Hawaiian Sovereignty: One of the Original Hawaiian Flags: The Red Yellow and Green Hawaiian Flag

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Hawaii is an interesting place to live, to say the least! One of the things that makes it so special and interesting is the Hawaiian Culture. The land and the culture have a harmonic relationship, that is the stuff that legends are made of. In fact, there are all kinds of legends both about the land and the culture.

On the Big Island today, one of the most prevalent legends is the stories surrounding the Red Yellow and Green flag that has become so popular in the last ten years.

Unlce Gene Simeona is given credit for resurecting the "orginal flag" believed to be one of seven. The reason that the flag had to be resurected at all, takes us back to 1843.

In 1843 Lord George Paulet seized Hawaii for five months, and did his best to destroy all the Hawaiian flags. This act was not condoned by the British Royalty, but Paulet must have had a good number of ships in the area to occupy Hawaii. Apparently not all the flags were destroyed.

Still a lot of mystery surrounds this flag. There seems to be a point in the 1980's when the flag resurfaced, and all credit goes to Simeona. Apparently Simeona says he came across a descendant of Lord Paulet at ‘Iolani Palace who told him the modern Hawaiian flag is not the original.

That prompted Simeona to search the Hawai‘i State Archives, where he found the design, then reproduced it. From that time on, Simeona and his business partner Stan Fonseca have been promoting the flag in hopes that it’ll catch on as a fresh, noncolonial symbol of the restored Hawaiian kingdom.

According to Fonseca, the green in the flag represents the maka‘ainana (commoner) caste, the land and goodness; the red represents the landed konohiki who served the ali‘i, genealogy and strength; and the yellow represents the ali‘i, spirituality and alertness to danger. At the center of the flag is a shield bearing the coat of arms of the kanaka maoli, made up of kahili and crossed, pointed paddles that represent the voyaging history of Hawaiians, and the strength that the Hawaiian people hold.

This symbol is integral part of many Hawaiian symbols, found today on all kinds of state and county seals, and also the Hawaii Police Department badges, always right in the center.

What the flag means today, however, is a whole other story. It has become a rallying point for sovereignty movements, and to Simeona, his newly unearthed flag says, "We are not British. We are kanaka maoli." Hawaii has been through a lot in the last two hundred years, and the resurfacing of the flag has brought a good feeling to many.

Comments for Hawaiian Sovereignty: One of the Original Hawaiian Flags: The Red Yellow and Green Hawaiian Flag

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Jan 29, 2010
Original Hawaiian Flag
by: Anonymous

The red yellow and green is not the original Hawaiian flag. These people say they have proof from the archives. Where is it? Also, Hawaiians did not often refer to themselves as Kanaka Maoli until very recently. Most of the time they referred to themselves simply as Kanaka. Lahui Kanaka - Hawaiian race. Olelo Kanaka - Hawaiian language. The maoli is simply a qualifier. Most likely borrowed from the Maori. We Kanaka, Hawaiians have our own culture to be proud of. Our flag with the British ensign and red, white, and blue colors was created when we Kanaka, controlled our own destiny, as the man himself, King Kamehameha was in charge and no one controlled him. Our flag, as foreign influenced as itʻs creation was, was and is the flag adopted by our King. Us Kanaka should be proud of this and this flag will always fly high and right side up in my mind.

Jul 09, 2010
What flag?
by: keno

Flags were a foreign European concept Hawaiians used Kahili made from feathers for the functions that haoles used flags for.

Aug 09, 2010
Be Suspicious - Very Suspicious
by: Anonymous

When you look around and see the big issues that need attention: Hawaiian homelessness, preservation and conservation of the aina, education of keiki, it makes you wonder where people's priorities lie. Too much wasted time and energy debating symbols on strips of colored cloth. Especially since the entire drama is based solely on the claims of one person: Gene Simeona. Time for Uncle Gene to put em up or shut em up - where is his research? Where is anything to substantiate his claim? One thing sure, Uncle Gene and Stan Fonseca have made more than a buck or two on dis scam. With Uncle Gene's business name "Island Hustlaz" you'd think that people would be suspicious - very suspicious. Personally, I'm not Jamaican I'm Hawaiian, but too many peoples see this flag and wonder if it has some reggae connotation. It's not unlike the big trend to Ja-waiian music - and I don't like Ja-waiian music either. By da way, where's all the voices about that corruption of our culture?? We're better than adopting reggae colors on Uncle Gene's word. Come on bruddahs, spend your energy on something that matters and not something that puts a buck in someone's pocket.

Nov 11, 2010
by: Anonymous

This "flag" looks like something you would see over a bar in Trinidad! It's more of the Caribbean than of the Kanaka. Why does anyone pay attention to this foolishness. We need to get more kids finishing school and going on to college. Everyone should be fluent in Olelo Kanaka. We need to be working on funding for skills education for out of work people.

Nov 14, 2010
The truth is...
by: Trip Keanu

Kamehameha didn't have much influence on the Hawaiian flag, he had a choice between two flags: One with the English flag inside and the other option was the forty odd stars. Kamehameha had never seen the English flag and therefore chose that to represent Hawaii, thereby being different from the USA flag. The red, yellow and green flag should be the flag for the Hawaiians to hold high, stating their independance from USA. Hawaii should break loose from USA and be their own country, after all - taking over Hawaii was an illegal action all based on sugar. The hawaiian language will soon be lost and our destiny lies not not far from that of the native indians who used to live free in America. Over hundreds of millions of indians were killed, we have the option to negotiate out independance.

Jan 11, 2011
by: Anonymous

Look at any Police Officer in The State Of Hawaii it's on their arm sleeve.

Jan 27, 2011
O my what to fly.
by: Anonymous

Aloha I have an original document from 1910 that was printed from the royal order [ original order] , printed way before 1893 with a color picture of the flag. After paulet came Kam 111 orderd the flag colors to be flipped over and the picture depicts the flag as orderd by the soverign. It was on a post card at the office at the palace also crossed with the american flag. You can see it at kohawaiipaeaina.net. Yes the crown did use a flag simaler to the british crowns until paulet came. The british always wanted land at pearl harbor just like america thats what has always been at the heart of conflicts with ko hawaii pae aina.

Feb 08, 2011
Not likely!
by: R Solomon

Nowhere in all the historical lithographs, photos and documents is there any such "flag". And if it DID exist at the time of the Paulet episode and was destroyed, why then did it not become the official flag of the Kingdom of Hawai`i when sovereignty was restored to Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III, the son of Kamehameha? There is absolutely no validity to this claim that it was the original flag of Hawai`i. Furthurmore, two "pointed" paddles?? Hawaiians did not have pointed paddles. Now, if you study the design of the Hawai`i Coat of Arms, you find a similar design in the center, a kahili with two crossed spears on a green background. Even back in 1845 when a description of the Coat of Arms appeared in The Polynesian, the terminology deserves some scrutiny as to the interpretation of the symbols. In 1816, a committee consisting of Kamehameha, John Young, Isaac Davis II, Capt. George Beckley and Capt. Alexander Adams designed the flag of the Kingdom. Although a few versions had 7, 8 or 9 stripes, the basic design was the same with the Union Jack in the corner. Why would any of us choose to use a flag other than that which was designed and approved by Kamehameha himself? Do your own homework and I'm sure you'll come to the same conclusion that this "Kanaka Maoli" flag is a fabrication.

Oct 04, 2011
by: Anonymous


Feb 01, 2012
Hawaiian Sovereignty
by: Owen

I guess all of this fighting is doing a great job of keeping everyones eye off the prize, remember this flag is about Hawaiian Sovereignty Aloha Ohana

Apr 17, 2012
USA, Britain, or France
by: Anonymous

Of course it is true that the cessation of sovereignty to the USA was not voluntary and it was based on the sugar business. But remember that if not the USA then Hawaii would gone involuntarily to the British or the French. In the end we got the best deal we could.

Jul 09, 2013
reasons for the Kanaka Maoli Flag
by: roy dahlin

Comment on the kanaka maoli flag (gn, rd, yw) fr. 2010. I agree the real issues are the homeless, mental illness, education, economy, station in life, culture, etc. Real values are always best to concentrate on. However, it goes a long way in figuring out who the hell we lahui kanaka are. We need every device to lift our spirits to meet the problems we face in being suppressed and oppressed. Therefore, I'd personally like to see more research on our culture and its dissemination among the masses, oh, yes among the haoles and others that inhabit these peaceful lovely isles.
This Simeone flag, if real, should be promoted to elevate the pride of our people and a standard to live, view and lead. Yes, the kahili is the traditional standard of our culture and can be still used, however, like the kaweela, we are not likely to go back to the horse or the wa'a as our ordinary mode of transportation. I believe we can and should work on a restoration of a couple of Ahupua'a divisions of lands as Fishponds and Lo'i starting on the big isle to show (just like we showed 'em with our long voyaging canoes some time back around '76) how we survived as a people in harmony with the aina especially in this crazy era of GMO's. We need to set up hui's everywhere to help our people against the state and others who find it easy to suppress our people.
Continued in another entry.

Jul 09, 2013
kanaka maoli flag, continued fr. before
by: roy dahlin

Notwithstanding our unifying King Kamehameha I's design flag, as a unifying symbol and not to be confused with the so-called, "state", T.H., Republic, Provisional, we rally around this movement symbol. Let Simeone's colors represent our unified movement in our quest for justice for all, liberty and our own sovereignty restored without U.S. occupation. Though, we'll accept the U.S.' diplomatic legation. I must agree with Anonymous the proper and lawful national ensign for the Kingdom is this present adopted so-called "state" flag. If not, I'd recommend the so-called, "state" flag be displayed UP-SIDE-DOWN to demonstrate the Kingdom is in distress. Ordinarily, I'd want to adhere to the real flag, but in order to belay the confusion, I personally advocate this one for the Hawaiian nationalist movement as a unifying symbol. Of course, once our goals are met and secured, I'd wish we'd go back to displaying the proper lawful symbol as most of us agree. Perhaps, later a committee could redesign and or adopt a new national ensign. I personally am not proud of the U.S. for the unlawful overthrow and consequent, near annihilation of the aboriginal people of America and confiscation, unending warfare against the rest of the world, and the suppression of its people, including its Bill of Rights, 1791. Therefore, I personally would desire all remnants of the tyrannical U.S. removed from our just and pono national ensign. Notwithstanding, our ali'i of the day knew the U.S. to be pono, now we know their true colors and it ain't pretty by any standards. I fail to see how a true Amerikan can stand by the LHN, Obama, and his junta.
I dissent with anonymous, the best deal wasn't going over to the British or the French but to remain our own nation state, Kingdom of Hawai'i. Let me correct you sir, Hawai'i and or the Kingdom was never lawfully ceded to the U.S. as you state. Proper lawful Hawaiian authorized representative(s) never signed a cession treaty with the U.S., otherwise you show me. Even so, Hawai'i was never annexed to the U.S. in compliance with U.S. supreme law, Fed. Const.
I knew as anyone uncle Gene Simeone and Stan Fonseca as true kanaka and truthful. Though, I wish we all kanaka can see the actual research on which this national standard is based. I suppose the relevant archives and the evidence still exists to be re-proven and disseminated to the masses as uncle Simeone had researched. Kanakas everywhere, including the diaspora, unite under one banner, all differences put aside, for our liberty and sovereignty.

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