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Honolulu, Hawaii (U.S.)

Last modified: 2010-07-30 by
Keywords: hawaii | honolulu | tabu sticks |
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[Flag of Honolulu, Hawaii] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 7 June 2004
Source: Discovery Channel website which in turn quoted World Book

See also:

Description of the flag


"Honolulu City Council Policy Resolutions

WHEREAS, many of the major cities of the United States have adopted official city flags for display at civic functions; and
WHEREAS, the City and County of Honolulu desires to adopt an official flag imprinted with the seal of the City and County; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Charles Tyng has submitted a design which is acceptable and appropriate for an official flag; and
WHEREAS, it would be to the honor, distinction and prestige of the City and County to adopt said design for the official flag of the City and County of Honolulu; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that the flag design submitted by Mr. Charles Tyng be and it is hereby adopted for the official flag of the City and County of Honolulu; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the City and County of Honolulu be and he is hereby directed to transmit a copy of this resolution to Mr. Charles Tyng with the gratitude of the people of the City and County of Honolulu."

Informantion on the seal and image at

Dov Gutterman, 25 October 2002

It's not immediately apparent from the text Dov quoted or the web page it's on, but a little digging reveals this resolution was adopted in 1960. As he suggested, though, the City and County web site doesn't actually show this design, or anything else (save for the seal itself) to suggest what this flag looks like.

Andrew S. Rogers, 25 October 2002

Detail of seal

[Detail of Seal in Honolulu, Hawaii Flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 June 2004

The central armorial bearings remind me of one pre-independence flag. What's the story?
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 June 2004

From the website at

"The Seal of the City and County of Honolulu is circular in shape, three inches in diameter, and designed with the tinctures added as a basis for the coat of arms as a heraldic shield quartered; first and fourth quarters bearing the stripes and colors of the Hawaiian Flag; second and third quarters, on a yellow field, a white ball pierced on a staff; overall, a green escutcheon surcharge, with a five pointed yellow star in the center.

In 1895 in a competition for a design of a seal for the Republic of Hawaii, Viggo Jacobsen, originator of the design, explains the Great Shield as "...the keystone of the whole design. The eight bars represent the eight inhabited islands of the group under one rule. The tabu sticks are the emblem of authority and protection. The star in the center is the Star of Hawaii which we hope to see ultimately placed in the banner of the United States. The irradiated sun is symbolic of the new era which has dawned upon Hawaii..."

So we should note that the central bearings on the seal of the City and County on Honolulu are the same as the bearings of both the state and, before that, the  kingdom of Hawaii. Other sites (including, specifically, this one: ) add the "tabu sticks" are known in Hawaiian as pulo'ulo'u.

Andrew S. Rogers, 7 June 2004 Mostbet