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Dozens protest Hawaiian flag removal in Kailua

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    Kailua, HI (KITV) — In a video circulating on social media, Kailua Chamber of Commerce President Michael Fry is seen taking down a Hawaiian flag and Lele structure on Kailua Road.

In the video, Fry claims the Kailua Chamber of Commerce received a permit to put flags on the medians, but did not know who added the Lele.

Saturday afternoon, dozens came out waving signs and Hawaiian flags in a peaceful protest.

“It’s just very disheartening, I think it’s very disrespectful, I don’t think they’re proving themselves to be any better than the people that took down the American flags in the first place,” said Allyson Franco.

The Kailua Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the “One Thousand Flags” initiative, encouraging flags along the street because the normal parade and fireworks show were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Earlier this week, an unknown person removed the American flags, but they have since been replaced.

Today at the protest, Kawena Phillips, Hawaiian rights activist and community organizer said the Lele and Hawaiian flag removal were just the tip of the iceberg.

“For Hawaiians, July 4 is a day of mourning,” he said.

“July 4 1894 was when the coup illegally declared itself the lawful government of Hawaii,” Phillips added.

Phillips also added that the video of Fry removing the Hawaiian flag was reminiscent of the state’s removing a structure near Mauna Kea, a worker was seen cutting through a Hawaiian flag with a saw in that process.

The Kailua Chamber of Commerce did not respond to KITV4’s request for inquiry Saturday, but posted a response on their website.

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