Brief history of Hawaii
Brief History of the Islands
Hidden in the myths and legends of the indigenous folk, is a bloody and war torn history that dates back hundreds of years. First sign of men coming to the islands was in the fifth century when Polynesians arrived accidentally in their canoes. In the early part of the second millennium, Tahitians arrived with their Gods and demi-Gods, and instituted social structures. Division of land, social divides, and early professions started under the rule of a Monarch. The Kingdoms and the casts were in constant conflicts, yet the culture flourished with art, sport, and food. Even though cultural aspects started booming, none could actually mature into a major cultural menhir probably because of the absence of external influence and presence of constant internal turmoil.
Hawaiian islands changed hands several times during the royal kingdom reign and stayed divided. In late 1700’s, king Kamehameha united the islands and unified the tribes. After Capt. James Cook discovered the islands, constant inflow of traders, seamen and whalers changed the face of the islands and it started becoming westernized. Colonists slowly started taking over and the local free men were put under dominance. In 20th century, agriculture flourished with plantations of sugarcane, coffee and pineapple. Founder of a now famous juice company, James Dole put a spotlight on the islands after he started a massive production of fresh fruits and juices.
Hawaiian islands became an American territory and US started using the port of Pearl Harbor as one of the mainstays of Pacific dominance. The islands were on the spotlights again after an unfortunate set of attacks by the Japanese in WWII. After the unfolding of the war and a changed political landscape, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States in 1959. The ethnicity, culture, and diversity of the islands still carries the untold stories of the islands from a historical and political perspective.
So why does the Hawaiian flag have a Union Jack in it?
In late 1700’s, Great Britain presented the Union Jack to the King Kamehameha to unite the islands and offered help. From then on the monarchy and political landscape changed significantly. But even after its independence and being included in the United States, it retained the Union Jack as a portion of the state flag to corroborate the historical significance.