Flying the flag on Commonwealth Day

The Queen will 'break' the Commonwealth Flag outside the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, on Commonwealth Day, Monday 10 March - and Derbyshire Dales District Council will fly one of 500 Commonwealth Flags raised that day by local authorities and community groups throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The Westminster Abbey flag will be the last raised in the largest, single raising of this flag in the history of the Commonwealth.

Cllrs Carol Walker and Peter Slack raising the Commonwealth Flag at Matlock Town HallAt Matlock Town Hall, during the raising of the Commonwealth Flag at 10am the affirmation will be read out by the Chairman of the District of the Derbyshire Dales Councillor Peter Slack. The response will be read out by the Vice-Chairman of the District, Councillor Mrs Carol Walker.

Bruno Peek, LVO, OBE OPR, originator and Pageantmaster of 'Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth' said:

"I am delighted and honoured that Her Majesty The Queen has agreed to 'break' the Commonwealth Flag outside the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, and has sent a message to all those taking part."

Charity teams will mark the day by taking Commonwealth Flags to the top of the UK’s four highest National Peaks, using the occasion to raise funds and profile 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 be flown at many locations of special significance including Land's End, Cornwall (most westerly point in England); St David's in Pembrokeshire (westernmost city in Wales); Carlisle in Cumbria (northernmost city in England); Lowestoft in Suffolk (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.

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.”

  • A special Interactive Map has been produced by Esri UK to help raise awareness of the day and is available to view online.

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