with a spear and Liberty, vested Argent and supporting the Hawai’ian flag both proper.

Badge: In base of the achievement: a phoenix Or.

Garland: Leaves of taro (Colocasia esculenta), adiantum (Adiantum cuneatum - polypodiacea) and banana.

Motto: ua mau ke ea oka ainai ka pono (The Survival of the Nation is Warranted by Justice).

 

Territory of Hawai’i

1900-1959

 

Courtesy King Kamehameha V Judiciary Center

Achievement on the seal of 1900 ca

A.: ¼: 1 & 4: Barry of eight Argent, Gules and Azure; 2 & 3: Or a pulo’ulo’u per pale proper. In nombril point an escutcheon Vert, a five pointed  star Or.

Crest: A rising sun proper.

S.: D.: King Kamehameha I with a spear and S.: Liberty, vested Argent and supporting theHawai’ian flag, both proper

Badge: In base of the achievement: a phoenix Or

Garland: Leaves of taro (Colocasia esculenta), adiantum (Adiantum cuneatum - polypodiacea) and banana

Motto: ua mau ke ea oka ainai ka pono (The Survival of the Nation is Warranted by Justice).

 

State of Hawai’i

1959

 

Achievement on the sel of 1959

Achievement: As before.

State seal: L.: state of hawaii (& motto); and the date 1959

 

ð See illustration in the head of this essay

 

Armed Forces

 

Army

 

HAWAII STATE AREA COMMAND

 

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

 

Heraldry Image - Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Description

On a Gold disc, 7.30 cm in diameter overall within a 0.32 cm Green border, the head of Kamehameha I with his feathered helmet Proper (face brown, helmet red).

Background

The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Hawaii National Guard on 14 March 1949.  It was redesignated with description amended for Head-quarters, State Area Command, Hawaii National Guard on 30 December 1983.  The insignia was amended to correct the dimensions on 29 September 1997.  (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-479)

 

Distinctive Unit Insignia

 

Heraldry Image - Distinctive Unit Insignia

Description

A gold color metal and enamel device 2.86 cm in height overall consisting of a white shield, bearing a gold and red delineation of the feather helmet of Kamehameha the Great in front of two spears crossed saltirewise in base, with a narrow light blue bar across the top bearing eight five-pointed stars arranged horizontally, all above a light blue scroll with the inscription “ONIPAA MAU LOA” in gold letters.

Background

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and noncolor bearing units of the Hawaii Army National Guard on 1 March 1971.  The insignia was re-designated effective 1 October 1982, for Headquarters, State Area Command, Hawaii Army National Guard.

 

Crest

 

Heraldry Image - Crest

Description

That for regiments and separate battalions of the Hawaii Army National Guard:  From a wreath of colors, a dolphin embowed hauriant Argent, in his mouth a key fesswise Or.

Symbolism

The dolphin is the heraldic king of fishes and the Hawaiian Islands are the key of the Pacific.

Background

The crest for color bearing organizations for the State of Hawaii was approved on 9 May 1922.  It was amended to correct the description on 10 October 1923.

 

 

Back to Main Page

 

 

© Hubert de Vries 2012-01-02

 



[1] Feather cloaks  (‘ahu’ula) are preserved in:  Bishop Museum Honolulu Inv. n°s 6829, 11,094, C.9558.  Museum für Völkerkunde Berlin Kat.-Nr. VI 366. This section is partly based on: Rose, Roger G.: Hawai’i: The Royal Isles. Honolulu, 1980.

[2] Inv. n° HH 101: Crown of Queen Kapi’olani, Rose, n° 252.

[3] Bishop Museum Honolulu inv. n°s 8118, 8119, 1918.09.09 & Rose n°s 253, 254, 255. .

[4] Picture Kapi’olani-Kalaniana’ole Collection, 1923 (B. 7259)

[5] In his speech he said: “I have given away the life of the land. I have hope that the life of the land will be restored when my conduct is justified.” It alludes to the righteousness of the British government, in returning the Island to their legal sovereign, to the righteousness of the Hawaiian which secured the restoration, and to the general principle, that it is only by righteousness that national existence is preserved.  

[6] Rose n° 256

[7] Rose n° 285