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The Constitution
of the
State of Hawaii

Incorporating the November 7, 2006 election changes,
and including the annotation.

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Article XV - State Boundaries; Capital; Flag; Language and Motto

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Sections

1Boundaries
2Capital
3State flag
4Official languages
5Motto

Note:

This article was redesignated from "Article XII State Boundaries, Capital, Flag" to "Article XV State Boundaries; Capital; Flag; Language and Motto" by Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978. The former Article XV now appears as Article XVII.

15.1
Boundaries

The State of Hawaii shall consist of all the islands, together with their appurtenant reefs and territorial and archipelagic waters, included in the Territory of Hawaii on the date of enactment of the Admission Act, except the atoll known as Palmyra Island, together with its appurtenant reefs and territorial waters; but this State shall not be deemed to include the Midway Islands, Johnston Island, Sand Island (offshore from Johnston Island) or Kingman Reef, together with their appurtenant reefs and territorial waters.  [Am 73 Stat 4 and election June 27, 1959; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Note:

Date of enactment of Admission Act: March 18, 1959.

At election of June 27, 1959, in amending this section to conform to the Admission Act, Public Law 86-3 (73 Stat 4), pursuant to sections 2 and 7(b) of the Admission Act, State also relinquished to the United States "all claims of this State to any areas of land or sea outside the boundaries so prescribed...."

Legislative history of section 2 of Admission Act, see 196 F. Supp. 564.

Language adopted to describe boundaries in section 2 of the Admission Act first was used in H.R. 3575 as passed by the Senate, 83d Congress, 2d Session, April 7, 1954. See explanation of Senator Cordon, Chairman of Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, March 8, 1954, on consideration of S. 49 for which H.R. 3575 later was substituted, 100 Cong. Rec. p. 2789, cols. 1-2; and see Senate hearings on S. 49, S. 51, and H.R. 3575, 83d Congress, 1st and 2d Sessions, June 29, 1953--January 8, 1954, including materials on islands and reefs comprising Territory of Hawaii.

When Admission Act finally was enacted by 86th Congress, 1st Session, committee report stated that "the boundaries of the new State will include all of the islands and territorial waters of the Territory of Hawaii, except the Island of Palmyra." Other islands treated as excluded were "not considered to be part of the Territory." Sen. Rep. 80, H.R. Rep. No. 32, 86th Congress, 1st Session.

Report of the Commission which prepared the Hawaiian Organic Act, transmitted to Congress by message of the President, Sen. Doc. 16, 55th Congress, 3d Session, 1898, listed in addition to the eight principal islands and Palmyra, ten others. But this listing has not been deemed to be complete. See note to §2 of Hawaiian Organic Act.

As to federal reservations, see note to §1-4.

Cross References:

Coastal zone management area, see §205A-1.

State marine waters, see §§187A-1.5, 188-22.5, 189-1.5, 190-1.5, 190D-3, and 195D-2.

Waters of the State, see §200-23.

Case Notes:

Territorial waters extend only three miles from each island. 352 F.2d 735, aff. 235 F. Supp. 990.

Question of jurisdiction over channels between islands raised but not decided. 47 H. 87, 384 P.2d 536.

15.2
Capital

Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, shall be the capital of the State.  [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

15.3
State flag

The Hawaiian flag shall be the flag of the State.  [Ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Cross References:

Other state symbols, see chapter 5.

15.4
Official languages

English and Hawaiian shall be the official languages of Hawaii, except that Hawaiian shall be required for public acts and transactions only as provided by law.  [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Cross References:

Statutory provisions, see §§1-13 and 13.5.

Law Journals and Reviews:

Judicial Enforcement of "Official" Indigenous Languages: A Comparative Analysis of the Maori and Hawaiian Struggles for Cultural Language Rights. 26 UH L. Rev. 495.

Case Notes:

Court rejected plaintiff's contention that the Hawaii constitution prohibited the court from mandating that plaintiff give deposition testimony in English. 843 F. Supp. 630.

15.5
Motto

The motto of the State shall be, "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono."  [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

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Article XV - State Boundaries; Capital; Flag; Language and Motto

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