Letter to the Editor | August 2023


“Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono” – translated as “The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness” has been the motto of Hawaiʻi for more than 160 years. Consider, then, the following manaʻo:

In 1843, British Consul Richard Charlton (1791-1852) and Lord George Paulet (1803-1879), commander of the British frigate Carysfort, demanded “provisional cession” of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi to Great Britain in order to settle claims made by Charlton against the monarchy. On Feb. 25, 1843, the Hawaiian flag was lowered and replaced by the British flag.

On July 26 of that year, Rear Adm. Richard Darton Thomas, R.N. (1777-1851), arrived in Hawaiʻi on the HMS flagship Dublin to rescind cession under Paulet and to restore the monarchy to Kamehameha III (Kalanikauikeaouli, 1813-1854).

On July 31, 1843, the Hawaiian flag replaced the British flag, and Kamehameha III in one sentence spoke words at Kawaiahaʻo Church, words that described relief from the five-month rule of Lord George Paulet.

Taken in context with the events of 1843, the monarch’s words stated succinctly, “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono” – The Sovereignty of the Nation is Preserved in Justice.

Wayne Hinano Brumaghim