What are the Hawaii State Symbols?

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

State symbols are used to represent the cultural heritage and natural history of each state in the most fun way possible.

Hawaii is certainly no different from many other U.S. states and it has an abundance of fantastic symbols that are indicative of the state’s historical roots and geological history. There are also recognizable icons and emblems for each state, such as state seals and flags, nicknames and mottos, and much more which are all included in our Hawaii state symbol list.

Hawaii state symbols

Hawaii State Symbols List

There are an incredible amount of state of Hawaii symbols which creates a whole host of interesting facts, both from the past and present. We have shortlisted the top 5 most significant Hawaii state symbols below and further down the page you will find a comprehensive list with each Hawaii symbol and the date they were officially created.

Hawaii State Animals

Hawaii has a few different state animals, a regular state mammal, a marine mammal, and a land mammal. The endangered Hawaiian monk seal became the official state mammal for Hawaii back in 2008, and the humpback whale became the official Hawaii marine state mammal in 1979, which is also a heavily endangered species.

Hawaii state animals

The final state animal to represent the Aloha state is the Hawaiian hoary bat. An incredibly unique animal that was officially adopted as the land Hawaii state animal in 2015! Additionally, the hoary bat is used as the official state animal for Texas, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

Hawaii State Bird and Flower

The nene, which also goes by the name of “Hawaiian Goose” (Branta sandicensis) became the official Hawaii state bird back in 1957. These birds are not fazed in the slightest by cold temperatures, nor predators in the wildlife despite not being able to fly particularly well due to their wings being weaker than most other geese.

Hawaii state bird and flower

The beautiful and vibrant yellow hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei) has been the Hawaii state flower since 1988. Incredibly, the yellow hibiscus flower can only be found in Hawaii, growing in abundance all over the main Hawaiian islands. They are rare to come across, with only a handful still remaining in the wild, and they are unfortunately considered an endangered species. Hawaii’s official state bird and flower perfectly represent the state past and present.

Hawaii State Seal

The state seal of Hawaii was adopted in 1959, which was the same year that the state was admitted to the union, subsequently becoming the 50th official state. 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

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. 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 Insect

The pulelehua, or Kamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea) was officially designated as the official state insect during 2009. This beautiful butterfly species is one of only two that are native to Hawaii.

Hawaii state insect

Hawaii State Tree

The kukui tree (Aleurites Moluccana) became the state tree of Hawaii back in 1959. This tree is also called the candlenut tree due to the nut of the kukui was used by early settlers for creating candles!

Hawaii state tree

All Hawaii State Symbols (Table)

Now that we have taken a look at some of the more popular and notable state symbols that are associated with the state of Hawaii, it makes sense to showcase all the Hawaii state symbols that are best used to represent the state’s history and more present achievements and moments. Here is the complete list of symbols:

Type Of SymbolState SymbolYear
Hawaii State Musical instrumentUkulele2015
Hawaii State Aloha spiritAloha spirit graphic1986
Hawaii State BirdNene1957
Hawaii State DanceHula1999
Hawaii State FlagCivil and State Flag1816
Hawaii State FishHumuhumunukunukuapua, trigger fish (Rhinecanthus rectangulus)1985
Hawaii State FlowerYellow Hibiscus1988
Hawaii State GemBlack Coral1987
Hawaii State Great SealSeal of the State of Connecticut1959
Hawaii State SportSurfing1998
Hawaii State InsectKamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea)2009

US State Symbols


Photo of author

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. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,360 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.