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            A Red Cross flag sewn by Queen Lili‘uokalani and some of her supporters 88 years ago is temporarily hanging in the Mission Memorial Auditorium next to Honolulu Hale, while its permanent home, the Diamond Head headquarters of the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross undergoes renovation.


Queen Lili‘uokalani sewed the flag at Washington Place and presented it on September 14, 1917, to the then-newly formed Honolulu Chapter of the Red Cross. The flag measures about 4½ by 7½  feet and is encased in a glass and koa frame. The flag was flown over Iolani Palace and it hung in the  Throne Room of the palace while volunteers rolled bandages during World War II. It is on permanent loan to the Red Cross chapter from the Hawaii State Archives. A plaque that is displayed with the flag says the queen wrote, “The flag . . . is an expression of my warm and hearty sympathy with the cause of humanity and abiding faith in the work of the patriotic women in Hawaii.”


“We are happy to help the Red Cross by housing and honoring this precious legacy of the queen,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “We invite people attending events at the auditorium to view it and reflect on the spirit with which the queen produced and bestowed it.” The first of those events is tonight’s Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Concert, which begins at 6 p.m. and marks the 10th anniversary of the hall of fame.


The Red Cross headquarters on Diamond Head Road is undergoing renovation for handicapped accessibility and needed repairs. The work is expected to take up to a year. The chapter’s health and safety training staff will be housed in East Honolulu. The rest of the staff will use space in the Bank of Hawaii building.


Coralie Chun Matayoshi, chief executive officer of the Red Cross chapter, said, “Our move will not affect in any way the delivery of important Red Cross services to the people of Hawaii. We will continue to be there when disasters strike and to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.  This renovation will allow us to be more effective and efficient in alleviating human suffering throughout our State.” 





Michael Pili Pang, executive director, Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, 523-4674

Coralie Chun Matayoshi, American Red Cross Hawaii State Chapter, 299-3302

Friday, November 04, 2005

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