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Other Items of Interest


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City and County of Honolulu Seal 

The Seal of the City and County of Honolulu is circular in shape, three inches in diameter, and designed with the tinctures added as a basis for the coat of arms as a heraldic shield quartered; first and fourth quarters bearing the stripes and colors of the Hawaiian Flag; second and third quarters, on a yellow field, a white ball pierced on a staff; overall, a green escutcheon surcharge, with a five pointed yellow star in the center.

Supporting the Shield is Nuuanu Pali on its right and Diamond Head on its left; overall green color. A rising sun irradiated in gold crests the Shield. And the whole is surrounded by the legend CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU on the top and on the bottom STATE OF HAWAII.

In 1895 in a competition for a design of a seal for the Republic of Hawaii, Viggo Jacobsen, originator of the design, explains the Great Shield as

    "...the keystone of the whole design. The eight bars represent the eight inhabited islands of the group under one rule. The tabu sticks are the emblem of authority and protection. The star in the center is the Star of Hawaii which we hope to see ultimately placed in the banner of the United States. **** The irradiated sun is symbolic of the new era which has dawned upon Hawaii..."

The Seal was officially adopted by the City board of supervisors (the predecessors to the City Council) on February 9, 1909 shortly after the City began its operations in January. After Hawaii achieved statehood in 1959, the Seal was modified, replacing the term 'Territory of Hawaii' with 'State of Hawaii'.

The Seal is the custody of the city clerk. Its impress authenticates all official papers and instruments requiring execution or certification by the clerk. Unauthorized use of the Seal or a facsimile is against City law (41-1, ROH).

A seven-foot replica of the Seal, fashioned by Hawaii artist Mamoru Sato, hangs in the council chamber in Honolulu Hale. A smaller version, the model for the large Seal, hangs in the mayor's office. The Seal of the City and County of Honolulu is circular in shape, three inches in diameter, and designed with the tinctures added as a basis for the coat of arms as a heraldic shield quartered; first and fourth quarters bearing the stripes and colors of the Hawaiian Flag; second and third quarters, on a yellow field, a white ball pierced on a staff; overall, a green escutcheon surcharge, with a five pointed yellow star in the center.


Last Reviewed: Monday, February 22, 2010