Petition seeks to fly standard of Kamehameha III at Lahaina park
LAHAINA – The songs of the West Maui valleys were featured at a gathering held at Na Aikane o Maui Cultural Center last week Friday (May 31). Special guest artists on stage were Keauhou and Pueo Pata, sharing the stories about Honokohau, Honolua, Honokowai, Kahoma, Kanaha and Kaua’ula in song.
The Na Aikane o Maui nonprofit, located in downtown, historic Lahaina at 562-A Front St., hosted the evening’s entertainment and introduced a proposal to honor King Kamehameha III.
Ke’eaumoku Kapu is the cultural advisor of the Hawaii 501(c)(3) group. His wife, U’ilani Kapu, is the organization’s president. Both are often in the forefront of actions taken to protect and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture, leading the way not only in the state and county legislative chambers but also along the trails in the footsteps of their ancestors.
They introduced at the event a petition calling for the installation of a flag pole monument at Kamehameha Iki Park (525 Front St.); it would only fly the personal standard of H.M. King Kamehameha III.
The appeal reasons in the first paragraph, “Lahaina, Maui is the original capitol of Hawaii. Lahaina became the epicenter for politics, innovation and trade. Lahaina led Hawaii by creating and adopting the first Constitution. The Bill of Rights as well was signed by H.M. King Kamehameha III Kauikeaouli here in Lahaina. These few basic facts are practically unheard of by the average person, much less the many tourists that come to our shores.”
“The historical, political and cultural information at the flag pole monument can easily become a major stop for visitors both domestic and foreign who crave a deeper understanding of Hawaii,” the petition reads.
“This influx will galvanize local businesses in the short and long term, increase Lahaina’s appeal as a must see historic town, pave the way for many more historical site monuments; and, most likely, even create new jobs in response.”
Na Aikane wants the flag to fly in front of the traditional Hawaiian hale at the park.
“The flag pole… will enable us to change the criteria of how the town should be cared for. I feel that it is important to place a code of conduct in this part of the town, because of its relationship to all that is important to Hawaii’s history. For a town that is supposed to be designated under the National Historic Registry is the most uncared for; I feel that if the county can’t do it, then we the community needs to step up and care for it. We started cleaning our town to show that we the people of this place still do care,” Ke’eaumoku said.
Makalapua Kanuha is complex director of culture at The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas and The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas. She supports the cause.
“That’s awesome to have a flag pole monument Na Aikane can raise the flag every morning and set it down every evening. This would be a great opportunity for our community and visitors to come and learn why Lahaina is so unique and special,” she said.
To sign the petition, visit Na Aikane o Maui at its Front Street location next to the tennis courts.
“It will be posted on our community bulletin board and will have copies for people to take with them if they want to contribute,” Ke’eaumoku said.
“We want the petition to resonate the community’s desire to have the flag fly over the grounds where history was made, The Palace grounds of the Hale Piula (House of the Iron Roof),” he advised.