For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, and to celebrate this great family of nations, young members of the United Kingdom Army Cadet Force (ACF) will take the Commonwealth flag to the top of the highest peaks in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on Commonwealth Day – Monday 13 March 2017.
As well as the mountaintop ceremonies, Army Cadets will observe Commonwealth Day by raising the flag at 53 other locations throughout the United Kingdom at 10.00hrs that morning as part of this international initiative.
Lord Mayors and Mayors, Lord Provosts, town and parish councils, local authorities and local communities, school children and college students, members of Girlguiding and the Scouts from around the UK and Commonwealth, Sea and Air Cadets, charities and community groups, Commonwealth Ex-Servicemen and major shipping lines, training ships crewed by disabled crewman people, and many others around the world will raise more than 950 Commonwealth flags at 10.00hrs local time on Monday 13 March – Commonwealth Day 2017, in a shared celebration of this amazing family of nations that encompasses the globe.
The Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth initiative, now in its third year, is again catching 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 the values the Commonwealth upholds, and the opportunities offered for friendship and cooperation with fellow Commonwealth young and old citizens around the world.
P&O and Cunard Line, for the third year, wherever they may be travelling in the world that morning, will be raising the Commonwealth flag on board their ships at 10.00hrs local time, and the Jubilee Sailing Trust likewise on their two ships, Lord Nelson and Tenacious, involving the disabled members of the community in this event.
Scouts in The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, Republic of Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Samoa, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago will also be raising the Commonwealth flag at 10.00hrs local time on 13 March, joining thousands of other young people around the world in committing themselves to the values of the Commonwealth Charter and this year’s special theme: ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’.
Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR – Originator and Commonwealth Pageantmaster, of ‘Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth’, said: “I am amazed how quickly this event has caught the public imagination in the UK and around the Commonwealth. We are only in our third year, and the involvement of the Army Cadet Force and Nwes this year, along with the participation of so many people of all ages and from all walks of life, shows the enormous potential of this project and of the Commonwealth.
It is a positive and uplifting way for people to link with and assist fellow citizens of the Commonwealth in a family that spans across oceans and continents.
There is a real sense of promise, and hope for the future in this current troubled world of ours.”
The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, said: “At a time of increasing instability and uncertainty in the world, the Commonwealth family of nations in its rich diversity becomes an ever more-needed source of strength and hope for all its members.
‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’ is a natural follow-on from our previous theme of ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, and reaffirms the Commonwealth Charter principle that international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development and the rule of law are essential to the progress and prosperity of all.”
The ACF’s Deputy Commander Cadets, Brigadier Matthew Lowe, said: “The Army Cadets is one of the UK’s leading voluntary youth organisations with a mission to inspire young people – from all sorts of backgrounds – to challenge their limits, become more independent, confident and able to step up to any challenge.
Many of our cadets go on to pursue civilian careers but they do so having taken on board the Army’s values of selfless commitment, courage, discipline, integrity, loyalty and respect for others – great values for any citizen.
Our cadets also develop a strong understanding of the importance of international peace and security which makes us especially proud to be playing such a key role in the Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth celebration.”
Swanley Town Council will be Flying the Common Wealth Flag on Monday 13th March 2017 at 10.00am, all are welcome to come along and join us.