Five national parks on Hawai'i Island and Maui will simultaneously commemorate the first national holiday in Hawai'i, Lā Hae Hawai'i (Hawaiian Flag Day), on Thursday, July 31. The event is free, but entrance fees apply at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Haleakalā National Park.
Hawai'i celebrated its first national holiday on July 31, 1843, when the Kingdom of Hawai'i was restored by Great Britain. Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli, proclaimed, "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'āina i ka pono," the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. That famous proclamation is perpetuated today as the state motto.
Join the unified commemoration of Lā Hae Hawai'i on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at Pu'ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, and Haleakalā National Park from 9 a.m. to noon.
On July 26, 1990, then-Governor John Waihe'e signed a proclamation making every July 31 Hawaiian Flag Day, and urged Hawai'i citizens 'to observe due respect for the flag and the proud tradition for which it stands.' That same year, Pu'ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site started an annual tradition of celebrating Lā Hae Hawai'i (Hawaiian Flag Day), and is one of three sites in the state where the Hawaiian state flag is permitted to fly independent of the American flag. (The other locations are 'Iolani Palace and the Royal Mausoleum, both on O'ahu). Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park also began commemorating Lā Hae Hawai'i in 2010.
The Lā Hae Hawai'i (Hawaiian Flag Day) ceremony schedule at the Hawai'i national parks is as follows:
9 a.m.: Participate in pū 'ohe (bamboo trumpet) demonstrations at the Hawai'i Island parks.
10 a.m.: Presentations and Q&A by guest speakers about the history of Lā Hae Hawai'i, and Hawai'i Pono'ī, Ua mau ke ea o ka 'āina i ka pono, and 'aha 'āina, the first lū'au.
Noon: Honor the 1816 flag of Kamehameha I.