Hawaii, an independent kingdom (1810 - 1893)
Before the English explorer Captain James Cook came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1776, the Hawaiians did not use flags. They instead displayed distinctive marks. In 1794, King Kamehameha of Hawaii was given a British flag by Captain George Vancouver. It is believed that he was the first to raise a flag in Hawaii. Until 1816, Hawaii was under British protection.
The flag was designed at the request of King Kamehameha I. It has eight stripes of white, red and blue that represent the eight main islands. The flag of Great Britain is emblazoned in the upper left corner to honor Hawaii's friendship with the British.
The flag of the state of Hawaii (Hawaiian: Ka Hae Hawaii) is the official standard symbolizing Hawaii as a U.S. state. The same flag had also previously been used by the kingdom, protectorate, republic, and territory of Hawaii. It is the only U.S. state flag to feature the Union Jack of the United Kingdom, a remnant of the period in Hawaiian history when it was associated with the British Empire.
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