Pacific heraldry

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Arthur Radburn
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Pacific heraldry

Postby Arthur Radburn » 07 Apr 2017, 16:25

The Pacific island states and territories seldom get a look-in on this forum. Here are some official arms from that part of the world.

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The arms which King George VI granted to the Gilbert & Ellice Islands in 1937. When the two groups of islands were separated in 1975, the Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati) kept these arms, and the Ellice Islands, which were renamed 'Tuvalu', were granted new arms.

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The arms of Tuvalu, granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976. The eight shells and leaves represent the eight inhabited islands. The building is a traditional council house.

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Pitcairn Island's arms were granted in 1969. The island was settled by the mutineers from HMS Bounty, hence the anchor and the Bible.

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As the sinister supporter suggests, Norfolk Island is a dependency of Australia. The tree is a Norfolk pine. These arms were granted in 1980.
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Chris Green
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Re: Pacific heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 07 Apr 2017, 18:56

From 1977 to 1980 I was a member of the small Foreign & Commonwealth Office Department responsible for appointing Governors, Judges, Attorneys General and senior Administrators to Britain's remaining colonial territories. Many of those we sent forth had been doing similar jobs since they returned from WW2, starting off for the most part in Africa but migrating to smaller and smaller territories as the major colonies became self-governing. We still ensured that Governors were kitted out with appropriate uniforms, with be-feathered topees and with dress swords. For a while I had in my cupboard a uniform boot complete with false leg which belonged to the one-legged Governor of the Falkland Islands.
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Re: Pacific heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 07 Apr 2017, 19:47

The Solomon Islands' arms are a peculiar mish-mash. On what, for example are the supporters balanced?

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The previous version may be seen on the pre-independence flag:


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and there was apparently a earlier version from 1947-56:

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Re: Pacific heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 08 Apr 2017, 11:53

Tonga has arms that were apparently designed in 1875, the same year as Tonga's constitution was drafted.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Tonga

Tonga was never a colony, but did have British protected status from 1900 to 1970. Neither arms nor flag give a hint of the British connection. Indeed one might be forgiven for thinking that Tonga was once a colony of Switzerland!

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Re: Pacific heraldry

Postby JMcMillan » 08 Apr 2017, 14:21

Coat of arms of the State of Hawaii:

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Modified from the arms of the Kingdom of Hawaii, adopted in 1845, designed with the assistance of the College of Arms (the emblazonment on the gates of Iolani Palace in Honolulu):

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Re: Pacific heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 08 Apr 2017, 15:20

Here is another rendering of the 1845 arms:

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The Royal Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Hawaii adopted in 1845 during the reigns of King Kamehameha III. In 1842 Timothy Haalilio, Private Secretary to the King, and Royal Advisor the Rev. William Richards commissioned the College of Arms in London to prepare a design. The design was modified slightly during the reign of King Kalākaua. The quartered shield has 1st and 4th quarters; the red, white and blue stripes representing the eight inhabited Hawaiian islands. The 2nd and 3rd quarters has two emblems of taboo (pulo'ulo'u) on yellow. The inescutcheon has crossed spears and the triangular flag on green. The shield in surmounted by the Crown of Hawaii. The dexter supporter represents Kamanawa holding a spear, the sinister Kameʻeiamoku holding a feather standard (kahili), twin brothers who were both high chiefs and the Counselors of State to King Kamehameha I. The motto reads: "Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono" or "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness".


Two pulo'ulo'u were placed to the left and right of the gateway to the King's house to indicate protection, or a place of refuge, to which a person might flee from danger and be safe.
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Re: Pacific heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 08 Apr 2017, 15:42

The sinister supporter of the arms of the Republic of Hawaii (and now of the State of Hawaii) is not, as might be imagined, Britannia holding the Union Flag, but the Goddess of Liberty, wearing a Phrygian cap and laurel wreath, and holding in her right hand the National Banner partly unfurled.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3358718;view=1up;seq=30

The Hawaiian flag is of course the only US State flag to include the Union Flag as a canton:

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Re: Pacific heraldry

Postby Arthur Radburn » 08 Apr 2017, 16:25

Chris Green wrote:The Solomon Islands' arms are a peculiar mish-mash. On what, for example are the supporters balanced?
A two-headed frigate bird. It also appears on the governor-general's flag, in place of the more customary riband bearing the country's name :
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Re: Pacific heraldry

Postby Arthur Radburn » 08 Apr 2017, 16:27

Chris Green wrote:Indeed one might be forgiven for thinking that Tonga was once a colony of Switzerland!
Or of the International Red Cross. Apparently, the original Tongan flag, adopted in 1862, was white with a couped red cross. This was before the Red Cross was established. The Tongan flag was later changed to the present design after the RC flag had become internationally recognised.
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Re: Pacific heraldry

Postby Arthur Radburn » 08 Apr 2017, 16:46

Like Hawaii and the Solomon Islands, Samoa has had a succession of official arms and badges.

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Coat of arms believed to have been used from the 1870s until the islands were partitioned between Germany and the USA in 1900.

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Proposed arms which the German imperial authorities in Berlin designed for Samoa in 1914. They were not finalised because of the outbreak of World War I.

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Flag badge approved by the UK Admiralty in 1925, when ex-German Samoa was administered by New Zealand, under a League of Nations mandate.

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Arms adopted in 1951, after Samoa's status had changed to a UN Trust Terrritory -- hence the use of part of the UN emblem as an external ornament.

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Current arms, adopted on independence in 1962.
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