Sovereignty Flag led UH Warriors into Sugar Bowl

Following up on my post about the Warriors in the Sugar Bowl, here's a photo showing the sovereignty flag leading the team onto the field. (h/t Melissa Leina'ala Haa Moniz)

For background on the flag here's a 2001 article from the Advertiser about it. My understanding after looking into it is that the flag was created relatively recently and is not an original Hawaiian kingdom flag, but it is nevertheless known as a symbol of sovereignty and the kingdom.

People have different ways of showing their Hawaiian nationality. The current "state" flag was the original flag of the kingdom (with only minor modifications, and there's been extensive documentation to prove that), and it remained the same through the so-called republic and territory all the way up to the state. If you are in Hawaii and you see the Hawaiian flag flying in a yard by itself, without an American flag, it most likely represents the kingdom. There are several examples of that here in East Maui.

To make more of a statement, though, some people choose to fly it upside down, which is a symbol of distress. One brother here in who has a taro patch near the road flies an inverted kingdom flag so passing tourists ask him why, and that gives him an opportunity to educate them about the history.

Then there are those who have created new flags. While Kekula and I were working with Bumpy in 93-94 with Ohana Council and then Nation of Hawaii, Bumpy had the vision for the black, white and gold flag with a purple kahili in the center that is featured at, with part of the motivation being to have something distinct from the "state" flag. (I can definitely understand those who say the kingdom flag has stayed the same all these years, we should stick with it, but I also really like the design of this Nation of Hawaii flag, it is very striking and the meaning behind it is pono, very spiritual, and if Hawaii were to change it's flag at some point, I think this one would have my vote.)

And this red, yellow and green flag is another version of that, as I see it, meant as a symbol of the kingdom distinct from the flag which has become the "state" flag (and that has a design obviously based on elements of the British and American flags).

So anyway, to people who know what it means, it represents Hawaiian sovereignty and the kingdom. The team flying this flag, and not the American flag or the Hawaiian "state" flag, as they entered the field before a national audience is a damn strong statement, and goes to show how deeply and broadly the nationalist sentiment goes.

Posted: Fri - January 4, 2008 at 08:58 PM    
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Published On: Jan 04, 2008 08:58 PM
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