Royal Order of Kamehameha I

Keepers of the Flame

Authorized by the constitution of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, King Kamehameha V (Lot Kapuāiwa Kalanikupuapaikalaninui Kalanimakua Ali‘iōlani) established the Royal Order of Kamehameha I (Order) by royal proclamation on April 11, 1865. The royal decree not only established the Order’s mandate to defend the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i and uplift the Kanaka ‘Ōiwi (aboriginal peoples of Hawai‘i), but also empowered and authorized the Order to carry out this kuleana (responsibility).

Following the illegal overthrow of Queen Lili‘uokalani and the Kingdom in 1893, the Order was considered a threat to national security and suppressed by the Provisional Government and subsequent Republic of Hawai‘i. As a result, the Order was forced to exist as a secret underground society. After Hawai‘i became a territory of the United States in 1898, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole, lead a torchlight ceremony around the statue of Kamehameha I (Oahu) and publicly declared the restoration (return to public light) of the Order in 1903.

Today, the Order recognizes the continued existence of the Nation of Hawai‘i and asserts its continuing kuleana and authority to support and uplift the Nation and all Kanaka ‘Ōiwi. As such, the Order represents an unbroken link back to the Kingdom of Hawai‘i; it is the oldest Hawaiian organization in existence today; and is the only organization established by a Monarch of Hawai‘i that continues to be viable today.

Chapter name: Year established: Location:
Heiau O Hawai‘i Established 1903 Honolulu, O‘ahu
Heiau O Māmalahoa Established 1907 Hilo, Moku O Keawe
Heiau O Kaumuali‘i Established 1918 Lihu‘e, Kaua‘i
Heiau O Kahekili Established 1922 Wailuku, Maui
Heiau O Kalaniana‘ole Established 1928 Moloka‘i
Heiau O Kūhiō Established 1962 Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu
Heiau O Ahuena Established 1994 Kona, Moku O Keawe
Heiau O Kapuāiwa Established 2007 Wai‘anae, O‘ahu
Heiau O Kamehameha Established 2011 Kohala, Moku O Keawe