Raising Flags for Commonwealth Day

Today, Monday, March 10, the District Council will join 500 local authorities, community groups and charities throughout the British Isles in raising the Commonwealth flag to mark Commonwealth Day.

FOR the first time local authorities, including East Lindsey District Council, community groups and charities throughout the British Isles will take part in flag raising events and ceremonies of dedication to mark Commonwealth Day.

This new initiative, which has caught the imagination of thousands of participants, enables local people to become involved in and join others nationwide in associating themselves with the widespread public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, appreciation of the values it stands for, and the opportunities offered to its citizens around the world.

A specially written Commonwealth Affirmation will be read out at each ceremony before the raising of the Commonwealth flag at 10am today (Monday, March 10). In East Lindsey this will be done by Chairman of the Council, Councillor Pauline Watson, at the Council’s Tedder Hall headquarters.

Councillor Watson said: “I am extremely proud that I will be Chairman on such a social and historic occasion – the very first simultaneous raising of the Commonwealth flag. I hope that the event will bring together people in celebration of the positives of the Commonwealth.”

Charity teams will take Commonwealth Flags to the top of the UK’s four highest National Peaks. Those taking part are Cancer Research UK – Scafell Pike in England; Help for Heroes – Ben Nevis in Scotland; Walking with the Wounded – Mount Snowdon in Wales; and Fields of Life – Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland.

Commonwealth Flags will also be flown at many locations of special significance including the UK’s four capital cities of the United Kingdom, Land’s End in Cornwall St. David’s in Pembrokeshire,Carlisle in Cumbria, Lowestoft in Suffolk and Unst in the Shetland Islands. Flags will also be raised at the Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula, and at the Halley VI Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf, as well as King Edward Point and Bird Island in South Georgia.

Tony Worth, Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, added: “The Commonwealth of Nations, which grew out of the territories which made up the British Empire, reflects the rich diversity of mankind. It promotes co-operation and understanding between nations.  Commonwealth Day is marked as the second Monday in March each year.  For the first time on March 10, 65 years after the founding of the Commonwealth in 1949, Commonwealth Flags will be flown by all Local Authorities in Lincolnshire and throughout the British Isles as a public expression of commitment and appreciation of the values that the commonwealth stands for.”

Bruno Peek, Pageant master and originator of Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth, said: “This will be the largest, single, raising of the Commonwealth Flag in the history of the Commonwealth”, said. “The success of this year’s event bodes well for 2015 and the future”, said Peek, “as we extend the invitation to participate and involve all 53 countries of the Commonwealth and  UK overseas territories, to make this the largest-ever annual occasion involving local communities throughout the worldwide Commonwealth family.

“I am also delighted that the Virdee Foundation, a well respected, world-wide charitable Foundation has accepted my invitation to join this project for the lifetime of the event, especially as I have always been convinced that this annual occasion will grow in size and stature over the next few years, providing a unique fund-raising opportunity for Commonwealth causes such as those outlined within the Virdee Foundations Memorandum and Articles of Association – the protection of women and children from abuse and the relief of abused women and children, a worthy cause close to my heart too.”

His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth said: “Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth is a most imaginative way for people in local communities – wherever they live, learn or work – to join together with others throughout the Commonwealth in a spirit of respect and understanding to celebrate the variety and unmatched diversity of our global family. I welcome and commend it. All our citizens, particularly the young, can express appreciation for the Commonwealth and the values for which it stands as set out in the Commonwealth Charter, and the rich opportunities it offers for mutual support towards more inclusive social and more equitable economic progress.”

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