Islands should see red over official colors
Here's something -- actually two things -- I bet many of you didn't know: The island of Kahoolawe has an official color. And that color is -- drum roll -- gray!
Obviously, Kahoolawe, the so-called "Bombing Isle" populated mainly by very nervous goats, didn't have a strong delegation in attendance at the Official State Island Color Convention. Neither did Niihau, the privately owned island populated exclusively by tan-skinned native Hawaiians whose official color is -- cue irony -- white!
I was kidding when I suggested that there had been some kind of a convention to determine the official island colors. I have no idea how those decisions were made. Or, more important, why. What's the point of each island having an official color? Especially when the colors seem to have nothing at all to do with the actual island. The official color for Lanai, for instance, is orange. Why? I've been to Lanai many times, and I don't think I saw anything orange there except for sunburned tourists.
Kauai's official color is purple because ... who knows? Barney the Dinosaur is purple, and so is Tinky Winky, the allegedly gay, purse-carrying Teletubby. But what does purple have to do with Kauai? If any color should be associated with Kauai, it's green, because of all the rain it gets. But green is the color of Molokai, which from the air is largely brownish. Maui is pink, which is just weird. Oahu is golden yellow. Oahu apparently had enough political clout to be able to modify its color. Golden yellow sounds better than just yellow, which also means "chicken." After the attack on Pearl Harbor, no one can accuse Oahu of being yellow. Golden yellow has a nice, tropical-flower feel to it.
If Kahoolawe could have modified its official color, it might have at least become "Shrapnel Gray" or "Leftover Live Ammo Gray."
The Big Island has the only official color that makes any kind of sense: red. Molten lava is red, and there's a lot of that on the Big Island.
I wonder why the island colors were limited to basic colors. Why were cerulean, fuchsia and magenta not on the palette? And what about all those new colors that have been added to Crayola boxes, like Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown and Tickle Me Pink? At least Tickle Me Pink would give the Maui Visitors Bureau something to work with publicitywise, instead of plain old pink. "Come to Maui and We Will Tickle You Pink!" Or maybe not.
Banana Mania, Sunset Orange and Mango Tango are all real Crayola colors that would have been better official Hawaii island colors than what was chosen.
At the very least I think Niihau would have been happier with burnt sienna or even the Crayola color adopted in the 1950s -- Bittersweet. And a more appropriate official color for poor, bombed-out Kahoolawe, that might also reflect the state of the poor, nervous goats: maroon.
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org