(sovereignty) of the land is
perpetuated in (by) righteousness
The motto was adopted by the
Kingdom of Hawai'i in
1843. The words were used in an address by Kamehameha
III at ceremonies following the return of his kingdom
from the British. An English sea captain (Paulet)
had, in effect, ceded Hawai'i to England, claiming large debts
owed by the Hawaiian nobility. He was acting a bit beyond
his authority, and Admiral Richard Thomas was dispatched to
return sovereignty of the islands to the King. Thomas
Square in Honolulu is named for the Admiral.
seal of the state of Hawai'i hangs from the mauka (toward
the mountains) and makai (toward the ocean) entrances to the
state capitol, and is patterned
after the royal coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, shown
here at 'Iolani Palace.
From the March/April 1979 issue
of Aloha Magazine on the 20th anniversary of
statehood, the symbolism of the seal is described:
the date of statehood.
The rising sun
replaces the royal crown and Maltese cross of the original
coat of arms, and signifies the birth of a new state.
King Kamehameha the
Great and Goddess of Liberty holding the Hawaiian
flag replace the two warriors on the royal coat of arms.
The quartered design
of the heraldic shield is retained from the coat of arms.
The four stripes
of the Hawaiian flag in each of the first and fourth quarters
represent the eight islands.
tabu ball and stick, in the second and third quarters was
carried before the king and placed before the door of his
home, signifying his authority and power. Here, it
is a symbol of the authority and power of government.
The star represents
the fiftieth star added to the national flag when Hawaii
became a state.
symbol of death and resurrection, symbolizes the change
from the monarchy to a freer democratic form of government.
The eight taro leaves,
flanked by banana foliage and maidenhair fern are typical
Hawaiian flora. Taro was the staff of life and had
great religious significance.
The state motto
"Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono", "The life of the
land is perpetuated in righteousness" is retained from the
royal coat of arms.