Flags of Our Nation
Issue Date: September 2, 2008
City: Washington, DC
Hawaii’s state flag has remained virtually unchanged since its creation in 1816. At the time, Hawaii was an independent kingdom under the rule of Kamehameha the Great, who commissioned the creation of a flag. The resulting flag consisted of eight red, white, and blue stripes with the flag of Great Britain in the upper-left corner. The eight stripes represent the eight main islands of Hawaii, while the Union Jack (another name for the flag of Great Britain) symbolizes the friendship between Hawaii and Great Britain. In 1959, when Hawaii was admitted as the 50th state of the United States, the flag was officially adopted as the state flag of Hawaii.
Hawaii’s State capitol, located in Honolulu, was opened on March 15, 1969. The architecture of the statehouse features a shimmering reflective pool (symbolizing the Pacific Ocean) and two cone-shaped legislative chambers (resembling the volcanoes that formed the Hawaiian Islands). Hawaii’s motto, “The life (independence) of the land is perpetuated in righteousness,” was first used in 1843 by Kamehameha III following the return of Hawaii from the British.
The Hawaii State Flag stamp is part of the 2008 Flags of Our Nation Series.