The New York Sun comments upon a “Strange Fourth of July in Hawaii,” saying that an orator delivering an address might speak of “the President,” the “Constitution,” or “the flag,” without having it understood by his audience whether he meant President McKinley or President Dole, the Constitution of the United States or that of Hawaii, the flag of the one country or that of the other. It appears that Mr. Dole is still acting in the capacity of President of the Island government, the Constitution of the Hawaiian republic is still in many respects the fundamental law, and the Hawaiian flag is still officially recognized.
“No wonder,” says the Sun, “that at an enormous mass-meeting in Honolulu on the Fourth of July, the American or rather Americanoid citizens there assembled… should adopt a preamble setting forth their weariness of the present state of uncertainty and confusion, and a resolution as follows:—
“‘That this assemblage earnestly and respectfully asks of President McKinley and his advisors and the Congress of the United States to take such action as will cause the speedy expansion of American territorial laws to Hawaii.’”
But in the way of their hopes stands the decision reached by the United States Government, that the island possessions recently acquired are merely the property, and not a part, of the United States. Considering that these islands are populated mostly by people of inferior and uncivilized races, it is much more conventional for the Government to treat them as its property than as territories entitled to enter the American Union.
So while it was a “strange for the July” that was celebrated at Honolulu, it was a perfectly natural one under the new policy of imperialism. Indeed, under this policy a fourth-of-July celebration is logically a strange thing anywhere.