History in the making
Five hundred Commonwealth flags will be raised throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man at 10am on Monday 10th March 2014, to mark Commonwealth Day. In Flintshire the flag will be raised at County Hall, Mold.
It will be the first time ever, local authorities and civic dignitaries, community groups and charities throughout the British Isles are taking part in local flag raising events and ceremonies of dedication to mark Commonwealth Day. This new, unique initiative, which has caught the imagination of thousands of participants, enables people in their local communities to become involved and join with others nationwide in associating themselves with 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.
In Flintshire, it will be led by the Chair of the County Council, Councillor Carolyn Thomas. She said:"It is an honour to be raising the Commonwealth Flag on behalf of Flintshire County Council on Commonwealth Day. The initiative, uniting communities under one event, where flags will be raised in unison will hopefully raise awareness of the Commonwealth and what it represents to everyone, whether through local, nationwide or charitable organisations."
Charity teams will mark the day by taking Commonwealth Flags to the top of the UK’s four highest National Peaks and use the occasion to raise funds for their worthy causes: Cancer Research UK - Scafell Pike, England; Help for Heroes - Ben Nevis, Scotland; Walking with the Wounded - Snowdon, Wales; and Fields of Life - Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland. Commonwealth Flags will also be flown at many locations of special significance including the four capital cities of the United Kingdom, Land's End in Cornwall, the most westerly point in England; St. David's in Pembrokeshire: the westernmost city in Wales; Carlisle in Cumbria: the northernmost city in England; Lowestoft in Suffolk: the easternmost town in England; and Unst in the Shetland Islands, the most northerly inhabited island in Scotland. 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.
"This will be the largest, single, raising of the Commonwealth Flag in the history of the Commonwealth”, said Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster and originator of Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth. "The success of this year's event bodes well for 2015 and the future 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 abuseand the relief of abused women and children, a worthy cause close to my heart too."
Peter Virdee, Chairman of the Virdee Foundation said:"The Virdee Foundation is delighted to be a part of this initiative, working closely alongside Bruno, to enable us through the 'good will' of those taking part, to assist us in donating charitable funds raised by those taking part, to the important cause outlined above,"
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."
The interactive map below shows where the individual flag raising events are taking place throughout the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.