Flag-raising ceremony to take place in Grantham to mark Commonwealth Day

Commonwealth flags
Commonwealth flags
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For the first time South Kesteven District Council will take part in a flag-raising event to mark Commonwealth Day.

Over 500 Commonwealth flags will be raised throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man in March to mark the event as local authorities and civic dignitaries, community groups and charities throughout the British Isles host ceremonies.

The new unique initiative 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 and the values it stands for.

A specially written Commonwealth Affirmation will be read out at each ceremony before the raising of the Commonwealth flag at 10am on Monday, March 10.

In South Kesteven the event will be held outside SKDC’s council offices in St Peter’s Hill in Grantham, led by Chairman of South Kesteven District Council Cllr David Nalson.

Coun Nalson said: “I am delighted that SKDC and myself will be part of a historic moment to truly dedicate Commonwealth Day and everything the Commonwealth stands for.

“Publically signalling the continued role it plays around the world in the 21st century and the values it represents is an opportunity we are proud to have been offered and to be part of.”

Tony Worth, Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire for ‘Flying the Flag for the Commonwealth’ said: “The Commonwealth of Nations, which grew out of the territories which made up the British Empire, reflects the rich diversity of mankind. It promotes cooperation and understanding between nations. Commonwealth Day is marked as the second Monday in March each year. For the first time on March 10 2014, 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.”

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 - Mount 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, and Land’s End, the Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and 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,” he added.

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.”

An interactive map run by Esri UK shows where all of the flag-raising events are taking place around the country at www.esriuk.com/flyaflagmap

Those taking part will be receiving their Commonwealth Flags on Monday, February 10 2014, in advance of the event.