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Admission Day or Statehood Day is celebrated in Hawaii on the third Friday in August.

Honolulu Advertiser [Honolulu] 5 July 1960

Governor Quinn's Address at Iolani Palace Flag Raising Ceremonies July 4, 1960

This day is a great day for free people.

This is the 184th time that the free citizens of our country have celebrated the courage of a few brave men who were not afraid to stand forth and say, “We have had enough!  From now on, these are the things we believe in! This is the liberty we shall cherish! This is the land we love, and in it we shall defend the dignity of all men, and we will die, if need be, to preserve our freedom.”

Since July the 4th, 1776, the United States of America has been the symbol of the kind of independence that was available to all nations, if they had the courage to win it and defend it.

Just 14 years ago today, when the Philippines had earned, and achieved their independence from us, they chose the 4th of July to proclaim it. Since then our two nations have stood on the opposite shores of the Pacific Ocean as sentinels protecting half a world against encroaching slavery.

On the other side of the world, small countries of Africa are beginning to seek and achieve their independence. Only two days ago, the Belgian Congo became the Republic of Congo as another nation set out to determine its own destiny.

But the wheels of History turn slowly, and this is still a mighty big world. Much of the impact of our own revolution is just making itself felt in some parts of the earth. The nations, which have thrown off the yoke of colonialism in the past fifteen years have an inevitable pattern which they must follow if they would have the success with their independence that we have had with ours. If they want to live in freedom, they too must be prepared to undergo mighty changes in their ways of life.

For one, they must be prepared for, and indeed encourage, industrial revolution. Free men should be working men…building men…creating men…men who are raising their standard of living and shaping the economic stability of their country. This is the way to prosperity.

The new free nations will have to face up to other tasks. They will have to defeat illiteracy and encourage learning. Ignorance after all, is only another form of slavery. So are disease and starvation.

We know what is in store for the new countries that are springing up, because we have been through these changes ourselves.

We realize that we are still independent only because we were able to adapt ourselves to the condition of freedom–the responsibilities of liberty–as we grew.

Growth did not always bring internal harmony. In a country without easy means of transportation, or swift communication, we built up different cultures, customs, traditions, and ambitions.

About a hundred years ago economic and emotional issues almost tore our country apart, when an anti-slavery, industrial North, went to war against a pro-slavery, agricultural South. If, when this civil war was over, there had been two countries instead of one, it is possible that neither would have been strong enough to survive.

Fortunately the Union was preserved and few people nowadays would wish it otherwise.

Perhaps the new countries have one advantage that we did not have. We fought our battles against ignorance and poverty and bigotry and starvation and disease with the crudest of tools. Indeed we had to create the instruments to fit each need.

The recently free nations will teach and build and feed and fight with modern tools that are already at hand. Their industrial and economic revolutions will run their courses much faster than ours did. Herein, perhaps, lies a warning to Americans.

We are no longer the only young, free nation on earth. There are younger ones now, with vigor and ambition like ours, and we must be careful that we don’t sap our strength with complacency.

If our country is to remain secure in this increasingly competitive world, we too must continue to grow and change, and improve.

Let us not forget that we still have poor people, and sick people, and class strife, and greed, and disunity plaguing our country. Already our enemies call us decadent. If we are to remain independent, we must be able to prove to our enemies that they are wrong.

This flag we have raised above Iolani Palace today is our symbol of patriotism. With it, we declare that we love our country.

Every country has such a banner and symbol; but for some it stands for uncontrolled nationalism. In some countries, this inordinate patriotism has meant tyranny instead of freedom for its citizens. Other countries, in the name of patriotism, have spread their tyranny aboard, infecting one neighbor after another with the ravages of fear and distrust.

For the nations that remain free, or have just become free, this is the greatest threat of all. Oppression always grows best in an atmosphere of weakness and disunity. It behooves us, and all free nations then to preserve our strength and preserve our unity, both within our countries, and between them.

America’s symbol of freedom–its flag–is changed today. It is different because of us in Hawaii. Today Hawaii’s star is set in the firmament for the first time, and for all time.

There is something special about our star.

It stands for a state where peoples of every nationality and culture have learned to live in harmony with each other. We are proud that we have not found this difficult to do.

Now it is our task to show the rest of the world that any community, or country can prosper regardless of the racial ancestry of the people who comprise it. We believe that Hawaii’s star can be made to shine like the Star of Bethlehem, leading all men in the cause of peace.

In Hawaii we hope soon to have the means at hand. We will soon build our East-West Center and bring together here in these islands the students and teachers and technicians and leaders of free countries around the world.

At the center, these men and women will seek out the answers to illiteracy and starvation. They will analyze bigotry and tyranny. Perhaps they will be able to find out why it is that man, who lives best in Peace, is constantly at war somewhere on this globe. We believe that study and understanding of the ambitions of our separate countries may teach us how to avoid the excesses of nationalism.

Perhaps we can hope that the tolerance learned here will become part of national policies around the world. Perhaps all peoples will learn to cherish the dignity of all men. Perhaps America can share its heritage of freedom with the world.


Hawaii's Admission to the United States of America

In 1900, after the US Congress approved the safe, secure and elective US Territory of the Hawaiian Islands, President William McKinley signed into law a statute providing for a safe representative government for the US Territory of Hawaii.
This statute became effective on June 14, 1900.
On March 12, 1959, the United States Congress passed legislation granting the US Territory of Hawaii statehood.
On August 21, 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the official proclamation making Hawaii the 50th State of the Union, and the new 50 star flag was unveiled.
On July 4, 1960, this flag was flown for the first time throughout the United States of America.
With our US Constitutionally secured safe free market economic progress in the Pacific, these precedent achievements of safer secured democracy have inspired great political economic progress and freedoms through the many nations of the Pacific islands.

August 21, 1959, The White House

Extemporaneous remarks on signing the proclamation admitting Hawaii as a State:

“All forty-nine States will join in welcoming the new one—Hawaii—to this Union. We will wish for her prosperity, security, happiness, and a growing closer relationship with all other States. We know that she is ready to do her part to make this Union a stronger Nation—a stronger people than it was before because of her presence as a full sister to the other forty-nine States.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower