Iʻve written for about a decade now that the Hawaiian Kingdom exists legally, that is, as a subject of international law. But I’ve started to compile the other ways in which it continues to exist. Many ask if Hawaiians (and non-Hawaiian allies of independence) want to “go back” to the Kingdom, but signs of the Kingdom are all around us.
1. ʻIolani Palace: after being used as a storage facility, the friends of ʻIolani Palace, led by Abigail Kawananakoa, rehabilitated the palace into the symbol of the monarchy that it is today. In tours it’s called the “only royal palace on American soil” – shouldnʻt that make you wonder if this is in fact American soil?
2. The law: Kingdom law is the common law of the State of Hawaiʻi. The Provisional Government was not in any way capable of recreating decades of carefully-thought out statutes, and simply adopted the existing laws, which became, eventually, the laws of the State (with some notable modifications to be sure). Native Tenant Rights (Kuleana) were still being debated in 1895 (Dowsett v. Maukeala), after the overthrow. Kanawai Mamalahoe (the law of the splintered paddle) was incorporated in Article IX of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution (on Public Safety).
3. Schools: Lahainaluna (1831), Royal School (1839), Punahou (1841), St. Louis School (1846), ʻIolani School (1862) St. Andrew’s Priory (1867), and Kamehameha Schools (1887) are all Kingdom institutions.
4. Churches: They were built to last; Mokuʻaikaua in Kailua, Kona (1837) Kawaiahaʻo (1841), Waiola in Lahaina (burned down and rebuilt in 1953, but its cemetery dates to 1832 and Queen Keōpūolani, King Kaumualiʻi and Princess Nahiʻenaʻena are buried there) and St. Andrew’s cathedral all date to the Kingdom period. (The original Kaumakapili Church was built in 1839, but the current structure dates to 1910).
5. Roads: King Street used to be King’s path, then King’s Road (it was for the King), Kamehameha Highway, Lunalilo Home Road, Kahekili Highway, Manono Street in Hilo, Honoapiʻilani Highway on Maui, and many more refer to royalty.
6. Parks: Kapiʻolani Park was a horse racing track, and the row of ironwood trees was the entrance for King Kalākaua and Queen Kapiʻolani, Thomas Square was named for Admiral Thomas who restored Hawaiian sovereignty in 1843. There is still a visible Union Jack when seen from the air.
7. Maunaʻala – Royal Mausoleum: Even Congress acknowledges that the Kingdom exists. Congress stated that the grounds of Maunaʻala are sovereign land of the Hawaiian Kingdom. And there the physical symbols of the monarchy lie.