have been used throughout history and for many reasons.
Evidence shows that, back as far as 105 A.D., the Romans used a
windsock as a military banner.
Windsocks have been used by farmers, at airports, and by weather
watchers. Its large cone-shape can indicate wind direction and the
relative wind speed. (Watch a windsock and you can tell which direction
the wind is blowing. Example: If the windsock is pointing due west,
the wind is an easterly breeze – the opposite of the direction the
windsock is pointing.) If there isn’t much wind, the windsock will
hang deflated. If it is windy, the windsock will be full and standing
Windsocks, as we know them, have their origins in China and Japan
where they were made of paper and, for those families with the means,
of silk. Often the windsock resembled a fish. See our front
page for a description of the Lucky Koi windsock.
Many of our other designs have historical backgrounds also. The
Law of the Splintered Paddle is represented on our Hawaiian Banner
– although it is not a windsock, it is as useful and decorative
and as attention-getting as our windsock patterns.
The Hawaiian Banner (pictured at right) is symbolic of an
historic event in the life of Hawaii’s King Kamehameha. In 1783,
King Kamehameha was a furious war-mongering king. This one event
changed him into a peaceful, self-respecting, kind citizen.
Kamehameha was a strong, brave ruler, and considered himself
to be immortal. He believed he knew what was best for his warriors,
his people, and his country. And, he felt that he could own (stealing)
all that others had – all the land and crops, etc.
In a battle at Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii, he attacked those
who had been aiding the weak to run from his fury. A fisherman turned
toward Kamehameha and threw a fishnet over him to stop his advance.
Kamehameha fell on sharp lava when his foot got caught
in a crevice under the thin lava rock surface. The innocent men
he had been chasing turned back and began to hit Kamehameha with
their paddles, but the paddles broke after just a few strikes to
the King. One of the King’s steersmen had been commanded by Kamehameha
not to chase the enemy. This common man stayed with Kamehameha and
freed the King from the lava, but the enemy returned with spears
and one spear pierced the steersman. The King broke off the spear.
The men ran away seeing that Kamehameha now had a weapon.
This event changed King Kamehameha forever more. He was sad that
he had caused the death of his steersman for his own personal greed.
He was sad that he had attacked the innocent and the defenseless.
He knew this was not right. He proclaimed that, from that day on,
no man in his kingdom would have the right to make excursions for
robbery without punishment, be he chief or priest. The law was in
memory of his steersman and is known as Ke Kanawai Mamalahoa or
the law of the friend and the broken paddles.
Our banner is in honor of this law and King Kamehameha – it is the
banner with the splintered paddles.
View our Photo
Gallery to see samples of our various Windsocks available.