Hawaii may have been the last state added to the United States, but it still has an official flag. The Hawaii flag features the Union Jack of the United Kingdom’s flag in the upper-right corner. Along with the Union Jack, it depicts height horizontal stripes in alternating white, red and blue colors. Below are six facts about the Hawaii flag.
#1) Adopted in 1845
The Hawaii flag was officially adopted in 1845. Prior to this period, the territory used the British Red Ensign. Hawaii, however, adopted its own flag in 1845 — about a decade prior to its statehood admission.
#2) The Only Flag to Feature Another Country’s Flag
Of all the official state flags in the United States, the Hawaii flag is the only one to feature another country’s flag. The canton of the Hawaii flag consists of the Union Jack of the United Kingdom’s flag. The Hawaiian Kingdom has maintained strong relations with the United Kingdom, which is why the Hawaii flag features its Union Jack in the canton.
#3) The 8 Stripes Represent the 8 Major Islands
There’s a reason why the Hawaii flag features eight horizontal stripes. Each stripe represents one of Hawaii’s eight major islands, which include Hawaiʻi, Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, and Niʻihau.
#4) Color Symbolism
The eight stripes included in the Hawaii flag’s design are symbolic. White is believed to symbolize trust and honesty. Red is believed to symbolize the Hawaiin gods. Finally, blue is believed to signify the ocean. The Hawaii flag features eight stripes in alternating white, red and blue colors.
#5) Features a Wide Canton
Like many state flags — as well as the American flag — the Hawaii flag features a canton area. The canton, of course, contains the Union Jack of the United Kingdom’s flag. But the canton on the Hawaii flag uses a different proportion ratio than that of most other flags. The official specifications for the Hawaii flag call for a 4:7 proportion ratio. In other words, the width of the canton should be a little less than half of the height of the canton.
#6) 11th Most Popular Design
The Hawaii flag is popular. According to a survey conducted by the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), it’s the 11th most popular flag design in North America. It’s a bright and colorful flag that’s become synonymous with Hawaii.