Seal of Hawaii

The Great Seal of the State of Hawaii was designated officially by Act 272 of the 1959 Territorial Legislature and is based on the territorial seal.[1] Modifications to the territorial seal included the use of the words "State of Hawaii" at the top and "1959" within the circle. Provisions for a seal for the state of Hawaii were enacted by the Territorial Legislature and approved by Governor William F. Quinn on June 8, 1959.[2] The passage of the Admission Act in 1959, admitted Hawaii as the 50th State of the United States of America on August 21, 1959.

The seal of the Territory of Hawaii was the same as the seal of the republic, except that it had "Territory of Hawaii" placed at the top and "1900" (signifying the year that the territorial government officially was organized) within the circle.[1] The 1901 Territorial Legislature authorized the modified republic seal as the Seal of the Territory of Hawaii.[2]

The seal of the Republic of Hawaii had the words "Republic of Hawaii" at the top and "MDCCCXCIV" within the circle. The year 1894 signified the date that the republic was established.[1] The republic seal was designed by Viggo Jacobsen, a Honolulu resident, and itself was derived from the Kingdom of Hawaii coat of arms used during the reign of King Kamehameha III, King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani, which had been designed by the College of Arms in London in 1842 and officially adopted in 1845.[3]

Royal Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Hawaii

Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hawaii as designed by the College of Arms

Royal Coat of Arms of Hawaii

Version of the coat of arms later adopted by the Kingdom around 1850

Great Seal of the State of Hawaii
Seal of the State of Hawaii
Seal of the Territory of Hawaii
Seal of the Republic of Hawaii
Seal of the Republic of Hawaii
ArmigerState of Hawaii
MottoUa Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono
Official Statehood Medal Commemorating the Admission of Hawaii as the 50th State
Reverse of the Official Statehood medal (in silver) Commemorating the Admission of Hawaii as the 50th State of the United States of America with high relief details of the Great Seal of the State of Hawaii

State Seal

The Great Seal of the State of Hawaii is circular in shape, two and three-quarters inches in diameter, and of the design being described, with the tinctures added as the basis for the coat of arms. The Hawaii state seal represents Hawaii's nation.

Arms design

In the center of the seal is a heraldic shield which is quartered. The first and fourth quarters display the white, red, and blue stripes of Ka Hae Hawaiʻi or the flag of Hawaiʻi. The second and third quarters are on a yellow field with a white Puloʻuloʻu, or kapu sticks with tapa-covered balls on the end. In the center of the heraldic shield is a green escutcheon with a five-pointed yellow star in the center.

Supporters design

On the left side is Kamehameha I, standing in the attitude as represented by the bronze statue in front of Ali'iolani Hale, Honolulu. His cloak and helmet (a mahiole) are in yellow. Kamehameha I's figure is in proper. Kamehameha I unified the Hawaiian Islands into a single united kingdom. On the right side is goddess Liberty also wearing a Phrygian cap and laurel wreath. She is holding Ka Hae Hawaiʻi in her right hand that is partly unfurled.

Crest design

A rising sun irradiated in gold surrounded by the legend "State of Hawaii, 1959" on a scroll in black lettering.

Motto design

The state motto: Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono is on the scroll on the seal's bottom in gold lettering. Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono is roughly translated into English as "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness." The motto was adopted by the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1843 and was used in an address by King Kamehameha III at ceremonies following the return of his kingdom from the British. British captain Lord George Paulet of HMS Carysfort demanded that Hawaiʻi was ceded to Great Britain in response to claims of political abuses against British residents made by British Consul Richard Charlton. After Kamehameha III notified London of the captain's actions, Admiral Richard Darton Thomas returned sovereignty back to the King.[4] The motto is also featured in Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's song "Hawaii '78" and is used on the Hawaii state quarter.

Compartment design

Below the heraldic shield, the bird phoenix has it wings outstretched arising from flames. The phoenix's body is black and wings half yellow and half dark red. Below the heraldic shield are eight taro leaves having on either side banana foliage and sprays of maidenhair fern trailed upwardly.


  • 1959 represents the year of admission into the Union as a state.
  • The rising sun replaced the royal crown from the original coat of arms. This represents the birth of a new state.
  • King Kamehameha the Great and the Goddess of Liberty holding the Hawaiian flag replace the two warriors on the royal coat of arms. This may represent the old government leader (King Kamehameha the Great) and the new government leader (The Goddess of Liberty).
  • The quartered design of the heraldic shield is retained from the original coat of arms.
  • The eight stripes in two of the quarters of the shield represent the eight main islands.
  • The Puloʻuloʻu, or tabu ball and stick, in the second and third quarters was carried before the king and placed before the door of his home, signifying his authority and power. In the seal it is a symbol of the authority and power of the government.
  • The star in the middle of the shield signifies the fiftieth star added to the United States flag.
  • The phoenix, symbol of death and resurrection, symbolizes the change from an absolute monarchy to a free, democratic form of government.
  • The eight taro leaves, flanked by banana foliage and maidenhair fern are typical Hawaiian flora and represent the eight main islands. Taro is the traditional staff of life and has great spiritual significance. Taro is also still cultivated and is the ingredient of the popular dish called poi.
  • The state motto, "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono", "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness," is retained from the royal coat of arms.

Government seals of Hawaii


  1. ^ a b c Names and Insignia of Hawaii
  2. ^ a b Pamphlet that accompanied ”The Official Statehood Medal Commemorating the Admission of Hawaii as the 50th State of the United States of America, August 21, 1959”, Medallic Art Company, New York
  3. ^ Berg, Annemarie (1979). Great State seals of the United States. Dodd, Mead and Company. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-396-07705-3.
  4. ^ Dorothy Riconda (March 23, 1972). "Thomas Square nomination form". National Register of Historic Places. U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-02-21.

External links

Climate of Hawaii

The American state of Hawaii, which covers the Hawaiian Islands, is tropical but it experiences many different climates, depending on altitude and surrounding. The island of Hawaii for example hosts 4 (out of 5 in total) climate groups on a surface as small as 4,028 square miles (10,430 km2) according to the Köppen climate types: tropical, arid, temperate and polar. When counting also the Köppen sub-categories the island of Hawaii hosts 8 (out of 13 in total) climate zones. The islands receive most rainfall from the trade winds on their north and east flanks (the windward side) as a result of orographic precipitation. Coastal areas are drier, especially the south and west side or leeward sides.

The Hawaiian Islands receive most of their precipitation during the winter months (October to April). Drier conditions generally prevail from May to September, and while warmer temperatures increase the risk of tropical cyclones, Pacific hurricanes seldom impact Hawai'i.

Environmental issues in Hawaii

The majority of environmental issues affecting Hawaii today are related to pressures from increasing human and animal population and urban expansion both directly on the islands as well as overseas. These include tourism, urbanization, climate change implications, pollution, invasive species, etc.

Flag of Hawaii

The current official flag of Hawaii (Hawaiian: Ka Hae Hawaiʻi) had also previously been used by the kingdom, protectorate, republic, and territory of Hawaii. The inclusion of an emblem of a foreign country, the Union Flag of the United Kingdom, is a remnant of the British Empire's influence on Hawaiian history. It is the only US state flag to include a foreign country's national flag.


Hawaii ( (listen) hə-WY-ee; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi [həˈvɐjʔi]) is a state of the United States of America. It is the only state located in the Pacific Ocean and the only state composed entirely of islands.

The state encompasses nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, 137 islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). The volcanic archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight main islands are, in order from northwest to southeast: Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest island in the group; it is often called the "Big Island" or "Hawaiʻi Island" to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago.

Hawaii is the 8th smallest geographically and the 11th least populous, but the 13th most densely populated of the 50 states. It is the only state with an Asian American plurality. Hawaii has over 1.4 million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. The state capital and largest city is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu. The state's ocean coastline is about 750 miles (1,210 km) long, the fourth longest in the U.S., after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida, and California. Hawaii is the most recent state to join the union, on August 21, 1959. It was an independent nation until 1898.

Hawaii's diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. Because of its central location in the Pacific and 19th-century labor migration, Hawaii's culture is strongly influenced by North American and East Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture.

Kamehameha Statue (Honolulu cast)

The Kamehameha I statue (Honolulu cast) is an outdoor sculpture by American artist Thomas Ridgeway Gould, erected in 1883. The first cast in the series, Kamehameha I statue (original cast), is located in North Kohala on the island of Hawaiʻi. The second cast stands outside the Aliʻiōlani Hale government building in Honolulu, located on the island of Oahu. Made of cast brass, it depicts Kamehameha I and has become a recognizable cultural symbol for the Hawaiian Islands.

Kamehameha statue (original cast)

The Kamehameha I statue (original cast) is an outdoor sculpture by American artist Thomas Ridgeway Gould, cast in 1880 and installed in 1883. It stands in front of the old country courthouse in the town of Kapaʻau, located in North Kohala on the Island of Hawaiʻi. Made of cast brass and painted with lifelike colors, it depicts Kamehameha I, and represents an important cultural and spiritual object for the local community.

List of Hawaii state symbols

The following is a list of symbols of the U.S. state of Hawaii.

List of botanical gardens and arboretums in Hawaii

This list is intended to include all significant botanical gardens and arboretums in the U.S. state of Hawaii.

List of coats of arms

Coats of arms are commonly possessed by nations, regions, cities, royal and noble personages, and sometimes by other entities.

Paulet affair (1843)

The Paulet affair was the five-month occupation of the Hawaiian Islands in 1843 by British naval officer Captain Lord George Paulet, of HMS Carysfort.

Phrygian cap

The Phrygian cap or liberty cap is a soft conical cap with the apex bent over, associated in antiquity with several peoples in Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia, Dacia, and the Balkans. During the French Revolution it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty, although Phrygian caps did not originally function as liberty caps. The original cap of liberty was the Roman pileus, the felt cap of manumitted (emancipated) slaves of ancient Rome, which was an attribute of Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty. In the 16th century, the Roman iconography of liberty was revived in emblem books and numismatic handbooks where the figure of Libertas is usually depicted with a pileus. The most extensive use of a headgear as a symbol of freedom in the first two centuries after the revival of the Roman iconography was made in the Netherlands, where the cap of liberty was adopted in the form of a contemporary hat. In the 18th century, the traditional liberty cap was widely used in English prints and from 1789 on in French prints, too; but it was not until the early 1790s, that the French cap of liberty was regularly used in the Phrygian form.

It is used in the coat of arms of certain republics or of republican state institutions in the place where otherwise a crown would be used (in the heraldry of monarchies). It thus came to be identified as a symbol of the republican form of government. A number of national personifications, in particular France's Marianne, are commonly depicted wearing the Phrygian cap.

Territorial Building

The Territorial Building is a government building of the Territory of Hawaiʻi.

Thomas Square

Thomas Square is a park in Honolulu, Hawaii named for Admiral Richard Darton Thomas. The Privy Council voted to increase its boundaries on March 8, 1850, making Thomas Square the oldest city park in Hawaii.

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