History of the Hawaiian Flag. 1880.

In Thrum’s Hawaiian Almanac and Annual for 1880, pp. 24–26, appears this article:

THE HAWAIIAN FLAG.

We exceedingly regret to report an unsuccessful search for the History of the present Flag of these Islands, the time of its adoption and the parties interested in its formation; but after diligent inquiries and research through volumes of voyages, histories, periodicals and manuscript journals during the past three years, we have to acknowledge the main fact lost in oblivion, while references thereto in various voyages and histories are confusing and contradictory.

There is a general idea and belief among many of our old residents that the present Hawaiian Flag was made by the late Capt. Alexander Adams before his voyage to China in the brig “Kaahumana, [Kaahumanu]” in 1817, and was by him first flown, not only in the Chinese waters, but on the coast of California. Others again have the impression that a flag was brought from China by him; but we can gather no information corroborative as to who was authorized in Chinese waters to design a flag for this, even small kingdom, though the description given viz: a St. George and St. Andrew’s cross in the corner filled in with blue, with field consisting of red and white stripes, shows almost virtually the East India Flag. Refering to Capt. Adams’ Journal we find the following mention only, that touches upon the points in question: ” April, 1816, The King of these Islands having a strong passion to purchase the brig, (‘Forrester,’ of London) and expressing the same, myself and Capt. Ebbetts was accordingly deputed to treat with him, but he would not purchase her without I would enter his service as her commander. I resultingly acquiesced, the brig being given up to him at Kealakekua, and called by him Kaahumanu * * *. I was accordingly honored on taking command with the Flag of his Majesty and a salute of 11 guns.”

This certainly refutes the general belief that the flag was made by Capt. Adams, as his own narrative shows a flag to have been here before him ; but
whether the present one or some other we cannot gather, for it is evident that there have been more than one. In another portion of his journal is an allusion to a flag—but also without description—that has no doubt given rise to the idea of his making the flag; where at Waimea, Kauai, at which port he had touched from Honolulu for supplies, en route for China, he notes: “Mch. 12, 1817, * * * Gave the King our ensign to hoist in lieu of the Russian, who said it was on account of his having no other.”

It is to be borne in mind that the allusion here is to the king of Kauai, and not Kamehameha, as Kauai was under its own King till 1821, and his possession of a Russian flag while the principal town was occupied by a Russian colony was not strange.

Finding these theories of Capt. Adams’ authorship exploded by his own writings, search was made in other directions with the following result. Vancouver, in his last visit, (1793) when he assured Kamehameha of England’s friendship and protection, gave him an English flag, which we find by Archibald Campbell, in his “Voyage round the World, 1806-1812,” arriving at these Islands Dec. 1808, that the English colors were used, for he says: “The King’s residence, built close upon the shore, and surrounded by a palisade upon the land side, was distinguished by the British colors.”

Jarvis [Jarves] states, (pp. 96) describing the period of about 1816, speaks of the flag, as somewhat similiar to the present, viz: “English Union, with seven alternated red, white and blue stripes.” This however is not coroborated by Lord Byron, in his “Voyage of the Blonde,” in 1825, in which he describes the flag as follows: “On all days of ceremony the Sandwich flag is hoisted on the forts; it has seven white and red stripes with a Union Jack in the corner.” (P. 121.)

This is almost the East India flag before described, and confuses the searcher after truth as to when the several changes took place. If Jarvis is correct in the flag he describes, and he certainly was in a position to know whereof he wrote, it is a grave error in the recorder of the “Voyage of the Blonde” to give so different a one nine years later. The present flag has eight stripes representing the Islands of the group-white, red and blue, with Union Jack in the corner. Capt. Hunt, who was here in the Baselisk [Basilisk] in 1845, is said to have changed the relative position of the colors of the stripes by placing the white on top instead of at the bottom, though there is a possibility of this being the time of adding the eighth stripe, Jarvis and Byron mentioning only seven. Capt. Hunt is also accredited with designing the Royal Standard now in use.

We leave the above subject as here recorded, trusting it will meet the eye of some one whose knowledge and memory will be freshened thereby to account the true history of the Hawaiian Flag, its origin, and parties interested in its formation.

[The original of this article is downloadable here at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s EVOLS page! This publication is very useful for many random facts about Hawaii at the time. If you have not seen it before, you should go check it out!!]

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Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli’s birthday, a little late. 1907.

Day of Remembrance

of the

King Kauikeaouli

This past 17th, Sunday, was the day of remembrance for all true Hawaiians, of the King Kauikeaouli, the Benevolent one. There are two different historical accounts of this day. Fornander states in his account that Kauikeaouli was born of Keopuolani on 11 August 1813, and that this information was from Emalia Keaweamahi, the wahine of Kaikioewa, the governor of Kauai. This date of A. Fornander is supported by Prof. Alexander in his “Brief History of the Hawaiian People.” However, in the account of Mr. James Jackson Jarves, a scholar of Hawaiian history who arrived here in Hawaii nei in 1837, Kauikeaouli was born on 17 March 1813. This historian arrived here but 24 years after the birth of Kauikeaouli, and it would seem that he obtained clear information about the true birth date of the Benevolent King, while he was living here. This statement by Jarves is supported by the reviving prayer that Kapihe offered for Kauikeaouli. Look below at line 11 [42?] in the “Pule a Kapihe.” Ikiiki is the month of March according to the reckoning of Oahu people, and according to Molokai people it is August.

Kauikeaouli was born at Ooma, Keauhou, in Kailua, in the moku of Kona. However, Prof. Alexander, in his history of Hawaii, says Kauikeaouli was born in Kailua.

The name Kauikeaouli is a name from his ancestors, that being the name of his grandfather, Keoua (Keaoua), the one called Kalanikupuapaikalaninui Kauikeaouli. This name puts on high the sacred kapu of Keoua–his chiefly kapu extends above and touches the great heavens, and rests upon the dark clouds. So therefore, the importance of the names Keaouli and Keaoua, is the dark, black, thick, esteemed cloud. This cloud is a rain cloud. A Orator of the old times said that the name Kauikeaouli is the bank of clouds that Kapihe, the prophet, saw spread high in the heavens when he was called to go to see if the child that Keopualani gave birth to was alive or not alive. He was not breathing and was totally lifeless. However, when this kahuna and prophet arrived to where the child was placed, he offered this prayer while waving a coconut frond in his hand. This is the prayer by which Kapihe made Kauikeaouli live, according to the story:

1 O ke Kukaikapaoa ka lani, ae alii,

2 He ‘lii haoa lani, haoa—a

3 He a ia m u lani ku makomako

4 He lani no Kahuku maka pali pohaku

5 He mau lani pohaku na Lono kaeho

6 No Lono ka la i poniia i ka wai niu

7 I haua i ka puaa hiwa

8 I ka puaa hiwa, puaa hiwa a Lono,

9 E Lono—e. Eia ko maka lani

10 Ko lau, ko mu’o, ko ao, ko liko

11 Ko alii kapu e Kahai-piilani

12 Ko maka Kuanahai ka malama

13 Malama ia ka lau kapu o Keaka

14 Ka lau oheohe o Keakamahana

15 I kupu a kapalulu, a kapalule

16 Ka pua, ka pua Ololo hemahema no Kaikilani

17 Nona ia lau ololo no Kanaloa

18 No ka ilio hulu panio, i poni ka maka

19 I noho ka eleele iloko o ka onohi

20 O ke kakau kioki onio i ka lae

21 O ke kioki o ke kikakapu

22 O ka i’a kapuhili au awahia

23 Awahia, awahia ia lani

24 Na Keaka wahine kea

25 Kupu mala o kea Keakealani

26 Ia laua haki ka haka o ke kapu

27 He haka i ka momona o na ‘lii nui

28 He mau alii ku moku, ai moku nui,

29 He nui hoi ka uhi, ka lawalu iwaho

30 He kai papa neenekona aina

31 He kai papa holo papa no Kahiki

32 I iki Keawe, ke kaupu kiau moku

33 Ka hua hookahi a ka A-o i ka lani

34 Na Kalani Ka’ani Kauleleiaiwi

35 Na Keawe, Keawe keia lani

36 Na kela eke hulu o Piilani

37 Lilo nei Keawe ia Piilani

38 Ahu kooka o na ‘lii

39 He mau alii ka ikena ‘ku

40 He mau lani haele wale iho no

41 Hele, hahi i ka lihilihi o ka La

42 I ka malama hanau i o Ikiiki—la

43 I ka malama hanau i o Ikiiki—la

—Mahele—

44 Ikiiki ka lani iluna

45 Ua uiha i ka malama

46 Ka pili o ho-ehu ka ua

47 Ke iloli nei ka honua

48 Naku ka mauna wai kali lia (waikaheia)

49 Ua kai lewa ia na aina

50 Ua lewa ka houpo o ka moku

51 O e au o Malela, o Kuala, o Kanaka ki o a moku

52 O ka u-u-ina i Wawau-e-aha-o

53 Ko Aupuni-la-nana-i-a

—Mahele—

54 Nana ia ae Holaniku

55 Kilohiia i kua o Wakea

56 I ke ake a Laukapalili

57 Me ke kalo o Laukapalala

58 He maka ia no Luaipo—e

59 O na ‘lii no ia o ka Nuupele

60 O I ko o maua ka Moo—

61 O ka hina kai o Haloa

62 Oia ia paha—e

63 Ke pahapaha la i ka makemakeia

64 A hiki mai ka ole hoi ana—e

[Amazingly, this is the only issue of this entire year that seems to have survived! If this newspaper could be reshot nicely, we could get a clear/clearer reading of this important mele!

And I put up the mele as is (although the image is not clear in some areas, so there are some questionable lines), so that words and phrases will be searchable on this blog or on google right now, instead of having to wait for some time in the future…]

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 3/22/1907, p. 4)

Ka La Hoomanao O KA Moi Kauikeaouli

Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke V, Helu 12, Aoao 4. Maraki 22, 1907.