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Keepers of the Flame


Authorized by the 35th Article of the 1864 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, King Kamehameha V established the Order of Kamehameha I by Royal Decree on April 11, 1865 at the ‘Iolani Palace. The Royal Decree was made with the endorsement of the King’s Privy Council of State and establishes the Order’s mission and authorizes the Order to carry out its kuleana, in perpetuity, as an institution of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i.

What is this mission? It is to cultivate and develop among our people the feelings of honour and loyalty to the Hawaiian Nation, and its institutions, and to confer honourary distinctions upon our people and foreigners who have or may render to the Hawaiian Nation important services.

Following the illegal overthrow of Queen Lili‘uokalani and the Kingdom in 1893, the Order was considered a threat and suppressed by the Provisional Government and subsequent Republic of Hawai‘i. As a result, the Order was forced to exist as a secret underground society. After Hawai‘i became a territory of the United States in 1898, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole, lead a torchlight ceremony around the statue of Kamehameha (Oahu) and publicly declared the restoration (return to public light) of the Order in 1903. As the last surviving designated heir to the throne, had it not been for the overthrow, Prince Kūhiō would have succeeded Queen Lili‘uokalani as King of Hawai‘i and Grand Master of the Order. As such, Prince Kūhiō possessed the mana (authority and power) to reorganize and perpetuate the Royal Order of Kamehameha I as it exists today.

Today, the Order proclaims the continued existence of the Hawaiian Nation and awaits the restoration of its governing body. In the interim, the Order promotes sustaining the laws of the land to prevent anarchy and asserts its continuing kuleana to support and uplift the Nation and its people.

E ho‘okānaka

Chapter name: Year established: Location:
Heiau O Hawai‘i Established 1903 Honolulu, O‘ahu
Heiau O Māmalahoa Established 1907 Hilo, Moku O Keawe
Heiau O Kaumuali‘i Established 1918 Lihu‘e, Kaua‘i
Heiau O Kahekili Established 1922 Wailuku, Maui
Heiau O Kalaniana‘ole Established 1928 Moloka‘i
Heiau O Kūhiō Established 1962 Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu
Heiau O Ahuena Established 1994 Kona, Moku O Keawe
Heiau O Kapuāiwa Established 2007 Wai‘anae, O‘ahu
Heiau O Kamehameha Established 2011 Kohala, Moku O Keawe
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