44 Interesting Facts About Hawaii

Last updated on October 1st, 2022

Mauna Kea Summit
Mauna Kea Summit on the Big Island of Hawaii.

39. Did you know that the Earth’s tallest volcano – Mauna Kea – is in Hawaii? The volcano together with other four volcanoes makes up the Big Island of Hawaii. The volcanic mountain is so immense that it is sinking into the sea floor under the pressure of its own weight.[20]

40. The first telephone was established in Hawaii in 1931.

41. Hawaii lies just below the Tropic of Cancer.[23]

42. Hawaii on its rural and urban interstates has the lowest maximum speed limit (60 mph) of any state.

43. The hula dance was created in Hawaii. It uses hand motions to tell stories and to pay respect to gods, goddesses, and nature.

44. The third Friday in August is a holiday, commemorating Hawai’i statehood in 1959. The day is also known as “Admission Day.” Who was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress? In 1959, Daniel Inouye, became the first Japanese American elected to Congress. He fought heroically for the United States in the WWII. 

About the flag of Hawaii

Flag of Hawaii
Flag of Hawaii

1. Design and Symbolism

The flag of Hawaii features eight horizontal stripes, alternating among the colors white, red, and blue. They represent the eight biggest islands of the state.

At the upper left corner is a scaled-down Union Jack, which is the flag of the United Kingdom. It highlights the close historical ties between the old Hawaiian Kingdom and the UK’s Royal Navy.

2. Adoption

Hawaii adopted this flag on December 29, 1845. The last modification was in 1898.

3. Technical Details

The flag’s width is half of its length. The stripes are of equal thickness, with the topmost being white, followed by red and blue. The same pattern appears down to the bottom. Note that the Union Jack on the corner uses a 4:7 ratio instead of a 1:2 ratio.

4. History

In 1778, Captain George Vancouver from the British Royal Navy visited the islands of Hawaii for the first time. He returned in 1793 aboard the HMS Discovery and met the ruler, Kamehameha I. His gift was a Red Ensign – a red banner with a miniature British flag on the upper left. It became the unofficial flag of Hawaii until 1816.

Between 1809 and 1811, Captain Alexander Adams arrived in Hawaii and became a commander of the Kingdom’s navy. In 1816, he negotiated the purchase of an American ship called Forester on behalf of Prince Liholiho. The king sent Adams to China to sell sandalwood aboard this ship. Before leaving, he left his flag for use at the port, effectively becoming the Hawaiian flag. It had eight stripes and the British flag.

Captain Adams refused to sail under the US flag when the War of 1812 between the US and the UK broke out. The British Empire was at the height of its power at this time. He feared that everyone on the islands would perish if they did not pledge their allegiance to Britain. His voyage to China was the first time a ship sailed under the flag of Hawaii with the Union Jack.

5. Other Flags

The governor of Hawaii uses a different flag with blue at the top and red and the bottom. Before statehood, eight white stars surround the letters “TH,” which stands for “Territory of Hawaii.” After statehood, the acronym gave way to the word “HAWAII.”

Early versions of the Hawaii flag had varying numbers of stripes from seven to nine, signaling the inclusion or exclusion of some islands. Some had a red band at the top, unlike the standard white.

The Union Flag flew over Hawaii for a few months, from February to July 1843. It was during the short British occupation led by Captain Lord George Paulet. He and his men eventually had to flee with the arrival of American warships.

6. Flag Facts

Every July 31, Hawaii celebrates Flag Day called La Hae Hawai’i. It started in 1990 under the initiative of Governor John Waihee. It coincides with Sovereignty Restoration Day or La Ho’iho’i Ea.

An inverted Hawaiian flag indicates that the state is in distress. It is also the chosen symbol for the Hawaii sovereignty movement – a political and cultural campaign to re-establish an independent kingdom of Hawaii.

Hawaii – quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationHI
State CapitalHonolulu
List Of 50 U.S. States And Their Capital
Largest CityHonolulu
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 10,931 sq miles; Land Only: 6,423 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2021 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodAugust 21, 1959
State rank by population40th
State rank by date of formation50th
State rank by area43rd
Number of Counties5
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
Bordering StatesNone
Official LanguageEnglish, Hawaiian
Highest PointMauna Kea
13,796 ft (4205.0 m)
Lowest pointPacific Ocean
Sea level
Mean elevation3,030 feet above seal level
Length 1,522 miles (2,450 km)
Width93 miles
GovernorJosh Green (D)
Lieutenant GovernorSylvia Luke (D)
Electoral Votes4
State MottoUa mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)
State NicknameAloha State
% Water41.2
Noble prize WinnersBarack H. Obama (Peace, 2009)
Famous peopleJason Momoa
Bruno Mars
U.S. President Born in Hawaii1. Barack Hussein Obama II.
State TreeKukui
State BirdNene
State InsectPulelehua
State FishHumuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa
State Island FlowerHawai'i 'Ohi'a Lehua
State GemĒkaha kū moana
State Island Lei Material: Ni'hauPupu Shells
State Marine MammalHumpback Whale
State MammalHawaiian Monk Seal
State Land MammalHawaiian Hoary Bat
State Musical Instrument (traditional)Pahu
State PlantKalo
Longitude154° 48′ W to 178° 22′ W
Latitude18° 55′ N to 28° 27′ N
Time ZoneHawaii-Aleutian Time Zone
Area Codes808
Table last updatedDecember 09, 2022