Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Royal Hawaiian Ensign Flag From the Time of the Hawaiian Monarchy.
    72" x 48" wool flag with 2.5" canvas hoist configured as a sleeve. Hemmed fly, finished edges, light foxing, scattered minor mothing, machine stitching, vivid colors. Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity dated May 29, 2020, signed by Donald Medcalf of Hawaiian Islands Stamp & Coin Company of Honolulu ("Specializing in Hawaiiana"). Medcalf is an authority in the field and often serves as a museum consultant. The certificate states, in part: "Used under the Hawaiian Kingdom circa 1880s. I find it to be genuine in all respects." The Hawaiian navy used two designs... this one and another with the Royal Coat-of-Arms in the center. The latter was designed by Mrs. Strong and presented to King Kalakaua in 1887. According to newspaper reports at the time, seven examples of the Strong flag were produced in four different sizes. Hawaii had its own textile shops who used local products to manufacture flags for the Kingdom of Hawaii. Sewing machines were first brought to the islands in 1853. Hawaii also had electric lights and power even before the White House. There are two examples of the Royal Crown pattern, including one housed at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. This flag matches those two flags in dimensions, construction and materials. This example may have been used on the Royal flagship, the HMS Kaimiloa.

    The Royal Hawaiian Navy was established in 1887 by King Kalakaua to lend credibility to the Kingdom's support of Samoan King Malietoa's efforts to resist foreign takeover. Kalakaua purchased a British copra ship named the "Explorer" at a cost of $20,000 and spent an additional $50,000 to overhaul and refit her with six small cannons and two Gatling guns. She was placed in service in March of 1887 and renamed the Kaimiloa (The Far Seeker). This was the only vessel in the Hawaiian Navy and was decommissioned in October 1887 by the island legislature. Photos dating from 1887 show that the Kaimiloa would sometimes fly both the national ensign and the Royal ensign, lending support to the belief that this example was used on the flagship.

    Auction Info

    Bidding Begins Approx.
    17th Tuesday
    Auction Dates
    6th Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Begins Approx.
    18 Days
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: N/A
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 32
    Auction Type
    Signature®:  Heritage Live®:After Internet bidding closes, live bidding will take place through Your secret maximum bid placed prior to the live event will compete against the live bids. To maximize your chances of winning, enter realistic secret maximum bids on our site. Many of our proxy bidders are successful at winning lots in these auctions, and usually below their secret maximum. You can also place last minute bids directly with us by e-mailing or calling 1-866-835-3243. (Important note: Due to software and Internet latency, live bids may not register in time, so enter realistic proxy bids.)

    Signature® Floor Sessions
    Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session. During the live auction event, bidding in person is encouraged, and Heritage Live includes streaming audio and often video during the event.
    Track Item