The spectacle of United States marines storming an American consulate in a foreign country to compel the United States consul to lower the Stars and Stripes to half-mast as a mark of respect to a member of the royal family, has probably occurred only once in the history of the United States, and it happened at Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawaii, on September 21, 1870.
Despite the fact that the Queen Dowager Kalama, relict of King Kamehameha III, was dead and that this was generally known, even to the United States minister, Henry A. Pierce, and to all other members of the diplomatic and consular corps accredited to the Hawaiian capital, the American consul, Thomas Adamson, Jr., refused to lower his flag to half-mast on the ground that he was not officially in possession of such news.
From the U.S.S. Jamestown, commanded by Commander W. T. Truxton, a detail comprising a corporal and a guard was sent ashore to compel the flag to be placed at half-mast, and in the event of non-compliance by the civil representative of the Washington government, to place it there.