Da' Hawaii Club Web Site:  Symbols of Hawai`i



Symbols of Hawai`i 

Why is Hawaii spelled Hawai`i?

da' hawaii club logo


Nickname :  Ka Inoa Kapakapa

Adopted April 23, 1959




The Aloha State
admitted as the 50th State on March 12, 1959.

It's also known as the Pineapple State, The Paradise of the Pacific, and Hawai`i Nei (Beloved Hawai`i).

The Aloha Spirit Law is an ACTUAL law "on the books" in Hawai`i, encoded in the Hawai`i Revised Statutes, section 5-7.5 and acknowledges that The Aloha Spirit "was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawai`i."

Motto : Ka Mkia

The saying is attributed to King Kamehameha III on July 31, 1843, when the Hawaiian flag was once more raised after a brief period of unauthorized usurpation of authority by a British admiral.



"Ua mau ke ea o ka `ina i ka pono." 

[oo' wah mau KEH' yah oh ka AI' nah ee kah poh' noh.]

"The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."  

The motto is used effectively to stress the importance of land in a folk song by Gordon Freitas called `INA and in HAWAI`I `78 by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo`ole

Capital : Ke Kapakila


on the island of O`ahu

Info on the State Capitol.

Flag : Ka Hae

Flag adopted in 1845.

The Hawaiian flag's eight stripes represent the eight major islands of Hawai`i and resembles the Union Jack of Britain, as many of Kamehameha the Great's advisors were British and the islands were once placed under England's protection.

In 1794 the British navigator, George Vancouver, presented a British flag to Kamehameha, who flew it for twenty-two years. It was during these years that he founded the kingdom.  He commissioned this flag in 1816. 

It has served as the flag of the kingdom, republic, territory, and the state of Hawai`i. 


Written in 1874. 

In 1967, the legislature declared it as the official song of Hawai`i.




Hawai`i Pono`i.

Words by King Kalkaua, music by Henri Berger, master of The Royal Hawaiian Band. It was the national anthem of the Kingdom of Hawai`i, before the overthrow and annexation by the U.S. government.   

An unofficial and beloved co-anthem is Hawai`i Aloha, often sung at the end of group gatherings, including Da' Hawai`i club's meetings, parties and l`au.

Seal : Ke Kila

Adopted 1958, originally designed for the Kingdom of Hawai`i in 1895.




The seal has a heraldic shield in the center and a figure of King Kamehameha I on its right side and the Goddess of Liberty holding the Hawaiian flag on its left. 

Below the shield is the phoenix surrounded by taro leaves, banana foliage, and sprays of maidenhair fern. With color added, the seal becomes the Coat of Arms.

Flower : Ka Pua

Adopted 1988.

Ka Pua aloalo or Ma`o-hau- hele.

Hibiscus brackenridgei, also known as the native yellow hibiscus. More history.





Tree : Ke Kumu La`au

Adopted in 1959.

Image from G.D. Carr, UH, Mnoa

Ke Kukui.  

The tree is a symbol of enlightenment.

Aleurites moluccana, also known as the candlenut tree, as Native Hawaiians once used the oil to light stone lamps and strung the seeds on coconut or palm leaf midribs and used them as candles. 





Bird : Ka Manu

Adopted in 1988.

It is speculated that the nn, with its beautiful markings on head and neck, is a descendant of a wayward ancient Canadian goose that got off track and settled in Hawaiis mountains.  

Over years of natural selection, the nn lost most of the webbing on its feet because it no longer needed to swim.


Ka Nn, a species that was on the brink of extinction before a conscious, concerted effort was made to save it by protecting it.  

The nn is the last surviving Hawaiian goose species endemic to Hawai`i; at least seven others are extinct.

In the late 1700s, approximately 25,000 nene were estimated to inhabit the island of Hawai`i, but by the 1950s the population had diminished to an estimated 30 birds. 

Captive breeding programs were implemented with the help of the children of Hawai`i.  Today, it it is estimated that about 300 survive on the Big Island; 200, on Maui; and 160, on Kaua`i. 

On our last trip home, Uncle T and I were greeted by a gaggle of them at the head of the Devastation Trail at The Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai`i.  

Branta sandwicensis, also known as the Hawaiian goose. More info from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Gem : Ka Phaku Makamae

Adopted in 1987.

Black Coral :  Ka `kaha K Moana

Read here why it is better left under the sea.






Individual Sport :  Ka Mea P`ani Ho`okahi

Adopted in 1998.


Surfing : Ka He`e Nalu

In his journal of the late eighteenth century, Captain Cook noted that Hawaiians went surfing.  He wrote about the great ceremony of making a surfboard, especially for the ali'i (chief class). 

The New England missionaries, who first arrived in the 1820's, frowned upon surfing considering it a waste of time. It was not until the early 1900's that surfing became a popular sport again due to the influence of Olympic swimming gold medalist, Duke Kahanamoku and others. ~ Source

Team Sport : Ka Mea P`ani Hui

Graphic and info, courtesy of kaiopua.org


Outrigger canoe racing: Ka Heihei Wa`a

"The early Polynesians fashioned their wa`a (canoes) with tools made of stone, bone and shell, assembled with lashings of braided fiber and powered by sails of matting. These early voyagers navigated without charts or instruments, yet had explored and settled the Pacific Ocean long before the Europeans realized the world wasn't flat."

The design of canoes has evolved many times and today, the sport of outrigger canoe racing is hugely popular in Hawaii, with race events held almost every weekend from May to September. So popular, in fact, that the State of Hawaii has proclaimed outrigger canoe paddling the official state team sport."

Fish : Ka I`a

Unofficially adopted in 1985.

Ka Humuhumunukunukuapua`a, which means" fish with a snout like a pig."  It also grunts like a pig when out of water.

Click here for the correct pronunciation.

Rhinecanthus rectangulus, also known as the Hawaiian Trigger Fish.


Marine Mammal : Ka Holoholona `Ai Wai o ke Kai

Adopted in 1979.

 Courtesy of Dr. Louis Herman


Ke Kohol.  Pronounced [koh hoh LAH']

More on these yearly visitors.

Megaptera novaeangliae, also known as the humpback whale.






Languages : N `lelo

Official in 1978.





Hawaiian (Ka `lelo Hawai`i) and English.

Section 4. English and Hawaiian shall be the official languages of Hawaii, except that Hawaiian shall be required for public acts and transactions only as provided by law. [Add Constitutional Convention 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Hawaiian language info: http://hawaiianlanguage.com   

Dance  : Ka Hula

Adopted in 1999.

Ka Hula

"Hula is the language of the heart
and therefore the heartbeat
of the Hawaiian people."
~ Kalkaua, King of Hawai`i, 1874 to 1891

Hula info: http://hawaiianlanguage.com/hula.html



 Credit: List is from Da' Hawai`i Club's directory, prepared by Toby F. 

2002 Aunty D
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The following misspells are included here for search engine recognition purposes only:  Hawaii, Hawai'i, pohaku, laau, la'au, nene, kohola, ka olelo hawaii, ka 'olelo hawai'i, kalakaua, ua mau ke ea o ka aina, makia, hawaii ponoi, hawai'i pono'i, hawaii aloha, hawai'i aloha, ekaha ku moana, humuhumunukunukuapuaa, humuhumunukunukuapua'a, mea paani, mea pa'ani, hee nalu, waa, wa'a, i'a, ia.  Read: Why is Hawaii spelled Hawai`i? The closest renderings of the diacritical marks necessary for the proper pronunciation and spelling of Hawaiian words employ the caret (^)  to represent the kahak and the backward quote (`) to represent the `okina, as used on this page. Unfortunately, to date, the Internet does not support the faithful rendering of diacritical marks, although efforts to rectify this situation are underway.