How do Americans see the Hawaiian flag
A nearly similar flag was created in 1816 by king Kamehameha I. The stripe-design should remember the flag of the USA. The upper canton shows the British Union Jack. It stands for the good connections of Hawaii to Great Britain and remembers the British colonization. The design of the flag had been chosen quite aware to emphasize in this way the good relationships with both - the USA and Great Britain - even and precisely because these two powers were at that time in war with each other.
Despite the fall of the monarchy and the step by step done annexation of the islands by the USA the flag was maintained until today.
The Hawaiian independence movement uses partially a white-golden-black flag, obvious native colors, added in the middle stripe by native symbolism. Other parts of the movement use the current flag, but reversed.
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