Queen Liliuokalani’s stolen royal standard to be returned to Hawaii

After 130 years, Queen Liliuokalani’s royal standard is coming home.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:28 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 20, 2023 at 6:57 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 130 years, Queen Liliuokalani’s royal standard is coming home.

Thanks to two private benefactors, the queen’s personal flag and other historical documents have been saved from the auction block.

“It is a representation of the Queen herself. And so for that to be anywhere other than Hawaii, is really a tragedy. So we’re so glad that we’re able to bring these objects back home,” said State Archivist Adam Jansen.

The royal standard last flew above Washington Place during the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. It was taken down and confiscated by the provisional government.

Jansen will travel to New York next week to bring back the flag and the archives of Col. John Soper who was commander-in-chief of the military forces of the provisional government.

The items were supposed to be auctioned off last October by Bonham’s auction house but the sale was halted after state Attorney General’s office sent a letter of claim.

“We felt it belonged to the state of Hawaii. We requested them to withdraw those items from the auction, and they thankfully they did so,” said Deputy Attorney General Gurudev “Dave” Allin.

Instead of litigation, the late Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa contributed $30,000 to acquire the flag while Damon Estate heiress Brendan Damon Ethington paid $30,000 for Soper’s archives. The benefactors then donated the items to the state.

“These items represent a critical piece of Hawaii’s history that has been gone for the past 130 years,” said Jansen

“Anytime we can bring home a symbol of the queen is always a very, very important.”