History of Hawaii’s state flag [Video]

Categorized as Hawaiian History

Aloha! When you visit Hawaii, you’ll likely notice the state’s flag flying throughout the islands. You may be confused at first – is that a Union Jack? Though Hawaii is the only state to feature the U.K.’s flag in their own, it’s for good reason.

As Hawaii ultimately became a U.S. state, it’s easy to forget or underestimate the U.K.’s role in Hawaii’s past. In the late 18th century, Hawaii voluntarily became part of the British Empire and flew the Union Jack. During the war of 1812, Americans on the island challenged this, so up went the American flag. This, in turn, upset the British citizens living there.

The solution? The flag we see today, which represents both countries’ important roles in Hawaiian history. See it for yourself on your Hawaiian vacation!