When it comes to state symbols, Hawaii may be #1. Why such a small state needs three official mammals is anyone’s guess. But Hawaii still has less symbols than most states, and they paint a uniquely beautiful picture. (Continued below)
|Nicknames & Slogans|
|Nicknames||The Aloha State, Paradise of the Pacific, Youngest State, Pineapple State||1959|
|Symbols of State|
|Motto||Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono||1843||>|
|Flower||Pua Aloalo (yellow hibiscus) (Hibiscus brackenridgei)||1988||>|
|Tree||kukui (Aleurites moluccanus)||1959||>|
|Plant||kalo (Colocasia esculenta)||2007||>|
|Bird||nene or Hawaiian goose (Branta sandvicensis)||1988||>|
|Land Mammal||Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus)||2015||>|
|Mammal||Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi)||2008||>|
|Marine Mammal||humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)||1979||>|
|Fish||Humuhumunukunukuapua`a or Hawaiian trigger fish (Rhinecanthus rectangulus)||1985||>|
|Insect||Kamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea)||2009||>|
|Gem||black coral (Antipathidae)||1987||>|
|Team Sport||Outrigger Canoe Paddling||1986||>|
|Order of Merit||Aloha Order of Merit||1993||>|
|Kahiko (Traditional) Musical Instrument||pahu||2015||>|
|Auana (Modern) Musical Instrument||ukulele||2016||>|
Hawaii’s nicknames include Paradise of the Pacific, Youngest State and Pineapple State. However, its official nickname is The Aloha State.
That’s a reminder that Hawaii’s official language is Hawaiian. What a refreshing change from the states who call English their official language!
None of Hawaii’s state symbols represent any other state. In fact, some of them are found nowhere else but Hawaii.
The nickname Youngest State has two meanings. Hawaii didn’t become a state until 1959, making it the newest state.
However, the land itself is also younger than any other state. The oldest of the main islands is Kauai, which is about five million years old. That’s a blink of an eye compared to the other forty-nine states.
Dinosaurs became extinct about sixty-five million years ago. So Hawaii can never adopt an official state dinosaur, let alone an even older trilobite. But what about Ice Age mammals?
There were probably no land mammals other than bats in Hawaii during the Ice Age. But bats and birds are tiny animals with fragile bones that are’t commonly fossilized. Besides, the Hawaiian islands are largely covered with lava.
And so Hawaii is one of a handful of states with no earth symbols other than an unofficial state soil.
Yet Hilo soil is an amazing thing. These very deep soils formed in many layers of volcanic ash. Mixed in with the ash is dust from deserts. But there aren’t any major deserts near Hawaii. So where did this dust come from?
Some of this dust might have been kicked up by the hooves of horses carrying Mongol armies. But where did the desert dust come from?
Some of it might have come from rocks eroded by glaciers high in the Himalayas. Snow leopards might have prowled across some of the dust carried across the sea to Hawaii.
The article above is excerpted from My State Symbols Book. The symbols listed in the table above are linked to pages on my master symbols site, Geobop’s Symbols.
You can learn still more about the symbols of the 50 states in the books Flag Quest, Grading the States, and—if you’re really hard core—Geobop’s State Symbols.
After you spend some time exploring Hawaii’s symbols, you can come back here and tell us what you think about the symbols of the Aloha State.