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Pinback button

Object Number: 
2002.1.4276
Date: 
1896-1910
Medium: 
Celluloid, metal, paper
Dimensions: 
1/8 x 7/8 in. diameter
Description: 
A beige pinback button printed with a flag divided with narrow white, red and blue alternating stripes and in the upper corner a British Union Jack, marked in black "Hawaii". Only US state flag to have flown over a kingdom, a territory, a republic, and a state. Originally , Hawaii flew the British flag, but during the War of 1812 an American asked why the King Kamehameha was flying the "enemy" flag. He lowered it and raised the US Flag, only to have the same thing happen when a British ship put into port. To avoid trouble, the Hawaiians decided to combine the two flags into one. The number of stripes varied, but was standardized at eight after 1843, for the eight principal islands in the group. Part of a series of pre-World War I flag buttons; many of the flags and country names are no longer current. The reverse is printed "Sweet Caporal Cigarette", indicating that this button was part of a series of collectible premiums given by tobacco and gum manufacturers.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Bella C. Landauer
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group