Mel Crawford: Great Seal of Hawaii
Artist: Mel Crawford
The Great Seal of the State of Hawaii is the only one of the fifty state seals to honor a king. But, for Hawaii, this is most appropriate since King Kamehameha I was responsible for unifying the Hawaiian Islands and bringing them together under one rule. In fact, the seal is based on the coat of arms of the kingdom and, today, is much like the seal used when Hawaii enjoyed the status of republic. The Hawaiian State Seal features the noble king to the left side of its shield. The Goddess of Liberty adorns the right. Both face and gesture outward as though welcoming their people. The beautiful, warm Hawaiian sun rises in the background, symbolizing the joyful dawn of a new state. Above, the date, 1959, commemorates statehood. The shield bears eight stripes to honor each of the eight major islands of the state while tabu sticks on plain white backgrounds commemorate the days of the royal chiefs of the islands. Beneath the shield, a fabulous phoenix -- symbolizing the new democracy -- rises triumphantly from the flames of a dying monarchy. The motto, "Ua.mau.ke.ea.o.ka.aina.i.ka.pono." means "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® Great Seal of the State of Hawaii Commemorative Cover issued August 21, 1984.
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