John John Florence: ‘I’m Not Anti-Anything. I’m Pro-Hawaii.’

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

"When John John Florence travels the world for elite surfing competitions, he carries a flag with him, to fly if he wins. It matches the flag on the shoulder of his jersey and on the scoreboard next to his name.

"It is not an American flag. It is a Hawaii flag. That is because, in the World Surf League and in surfing more generally, there is an understanding: You represent Hawaii, or you represent the United States. You do not do both.

"The simplest reason is that Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing and remains the sport’s cultural heart. Hawaii residents — particularly Native Hawaiians, but also those merely born and raised there, like Florence — cling to that heritage because surfing may be the strongest of the fading connections to their pre-colonization history."

Read full story here.


Troppo's picture
Troppo's picture
Troppo Tuesday, 18 May 2021 at 7:37pm

Let Hawaii be Hawaii!

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy Tuesday, 18 May 2021 at 11:30pm

WSL also recognizes the Basque country as seperate - 2 places with a culture of autonomy.

drodders's picture
drodders's picture
drodders Wednesday, 19 May 2021 at 9:12am

They also have the Aboriginal Flag (Soli) and The Pride flag (Tyler), I think it is one of the best things the WSL has done, it really demonstrates acceptance and a willingness to discuss greater issues.

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie Friday, 21 May 2021 at 11:32am

How would an athlete express and prove their need for a special flag like this?

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref Wednesday, 19 May 2021 at 12:23pm

Recommend reading the NYT article (linked at the top). Gives a good insight into what's happened in Hawaii in the past.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Wednesday, 19 May 2021 at 5:05pm

I went to the trouble of reading James Michener’s novel ‘Hawaii’.

While not claiming perfect historical accuracy it gives much insight into the history of humans on the Hawaiian islands, apart from how the hell the Polynesians knew there was a group of islands there.

Too much guff though, that and ‘Space’ by the same author convinced me to give up reading any more James Michener, as enlightening as they were.

Mutius's picture
Mutius's picture
Mutius Friday, 21 May 2021 at 9:24am

Read The Drifters if you haven't already. One of his best.

chickenlips's picture
chickenlips's picture
chickenlips Wednesday, 19 May 2021 at 8:14pm

Surfing.... Sold Out... Years Go... Now The Carona Virus Olympics.... What a Joke..... Just Put It In A Pool... Rip The Soul Outta It All.... Good Luck... Humanity.... It’s Fucking Over....

Livo75's picture
Livo75's picture
Livo75 Thursday, 20 May 2021 at 6:57am

Hopefully he sees the irony of identifying as Hawaiian over American by flying a flag with a Union Jack in the corner.........

cjac6077's picture
cjac6077's picture
cjac6077 Friday, 21 May 2021 at 1:25pm

I agree - any country that has the Union Jack in the corner of their flag is likely pretty confused about itself. And the rest of the world confused about it.'s picture's picture
sydneysurfer209... Saturday, 22 May 2021 at 12:00pm

Send John John and Carissa a photo of Cathy Freeman after winning the 400m gold medal at the 2000 Olympics carrying an Australian flag and the indigenous flag

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI Monday, 24 May 2021 at 11:18am

Oh wow man, that was a special moment with Kathy. I remember watching it, and spontaneously crying on her victory. Unforgettable incredible moment, so inspiring...

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI Monday, 24 May 2021 at 11:09am

Yeah I agree, the whole Hawaiian identity thing comes into focus especially with the Union Jack, and also cultural ownership and connection (and cultural imperialism). Who is making what out of what? Whose pride? Whose money!! Whose real connection, whose real responsibility, whose respect? Whose love of anything? I’m not having a shot at John John, as I reckon he’s a decent guy from what I can tell, its just the bigger picture that interests me and some of the good comments pick up on it.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Monday, 24 May 2021 at 12:57pm

NYT [ Paywall Blues ] > Alternate link

Corrections to " Tacky Surf Sticker History"
John Clark :: " There is no evidence of anyone Stand Up Surfing before the Hawaiians!"

1,000's of years before Hawaiian Surf History...
*Saltwater Australians were skilled at Standing Upright riding waves to leap on prey.
*Chinese also sacrificially Surfed the Red Dragon upright on boards to honour their Emperor.
*Australians surfed Reed Surf Craft tech exported to populate Stand Up Ocean Fishing Peruvians
*North American Red driftwood also washed ashore to enable early Hawaiian Surfcraft.

*Stand Up River Wave Surfers of both Asia & Europe also have 100's of years of Surfing Glossary.
Typical Elderly (60's) Loggerz mastered way more rapid Maneuvers on several craft & waves each run.
We're talking - leaping from one Surfcraft to next to spin/flick 100% Craft Rotation on any & all angles.
Over the Falls with Massive Whirlpools...all in a days work...
Today's WSL Booth DJ's murder "Loggerz Lingo"... Have a closer listen to Tarzan next time!

Just saying not to read too much into the History of New Testament Surf Stickers...
Blowins Hawaii & Team USA are towards the end chapter in the Art of Stand Up Surfing.

Olympic / ISA Surfers Qualification..
Surfers must avail for their NF (USA) during & for ISA / Olympic Cycle Comp/s
If a NF Surfer declines WSL / ISA nomination (JJF) then next ranked WSL surfer in nominated.
Surfer (JJF) must accept nomination to take part.
ISA Tribal Council may bend rule if injury prevents Surfers from 'participating at all'.(Citing Evidence)


US State- Puerto Ricans can surf under own Flag

IOC sanctioned Le French Surf Comp > WSL : "Viva La French Colonies!" Spiked Tahitians on the Reef!
Tahitians must slave for France in WSL / ISA / Olympics...Polynesian Surfing Whitewash 'n' Wipeout!

2019 Japan ISA World Surfing Games
Carissa Moore (Born Hawaii ) represents / competes for Team USA & wins 4th Place (Copper Medal)
Note: Winner is not wearing Peruvian National Costume but Carissa wears Team USA? ( A Slave?)

Carissa also currently represents Hawaii under WSL Flag of Convenience.
See Team USA Flag enslaves WSL leader Carissa's Hawaiian Spirit on sacred ground

WSL had exact USA Flags ordered & were to be flown & paraded to dominate Hawaiian Surf Slaves.
No accident that Team USA flag was long ordered, ready to Wave & handed to Hawaiian Champ.
WSL laze Hawaiian spirit on Lay days ...During Ceremony > they cower & do as they're told...(re:Photos)

ISA Olympic Surf Sticker Godz Tribal Council.
(Hawaiian) JJF's injury never prevented him from participating as ISA Official at home USA Flag waver.
Tacky ISA bumper sticker is enough participating to win a Team USA Gold Ticke...(Just don't decline!)
ISA in Sept / JJF : "We have a Big Sailing Trip 1,000 miles Sth of Hawaii to Palmyra planned for Sept!
Never any mention of JJF's "Mid ocean Sick Note or No Fly Order" or pending Tribal Council Pow Wow

JJF's WSL miracle cure showdown during Olympic Cycle was surely enough to Qualify or was it!
Perhaps, but only as an Hawaiian...(Who thinks WSL will underscore JJF as USA on Jeep Leader board?)
Even if that were the case...then JJF still needed an ISA ( Fuck Pan Pacs...I'm off Sailing) [ Sticker ]
As far as this story goes...JJF has avoided any effort to participate or qualify as a Team USA beer mat.
Seldom if at all is JJF seen at any Team USA Pool Parties or A Team Grom Sticker Tosses

If Olympic rules mean anything then the Tribal Council need to point the Bone!
Fully Sick Comp avoiding Ocean Voyaging Rebel JJF vs Coach's bestie #1 USA Team Player Goat
JJF's Mid ocean expedition has previously ruled himself out of Olympic Cycle World Japanese Comp.
Tribal Council may argue JJF's vessel for Olympic Surfing Qualification has set sail.
It's in the lap of the Surf Sticker Godz now.

Hawaiian Olympian wouldn't soil his WSL USA Flag...or would he?

Vince Neil's picture
Vince Neil's picture
Vince Neil Monday, 24 May 2021 at 4:25pm

Cathy Freeman, amazing athlete what a moment!

Imagine how much more satisfying it would have been to race the reigning Olympic Champ, who mysteriously left Sydney (with details of a Swiss Bank account personally handed to her by a representative from Nike the night before...)

Redmond Clement's picture
Redmond Clement's picture
Redmond Clement Monday, 24 May 2021 at 9:41pm

I'm anti. Anti, antichrist.