Will Jasmine Trias be the Queen?


I am currently enjoying a browse-read of Waging Peace, Dwight D. Eisenhower's memoir of his second term as president, and yesterday afternoon came across a discussion of the Hawaiian statehood question, which was resolved on Ike's watch. He lobbied for admission of Hawaii (though interestingly, he was less enthusiastic about Alaska), and says most of the objections to statehood centered on fears of communist infiltration. As Ike tells it, he countered these arguments by pointing to the excellent performance of Hawaiian troops in the Korean War, "where the enemy had been both Asiatic and communist."

So it's intriguing, 45 years on, to hear from Matt Welch that residents of the American Estonia are pushing for independence. As far as I'm concerned this one's a push: I can't figure out how 49 stars can be arranged into attractive rows on the flag, but I wouldn't mind losing the eyesore of the poorly scaled island chain inserted into the lower left corner of the U.S. map, where it ends up looking like a dropping behind the steer shape of the lower 48. Keanu, your youth is behind you! You want an issue worthy of a mature actor, here it is!

This of course is just one of the many gems you'll find in Reason's ongoing coverage of the DNC in Boston.


NEXT: Benedict Arnold's Two Americas

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  1. I can’t figure out how 49 stars can be arranged into attractive rows on the flag

    Well, 7 x 7 oughta work.

  2. That would make a square. In the current configuration the blue field is a rectangle. That might work though.

  3. Years ago, a guy at our frat house had one of those rare flags made betwixt Alaska and Hawaii and it indeed had a 7×7 star field, with rectangular spacing in place of square.

  4. Isn’t that wacky! Those wacky Hawaiian separatists! Why, there have never been separatism movements and they’ve never succeeded at any time in history!

    I’m sure Hawaii has some pretty distinctive defensive needs, so I don’t think they’re going to be allowed to separate any time soon. However, with enough people who think the same way, a civil war might be the result. Which is what you get when you blithely ignore unfortunate things like history. Are there any libertarians who pay attention to history rather than attempting to sweep it under the rug?

    BTW, here’s a wacky quote you will find entertaining:

    ?We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it.?

    The statement transcribed above is but a small sampling of the venom and hatred that typically spills from the mouth of Haunani-Kay Trask, a Professor at the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A guru of the racial separation/ethnic nationalism movement, Trask routinely abuses her position an educator (and American tax dollars) to spread racist and anti-American doctrine throughout the University of Hawaii student body, sometimes violently opposing the dissenting voices that arise on campus and elsewhere on the Island…

    However, Professor Trasks’ racial instigation is not restricted to mere verbal assaults. On September 5th, 2002, the Honolulu Advisor reported, ?threats of violence had intimidated the director of the Academy of Lifelong Learning and frightened away the elderly students who had signed up for [Professor Kenneth] Conklin?s course on Hawaiian sovereignty.?[11] In response to this incident, Professor Trask not only expressed her outrage that a man who opposes the racist elements of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement would be allowed to speak at the Center for Hawaiian Studies but also overtly endorsed physical violence as a means by which to protect the racist agenda of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. When asked to comment on the cancellation of the class due to threats of violence, Professor Trask responded that, ?it?s great that somebody came back at [Professor Conklin] and threatened him.?

    Recall, just like those harmless and wacky Southwestern Chicano separatists, we’re funding her salary.

    [snarky anti-liberaltarian comments self-deleted because I want to make friends with you all]

  5. Maybe it would look as it did.

    The 49 Star Flag

  6. The Pineapple People aren’t alone when it comes to supporting a non-Continental seperatist movement. Check these guys out:


    They claim to have almost 20,000 members. Assuming that they’re all Alaskans, that would amount to about 4% of the state’s adult population.

  7. Couldn’t we just borrow Grandpa Simpson’s flag? It would be a cold day in hell before he would recognize Missouri.

  8. Making lemonade, I suggest we all play Newt Gingrich here. What if Hawai(‘)i was part of, say, France. What if we didn’t want French forces so close to our Heimat, and we also wanted Hawaii for ourselves.

    What could the U.S. do short of an invasion to try to either get Hawaii under our control or make it part of the U.S.?

  9. hawaii out, and puerto rico in. and hawaii can have guam, and whatever other useless colonies we have in the pacific, whilst the new state of puerto rico has all our useless colonies in the carribeans. 4 birds, one stone, not bad.

  10. I don’t know about that 49-star flag…
    Confidentially, it made me a little queasy.
    But seriously, people, if we want to keep 50, are we really ready to trade Hawaii for Puerto Rico?

  11. This is not an argument I am trying to make, but a serious question I want to ask: If the Hawaiians chose to leave, would there in fact be any legal validation to force them to stay? After all, we did pretty much invade them, kick out their monarch and force them to hook up with us.

    This might differ from the Civil War in that when the Confederates tried to secede, well, they CHOSE to join the Union so they can’t change their minds just because they don’t like the way things are going. But the Hawaiians never actually chose to join.

  12. I have just detected a Civil War reference in Jennifer’s last post.


    [insert sound of siren here]

  13. I have a 49 star flag, given as a premium to me for buying a magazine somewhere between Alaska and Hawaii’s admission. It has 7 rows of 7 stars, slightly staggered and looks quite synchronous.
    * * * * * * *
    * * * * * * * etc. So there!

  14. Thoreau-
    I try never do things by half-measures, so let’s open that worm-can all the way: if Hawaii tried to secede, how would that be any different from, say, the Baltic republics when they insisted they wanted to leave Russia? After all, the Baltics never chose to hook up with Mother Russia; the Soviets invaded them.

    Again, I am NOT saying that Hawaii is identical to the Baltics; I’m saying that I’d like to know if anyone can tell me why they’re NOT.

  15. Jennifer-

    The can of worms isn’t the suggestion that Hawaii might have a right to secede. The can of worms is the mention of the Civil War.

  16. Again, I am NOT saying that Hawaii is identical to the Baltics; I’m saying that I’d like to know if anyone can tell me why they’re NOT.

    They aren’t similar to the Baltics because they’re part of the U.S. In some contexts, might makes right.

    That said, I wouldn’t be totally opposed to Hawaiian secession if the great majority wanted it, those harmed by the secession could be taken care of, it didn’t cause our enemies to be strengthened, it wouldn’t impact the Heimat’s defense, etc. etc. etc. The U.S. Southwest is another matter entirely: that’s part of the U.S., a significant number of Americans live there and they don’t want to secede, etc. etc. etc.

  17. Thoreau-
    Yeah, I know, but I realized the Baltics actually worked better for my purposes here.

    I don’t want to refight the Civil War, but I would be interested to hear any comments people have on my Hawaiian Baltics idea. The more I think about it, the more I doubt we have the right to make Hawaii stay with us.

    Deep down, though, I don’t care one way or the other. I lived in Hawaii as a tiny baby (Navy housing), and while I don’t remember the experience I remember my mother saying firstly, that native Hawaiians HATE white people, and secondly, once you leave the touristy areas it’s nothing but humidity and crawling bugs. Of course, things may have improved since the early Seventies.

  18. Lonewacko-
    I posted before I read your comment, bt I must say this–if might makes right, then doesn’t that mean Russia should have been allowed to keep Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? I doubt you’d say yes, but then why is Hawaii different?

  19. Lonewacko-

    Why did you go out of your way to use a German word for “homeland”? (Forgive me if the translation is wrong, that’s what I got when I looked it up.) Are you just trying to further feed into certain stereotypes?

    Resisting…. urge… to…. invoke… Godwin’s… Law… Pressure… too… strong…

  20. I posted before I read your comment, bt I must say this–if might makes right, then doesn’t that mean Russia should have been allowed to keep Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania?

    What do you mean “allowed?” There is no such word, unless backed up by force. Was some country going to invade Russia and force them to divest those countries? If Russia wanted to keep those countries, they would have. And, they would have faced whatever consequences followed: invasion, condemnation, economic boycott, or nothing. I.e., it’s the law of the jungle out there.

    Unfortunately, Lonewacko is just a commenter here, and he cannot answer questions from all. Auf wiedersehen!

  21. For more than 20 years, I’ve argued the U.S. should swap Hawaii to Canada in return for Alberta. Not the same as independence, but maybe they’d go for that.

  22. If the US could get a Guantanamo-like lease on Pearl Harbor, that actually wouldn’t be a bad idea. Especially with Albertans up in arms over Kyoto. But the Canucks would never go for it – Alberta’s a cash cow for them, rivaled only by Ontario’s industrial belt.

    Maybe we should ask for Saskatchewan instead; on a map of the country, it would look like a giant middle finger.

  23. Heimat has dual meanings in German – it can mean “home” (as in the place you reside at) and it can mean something like “homeland.” Heimat was a favorite word of the German right from the 1870s up at least to WWII because it has this dual connotation.

    Check out:

    “The Nation As Local Metaphor – Wurtemberg, Imperial Germany & National Memory”

  24. Geez, it was just a libertarian-friendly swipe at DHS, etc. Kinda like how “liberals” use $hrub, only much more clever and witty. I’m just trying to fit in.

  25. Lonewacko-

    My bad. I was just kind of baffled by the unusual use of German. And there is something eerie about the phrase “Homeland” in any language. I wonder how politicians decided to use that phrase anyway. I thought “national security” was a perfectly good phrase, but I guess the politicians needed a new marketing gimmick and came up with “homeland security.”

  26. I think we could put the 49 stars in a circle. The stars would have to be really really small, but that would be indicative of the states’ present significance.

  27. If we’re gonna redesign the flag, let’s just arrange the stars in a smiley face. That would make the world so much more friendly to us.

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