Friday, July 31, is known as Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea, Hawaiian Sovereignty Restoration Day.
It was on this date back in 1843, after 5 months of British occupation, the Hawaiian sovereignty was returned to the Hawaiian Kingdom and King Kamehameha III.
The organization “Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea Honolulu” continues to return to the historic location every year to share the importance and the significance of this day.
This is where Admiral Richard Thomas of the Royal Navy took down the Union Jack and returned the Hawaiian flag to its rightful spot.
“So, today we celebrate the raising of the flag, the restoration of our independence through this ceremony,” says Imaikalani Winchester, organizer of Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea Honolulu. “Through the education, through the telling of the story to inspire our people, wherever they may be in the world, to return to our history, to return to our education, to return to “Ea,” to independence.”
Despite the occupation, history actually shares a friendly relationship between Hawai’i and Great Britain.
The Union Jack within our State flag shares that story.
“The young Hawaiian Kingdom, in its attempt to modernize itself, became associated and closely tied to Great Britain because of King Kamehameha I’s aspirations to begin trade with the Asian market. HE used the British Union Jack as a protectorate symbol to enter those ports,” says Winchester.
Symbols of trails and tribulations, hope, and community.
These are all found at Thomas Square park, from the flags, the kuahu (or rock alter), and the new statue of King Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli.
Misty Kela’i, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, says “There is no Hawaiian cultural center. But there’s a Japanese one, an Okinawan one, a Filipino one. What’s happening here? And look, now we have a place where we can gather with pride.”
IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LA HOIHOI EA, WHICH BY THE IS THE FIRST NATIONAL HOLIDAY OF THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM, YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE ORGANIZATION’S WEBSITE WWW.LAHOIHOIEA.ORG.
To you want to find out more about Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea, which by the way is the first national holiday of the Hawaiian Kingdom, you can go to the organizationʻs website at www.lahoihoiea.org.