Honolulu City Flag Redesign

A City Flag for O‘ahu's Gathering Place—the City of Honolulu.


In my research, I found that Honolulu is called many things such as: “The Gathering Place,” “Heart Beat of Hawai’i,” and “Protected Bay.” As a citizen of Honolulu, I think that all of these phrases ring true for Honolulu. Honolulu is the capital of Hawai’i. It’s also very rich in history. Honolulu is where whalers and missionaries traveled, the overthrow took place, and where Iolani Palace is. Currently, it is the largest city in Hawai’i with millions of visitors coming in from the Daniel K. Inouye Airport.


The themes I wanted to capture in my flag is:

  • Unity
  • New Beginnings
  • Peace
  • Marriage of the past and future

The imagery I used is of a Kalo leaf. Kalo represents an “interdependency of the past, present, future, procreation, and regeneration.” (source) My depiction of the Kalo leaf is also an image of the mountains, waterfalls, and the rising sun. The rising sun signifies new beginnings since sunrise happens every morning on every new day. Honolulu is surrounded by the windward mountains which can be seen from anywhere in the city. The waterfall is also a reference to water. Water was a major resource for ancient Hawaiians. They needed it for voyaging to the islands, drinking, fishing, and making salt. Water signifies a connection to the land and resources.

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