What is the Hawaii State Seal?

Author: Jason Coles

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A few years after the nation declared its official independence, many things within the U.S. started to change, and a new historical chapter began in the United States.

On June 20, 1782, the nation’s state seal was finally approved by the Continental Congress, after a committee was first created to design the seal on July 4, 1776. Nearly four designs and six years later, the U.S. seal uses an eagle that holds a scroll in its beak with the E Pluribus Unum motto; in one claw is an olive branch, a symbol of peace, and the other claw holds thirteen arrows, a symbol of war. The seal is used on many official documents.

Shortly after 1776, states began to adopt their own official state seals, mottos, nicknames, and much more, which are all used to symbolize and represent the uniqueness of each state that resides within the nation.

Hawaii’s state seal displays the famous state motto, which can be located on the lower outer circle, “UA MAU KE EA O KA ‘ĀINA I KA PONO”, which translates to, “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”, and “STATE OF HAWAII” above the quote.

Hawaii state seal

Featured above the inner circle is the year 1959, which is at the top of a rising sun, the year signifies the date that Hawaii was admitted to the union, and subsequently becoming the 50th (and last) official U.S. state!

What is the Hawaii State Seal Meaning?

The meaning of the Hawaii state seal can be seen by the two bearers displayed on the seal, both holding the state shield from either side. Kamehameha the Great is seen standing to the left, he was responsible for unifying the Hawaiian Islands into a single United Kingdom. And on the right of the shield, you can see the goddess of liberty holding up the flag of Hawaii.

At the bottom of the shield is an image of a phoenix rising up from eight taro leaves, banana foliage, and maidenhair fern. Taro is the official state plant of Hawaii.

Hawaii state flag

Most states will have their seals showcase a relevant story, that is indicative of the state and its history, and the Aloha State is certainly no different.

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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S., Jason has written over 1,200 business plans over the past 16+ years for start-ups looking to establish and expand their footprint in the United States.