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Hawaii (U.S.)

Last modified: 2013-08-01 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of the State of Hawaii] image by Clay Moss, 16 September 2006



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In 1960, a star was added, representing Hawaii, bringing the total number of stars on the U.S. flag to 50. There are thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.


Legal Description

Hawaii Revised Statutes
Section 5-19. Description of the Hawaiian flag. The official description of the Hawaiian flag as authorized to represent the State of Hawaii on land and sea, and authorized for executive state agencies, second to the stars and stripes of the United States shall be:

  1. The Hawaiian flag shall consist of eight horizontal stripes, alternately white, red, blue, etc., beginning at the top, having a jack cantoned in the dexter chief angle next to the point of suspension;
  2. The jack shall consist of a blue field charged with a compound saltire (crossing) of alternate tincture white and red, the white having precedence; a narrow edge of white borders each red side of the saltire;
  3. A red cross bordered with white is charged (placed) over all;
  4. The proportion shall be as follows:
          (A) The fly (length) is twice the hoist (width);
          (B) The jack is half the hoist (width) in breadth and 7-16 the fly in length;
          (C) The arms of the red cross with border shall be equal in width to one of the horizontal stripes;
                the white border shall be one-third the width of the red cross;
          (D) The arms of the compound saltire (crossing) are equal in width to the red cross, the tinctures
                white, red, and the border being in the proportion of 3, 2, 1, respectively.
Joe McMillan, 11 February 2000


There is one difference between the regulations of 8 April 1896, and those in current use. The 1896 regulations call for a fimbriation to the Cross of St George of 1/6 the cross, whereas the modern ones ask for 1/3. Both sets call for "the arms of the red cross with border to be equal in width to one of the horizontal stripes", and whilst I interpreted the original to include the border and therefore, a total width of 1/8 the flag, I (along with FOTW and the official website) now interpret it to mean that the width of the red cross only should be 1/8 and the fimbriation extra (since to include a 1/3 fimbriation in the 1/8 would make an impossibly narrow cross and saltire.
Christopher Southworth, 29 July 2003


The image above is drawn to the appropriate official specifications with the Union Jack canton being 7/16 the length of the flag. This makes the proportions of the UJ 4:7, which is unusual but not entirely uncommon. A more standard version of how manufacturers actually make Hawaii's flag is shown below. I have at least one of each of the U.S. standard sizes in my collection, and to a flag, all of the cantons are quartered. I also have three 3x6 foot Hawaiian flags. One was made in the UK, one in Hong Kong, and one in Australia. All three have quartered cantons. I also have a couple of older Valley Forge Flag co. Hawaiian flags that were manufactured with cantons shorter that half length. Less than quartered UJ cantons built into Hawaiian flags proportionally less than 1:2 look really stumpy.
Clay Moss, 16 September 2006


Variant designs of the flag

[Variant of the Hawaii Flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2007

This variant is a more standard version of how manufacturers actually make Hawaii's flag. I have at least one of each of the U.S. standard sizes in my collection, and to a flag, all of the cantons are quartered. I also have three 3x6 foot Hawaiian flags. One was made in the UK, one in Hong Kong, and one in Australia. All three have quartered cantons. I also have a couple of older Valley Forge Flag co. Hawaiian flags that were manufactured with cantons shorter that half length. Less than quartered UJ cantons built into Hawaiian flags proportionally less than 1:2 look really stumpy.

Like most U.S. states with uniquely proportioned flags, Hawaii's government has accepted U.S. flag industry standards and also flies flags proportioned 2:3, 5:8 and 3:5 with quartered cantons.
Clay Moss, 16 September 2006


1896 variant

[1896 Variant Flag of Hawaii] image by Clay Moss, 16 September 2006

This is the flag of Hawaii according to a diagram issued by the Government of the Republic and dated 8 April 1896. The figures for the flag work out at 32-32 for the hoist, 56-72 for the fly and each stripe at 8, whilst the canton is 12-1-6-1-12 hoist, 24-1-6-1-24 fly, and the saltire at 1-2-3. As you will see this brings the fimbriated Cross of St George to exactly the same width as a stripe, with each blue panel being twice the width of the cross in height and in proportions of 1:2.
Christopher Southworth, 20 September 2006

Construction sheet for the union jack in the 1896 specifications
[Construction Sheet] image by Clay Moss, 22 September 2006


Governor of Hawaii

[Flag of Governor of Hawaii] image by Clay Moss, 25 December 2006

According to NAVA news (January 1984) the flag of the governor of Hawaii is blue over red with the word "Hawaii" in white in the center and, around the word, 8 white stars (8 islands perhaps?).
Jaume Ollé, 7 April 1997

The name "HAWAII" reads correctly on both sides of the flag.
Clay Moss, 19 April 2012

See also:


Police Department

[Flag of Hawaii Police] image located by Vanja Poposki, 16 April 2013
Source: www.hawaiipolice.com/police-department-flag-04-01-13

Horizontally banded, red, white, blue, ratio approximately 1-1-4, with the name in the white stripe, the badge in the upper hoist, a white-edged red map of the island of Hawai'i in the center, the motto to its hoist side, and five white stars vertically along the fly.

Hawai'i is not the same as the State of Hawaii. It is one of the state's counties, and is coterminus with the "Big Island" of Hawaii.
Ned Smith, 17 April 2013


State Military Crest

image by Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000

The state military crest, which is the crest used in the coats of arms of units of the National Guard, as granted by the precursor organizations of what is now the Army Institute of Heraldry. The official Institute of Heraldry blazon is "A dolphin embowed hauriant argent, in his mouth a key fesswise or."
Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000

Anyone familiar with the traditional heraldic depiction of a dolphin--as on the arms of the French Dauphins or the famous colophon of the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius--will be able to see at a glance that this is not an anatomically correct dolphin, but it's a dolphin (the mammal), not a mahi-mahi (dolphinfish), the seafood delicacy. Neither does the creature on the crest and the U.S. Navy submariner's badge remotely resemble a mahi-mahi/dolphin-fish, which lacks the snout of the heraldic (and natural) dolphin and has a single long dorsal fin extending the length of its back.
Joe McMillan, 8 April 2004


Hawaii State holidays and flag-flying days

Hawaii lists their state holidays (and national holidays) for 2007 as:

Date Observed Holiday Calculation
New Year's Day; 1st day in January
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; 3rd Monday in January
Presidents' Day; 3rd Monday in February
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day; 26th day in March
Good Friday Friday; before Easter
Easter
Memorial Day; Last Monday in May
King Kamehameha I Day; 11th day in June
Independence Day; 4th day in July
Statehood Day; 3rd Friday in August
Labor Day; 1st Monday in September
Veterans' Day; 11th day in November
Thanksgiving Day; 4th Thursday in November
Christmas; 25th day in December

Statehood day seems to be set for the third Friday in August, despite official statehood of August 21.
When Prince Kuhio Day falls on Good Friday, Hawaii may change the date of celebration of Prince Kuhio Day. That next occurs in 2016. Except for Easter, holidays which fall on Saturdays are observed on the preceding Friday; holidays which fall on Sundays are observed on the following Monday

Phil Nelson, 5 July 2007