Wiltshire flies the flag for the Commonwealth
The Commonwealth flag was raised at County Hall, Trowbridge on Monday 11 March as part of an international celebration of the family of 53 nations that make up the Commonwealth.
Throughout the UK, and in many other countries around the world, thousands of Commonwealth flags were raised at 10am to mark Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth.
The initiative captures the imagination of thousands of participants from all walks of life, inspiring them to join with others throughout the Commonwealth. As a collective public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, it enables participants to show appreciation for our shared values, and the opportunities offered for friendship and cooperation with fellow Commonwealth citizens, young and old, around the world.
Wiltshire Council Vice-Chairman, James Sheppard, read a message from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, before raising the flag outside County Hall. The Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Rose Troughton, read a message from Her Majesty the Queen and the specially written Commonwealth affirmation, which celebrates the ties and affinity of the Commonwealth, and how we draw inspiration from our diversity and the opportunities to work together.
Mrs Troughton said: "I was delighted to be part of the ceremony in Trowbridge today. Her Majesty the Queen reminded us that this year is the 70th Anniversary of the London Declaration, when nations of the Commonwealth agreed to move forward together as free and equal members. The 53 nations have shown us all that with enduring commitment the impact of this is very real."
The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, said: "Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth has swiftly become well-established as an imaginative annual demonstration of Commonwealth connection. It provides a splendid opportunity every year for people from all walks of life to join with others in their local community to celebrate Commonwealth Day in association with fellow citizens throughout our worldwide family.
"Together we number over 2.4 billion people, a third of the world's population. Each of us has something very special to offer, and as Commonwealth citizens we gain and draw benefit from vast interconnected networks of mutual support and collaboration".
Each year a theme is chosen for Commonwealth Day and this year the theme is ‘A Connected Commonwealth'. More information is available online.