The Reverse side of Hawaii’s quarter features Hawaiian monarch King Kamehameha I stretching his hand toward the eight major Hawaiian Islands. Inscriptions are the state motto UA MAU KE EA O KA ‘ĀINA I KA PONO, The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness, Hawaii and 1959.
King Kamehameha I is a revered figure in Hawaiian history. He unified the governance of the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom in the early 1800s and navigated changes in Hawaii, while maintaining the native practices and traditional ways of island life. His Law of the Splintered Paddle guaranteed the protection of citizens from harm during war and became a landmark in humanitarian law. He is honored with a statue in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.