Is Hawaii Part of the United States? History, Map, Flag & Facts

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Written By Emma Parker

Emma Parker essays on her experiences in the United States and other global experiences, alongside other pursuits related to traveling and teaching in the World.

Is Hawaii part of the United States? That question gets asked a lot, and with good reason. After all, Hawaii is its unique island chain, with its history, culture, and even language. So it’s no wonder people are curious about its status as part of America.

It’s a common misconception that Hawaii isn’t part of the United States, but this tropical paradise is full of American pride. The 50th State in the Union, Hawaii, was welcomed by President Dwight Eisenhower just over 60 years ago.

is Hawaii Part of the United States

Since then, it has become a significant destination for tourists looking to explore its lush jungles, soaring mountains, and expansive shorelines. But what else do we know about this Hawaiian outpost? Find out if Hawaii is truly part of the United States with our deep dive into its unique geography, history, and flags.

History of Hawaii

Hawaii has long held an alluring mystique, often considered a tropical paradise and part of the United States.

Yet its complex history reveals that it is two different entities–Hawaii, encompassing all eight major islands, and The State of Hawaii, which was established in 1959 when it officially joined the Union as our 50th State.

Before its induction into the United States, Hawaii was influenced by multiple cultures worldwide, resulting in a unique and diverse regional identity that is still present today despite federalization.

Accordingly, while in many ways it may seem no different than other parts of the US, Hawaii maintains its original identity and story that make it distinctly special – unlike anywhere else on Earth.

The Hawaiian Islands were first settled by Polynesians over 1,000 years ago.

The Hawaiian Islands have an incredibly fascinating history, beginning with the first Polynesian settlers who arrived over 1,000 years ago.

This settlement’s exact time and circumstances are still under debate, but scholars agree that these early settlers brought their unique language, culture, and crops.

As they migrated across the island chain, developing settlements in each new location, their customs evolved to suit their new environment.

Today many original traditions remain as a lasting reminder of their presence. Although the circumstances around the initial settlement are disputed, one thing remains certain – the islands were first colonized by Polynesians many centuries ago and continue to be home to those descended from them.

In 1778, Captain James Cook became the first European to visit Hawaii.

In 1778, history was made when Captain James Cook became the first European to visit Hawaii.

The captain’s bravery and perseverance in the face of many difficulties allowed him to navigate the waters of these unknown islands, strengthening the bond between different people and cultures.

For centuries, stories have been passed down generations about the incredible feats of this illustrious explorer. To this day, he retains an important place in Hawaiian culture, reminding us how our journeys can shape our future.

In 1819, the Kingdom of Hawaii was established by King Kamehameha I.

In 1819, King Kamehameha I became the first monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Statue of King Kamehameha I.
Statue of King Kamehameha I | Source: Wikimedia Commons

He was born in 1758 and is remembered today as a great warrior and leader who unified the Major Hawaiian islands in a bloody campaign for years.

Through hard-fought battles, alliances, and treaties, he eventually secured his seat atop the kingdom and solidified his rule through a strong sense of leadership.

His vision for an independent Hawaiian nation moved forward into the 19th century and continues to be admired today.

In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown in a coup d’état led by American sugar planters.

In 1893, a major turning point occurred in Hawaii’s history when Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown in what can only be described as an illegal and violent takeover.

The coup d’état was orchestrated by American sugar planters who had been attempting to undermine the monarchy for some time and finally managed to do so through an extreme act of force.

Many historians argue that this event represents one of the earliest forms of imperialism on American soil, as power was taken from the rightful queen and given to foreign interests.

Regardless, it is clear that this event irrevocably changed the course of Hawaiian history and still serves as a reminder today of how quickly power can be taken away from its rightful holders.

Hawaii – Is it a British Colony?

Hawaii is the world’s most remote chain of islands in the middle of the Central Pacific Ocean. Since its discovery in 1778, there has been much debate about whether it was ever a British colony.

While some say that Hawaii enjoyed a brief period as a British possession, most historians agree that any European nation never colonized it.

It is because Hawaii had an independent monarch and its form of government before the arrival of Europeans. Despite this, cultural ties between Hawaii and Britain remain strong today: according to surveys conducted in 1905, approximately 9% of Hawaiians still consider themselves “British ancestry.”

While this number may not quite reflect formal political control by Britain centuries ago, it suggests something special about the relationship between these two countries.

Population of Hawaii

With a Hawaiian population of just over 1.4 million, Hawaii is the 13th least populous State in the United States; however, it is truly a melting pot.

Hawaii Population Map
Hawaii Population Map | Source: Wikimedia Commons

In addition to Native Hawaiians making up roughly 10% of Hawaii’s population, people from many different nationalities and cultures call this beautiful state home.

With its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, majestic mountains on the big island, verdant valleys, and active volcanoes, Hawaii is truly paradise on Earth – a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration that appeals to everyone. A vibrant island nation full of culture, tradition, and the Aloha spirit awaits to be experienced.

Also Read: Is The Bahamas Part of the US? (Things You need to Know)

Best Historical Places or Landmarks to see in Hawaii

Kalaupapa Leprosy Settlement

The Kalaupapa Leprosy Settlement in Hawaii is one of the most remarkable places in the world. While it serves as a reminder of the struggles faced by patients with Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) and their families, it also offers a glimpse into the courage and resilience of those affected.

Fumigation Hall Kalaupapa
Fumigation Hall Kalaupapa | Source: Wikimedia Commons

The settlement was established in 1866 when King Kamehameha V passed an act to quarantine people with leprosy, hoping to contain its spread throughout the islands. The thousands of individuals sent to live on the isolated northern peninsula have had to forge a life for themselves without many basic amenities that are taken for granted elsewhere.

Despite incredible odds stacked against them, they remain connected through faith, family, and perseverance.

They also continue to share their stories with visitors, inspiring many to reflect on their strengths and struggles. The spirit of Kalaupapa is an amazing testament to human strength.

Old Sugar Mill

The Old Sugar Mill in Hawaii is a historical landmark that speaks to the island’s rich agricultural history.

Built-in 1835, this former sugar refinery was once one of the largest contributors to the State’s economy and, at its peak, was producing over 60 tons of sugar every day.

Due to its incredible significance, the Old Sugar Mill has been declared a National Historic Landmark since 1 May 1962.

People come from all over to visit this impressive structure, tour the grounds and explore all it offers. It is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Hawaii’s fascinating past and provides visitors with an enjoyable outdoor experience on the islands.

United States Naval Base, Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is a must-visit destination to experience a deeply moving and impactful part of American history. It offers insight into both the attack that led to the US’s entry into WWII and the aftermath of one of the deadliest conflicts in history.

View of Naval Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor
View of Naval Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor | Source: Wikimedia Commons

A trip to Pearl Harbor provides a range of experiences, from somber reflection at the USS Arizona Memorial to an interactive lesson about US Navy life and capabilities.

Tourists can explore the Visitor Center Museum, which holds artifacts from sunken ships and explains various aspects of that fateful day in December 1941.

Additionally, you can board decommissioned battleships and submarines, which have been turned into floating museums, providing visitors with a unique perspective on military equipment throughout history.

Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau

Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau is an awe-inspiring destination located on the north shore of Oahu. As Hawaii’s largest sacred temple, Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau offers a unique opportunity to experience and learn about Hawaiian culture and traditions.

Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau
Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau | Source: Wikimedia Commons

You will be captivated by its majestic views of the sea and nearby hills, as well as its historical significance to the indigenous people of Hawaii.

They will also have the chance to learn about the beliefs and rituals that were practiced at this historic temple. It is believed that Ku, an important Hawaiian god, wanted sacrifices to be made there in order to appease him.

Through visiting this place, you can gain an understanding of a time long past and will leave with a greater appreciation for Hawaiian history and culture.

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Visiting the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii is a chance to show respect for those who have served our country. Located at Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu, this cemetery is a resting place for many veterans, including well-known battles such as The Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Those that visit can witness the beauty of this peaceful memorial while reflecting on the ultimate sacrifice made by so many.

The mood is somber and respectful, inviting visitors to reflect on and honor those fallen heroes with admiration and love. No matter your personal views on war, the importance of recognizing these brave individuals will always stand strong throughout time.

Lolani Palace

Located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Lolani Palace is a national historic landmark. The palace was built in 1882 for King Kalakaua and served as the Hawaiian monarchy’s residence until the monarchy’s overthrow in 1893.

Lolani Palace
Lolani Palace | Source: Wikimedia Commons

For many years afterward, it was used as an office building for various government agencies and offices before falling into disrepair.

In 1964, it became a US National Historic Landmark and, since then, has been painstakingly restored to be open for tours for visitors who want to walk through its original furnishings and hear stories about life during the Hawaiian monarchy.

With its impressive architecture and detailed history, Lolani Palace offers visitors a rare chance to experience Hawaii’s royal past.

Kawaiaha’o Church (Honolulu – Hawaii’s Big Island)

Kawaiaha’o Church in Honolulu is a monumental structure that is an iconic reminder of Hawaii’s rich culture and heritage. Built-in 1842 and dedicated to the memory of Kamehameha I, it quickly became a beloved symbol for the Hawaiian people.

Kawaiaha'o Church
Kawaiaha’o Church | Source: Wikimedia Commons

With its notable steeple rising from a close-by residential neighborhood, Kawaiaha’o Church embodies a reverence for local history and an appreciation for modernity.

Locals gather inside its walls every Sunday for prayer, offering peace and calm for congregants and visitors alike.

At every turn, it serves as a proud reminder of the culture, traditions, and values that make Hawaii a special place to call home.

Hawaiian islands Map

The Hawaiian islands map is an awe-inspiring sight to behold, displaying the breathtaking beauty of the rocky and lush islands located in the Pacific.

Hawaiian islands Map
Hawaii State Map | Source: Wikimedia Commons

It can be seen as a paradise on Earth with its shimmering ocean waters and pristine white beaches. To truly experience this magnificent landscape, one can take an adventure cruise around the islands or take a leisurely kayak trip down peaceful rivers.

Each island offers something unique – cascading waterfalls to serene lagoons – that will make your journey unforgettable.

Hawaii Flag

The flag of Hawaii is one of the most recognizable, iconic flags in America. Adopted as the official state flag of Hawaii in 1845, it has a unique and meaningful design that pays homage to the country’s storied past.

Flag of Hawaii
Flag of Hawaii | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Originally designed to represent each of the then-nine major islands using stripes of color, the modern version of Hawaii’s flag still contains an eight-stripe design–representing each island–set against a darker background with a British Union Jack occupying one corner.

It serves as a reminder that Hawaii was under British rule before it achieved independence. The Hawaiian flag is a beautiful symbol of strength and unity between the islands and continues to fly proudly today.

Hawaii Language

Hawaii state – full of culture and history. Native to Hawaii are many Polynesian languages, most of which have been lost due to the influx of immigrants over the past century.

However, one language remains prominent today: Hawaiian. Hawaiian holds an esteemed place in the Hawaiian culture, as it is believed to unlock opportunities for a greater understanding of the land and its history.

Regarded as not just a language but also a way of life, it is taught in schools across the islands and studied by visitors from around the world. Learning Hawaiian is a great way to get closer to understanding Hawaii’s unique history and natural environment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hawaii part of the United States of America?

Yes, Hawaii is part of the United States of America. It became the 50th State on August 21, 1959. Hawaii has two official languages: English and Hawaiian.

Why is Hawaii Part of the USA?

Hawaii is part of the United States because it was annexed by the US in 1898. It became an official US state in 1959 when its citizens voted to become the 50th State. Hawaii’s strategic location in the Pacific Ocean has made it an important military asset and economic trade partner for the US.

Is Hawaii the 50th State in the US?

Yes, Hawaii is the 50th State in the United States. It became a state on August 21st, 1959, after the US Congress passed the Hawaiian Admission Act and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law. Hawaii is an archipelago of over 130 islands located in the central Pacific Ocean, making it one of the most geographically isolated states in the nation.

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