King Kamehameha stands in a dim corner in the United States Capitol's Statuary Hall. At 8'7'', he is the largest, and perhaps the most striking statue in the Capitol. Sculpted in a dark bronze, the metallic gold of his chest piece and loincloth stand out against his dark skin. Because he is placed in the corner, away from adult surveillance, children run up to him and dare each other to peek under his loincloth. They ignore the dusty inscription on his pedestal which reads: Beloved leader who became King by virtue of his ability to unite the warring islands under one government. Ruled wisely and well 1782-1819, encouraged peaceful activities of agriculture and fishing and engaged in brisk trade from the time of Capt. Cook's visit. The flag design he ordered for his kingdom has become the symbol of the State of Hawaii.


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