This blog is about Hawaii's status as an independent country under prolonged illegal occupation by the United States, and the history, culture, law & politics of the islands.

By Scott Crawford, Hana, Maui

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Kanaka Maoli Flag origin

With the abundance of “Kanaka Maoli flags” being displayed at Mauna Kea and many demonstrations and vehicles flying the flag in support, I thought it would be helpful to revisit the origin of this flag.

At some point there was some misinformation spread that this was an historical flag, perhaps “once was the flag of the Hawaiian admiralty and flown at high seas” as one site puts it.

But in fact the original version of this flag design was created in 1993 by Uncle Louis “Buzzy” Agard, published in the book He Alo a He Alo as a short essay called “A Pro Active Symbol.” While some symbols in the flag are of ancient origin, the overall design itself is not.

The flag, with some modifications, has served the purpose that he envisioned, adopted as a symbol of protection to replace the union jack, which the Kanaka Maoli and supporters do indeed rally around and fly with pride.

I just hope that those who fly the flag are also aware and respectful of its true origin.

2 comments to Kanaka Maoli Flag origin

  • Christopher a Kanehilua-Freitas Sr

    That’s Not It Aloha

  • It was modified somewhat from the one Uncle Buzzy proposed, but clearly this was the original idea of the flag and the symbol. I have asked many times over the years and no one has yet shown my any record of this flag or something very similar to it existing prior to this book.

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