Thomas Square in Honolulu is Hawaii’s first official public park, and it is the location where the Hawaiian Kingdom was handed back to King Kamehameha III from the British after five months of occupation. The park features a statue of King Kamehameha, an inscription of the state’s motto, “Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono”, a flagpole, and walkways to a water fountain. Thomas Square was dedicated in 1850 by King Kamehameha III for British Rear Admiral Richard Thomas. In 1843, at the location of Thomas Square, Admiral Thomas restored the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom after British subjects unlawfully seized the Hawaiian government. It was during the 1843 ceremony that King Kamehameha III spoke the famous words that would become the state’s motto, “Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono.”
A newly unveiled bronze statue near the center of the square was designed by artist Thomas Jay Warren and depicts King Kamehameha III raising his arm towards the Hawaiian flag. Thomas Square was placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1972 based on its political significance.
Thomas Square is located between Ward Avenue and Victoria Street, and South Beretania Street and South King Street. It is located directly across the street from the Neil S. Blaisdell Concert Hall.