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Flag flies for the Commonwealth

13 March 2017

South Lakeland raised the flag to mark Commonwealth Day on Monday, 13 March, 2017.

The Commonwealth Flag was raised at Kendal Town Hall at exactly 10am – to coincide with more than 950 Commonwealth flags being raised across the UK and Commonwealth countries.

The event in Kendal was hosted by Mayor of Kendal, Councillor Stephen Coleman, with South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) Leader, Councillor Giles Archibald and Chief Executive, Lawrence Conway.

The ceremony in Kendal was replicated around the world by everyone from heads of state and prime ministers to lord mayors, girl guides, scouts and members of the armed forces in a shared celebration of the Commonwealth ‘family of nations’.

The initiative, now in its third year, is designed to show a collective public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth and an appreciation for the values the Commonwealth upholds.

For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth young members of the United Kingdom Army Cadet Force will take the Commonwealth flag to the top of the highest peaks in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on Commonwealth Day.

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 so many Commonwealth countries.

“We are only in our third year, and the involvement of the Army Cadet Force 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 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 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 its members.

“This year’s theme – ‘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 Commonwealth is made up of 53 sovereign states working together in mutual support towards shared goals of democracy, development, and respect for diversity.

It includes some of the world's largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, with two billion citizens drawn from all faiths and ethnicities.

Beyond the ties of history, language and institutions, members are united by values set out in the Charter of the Commonwealth including tolerance, freedom of expression, respect for human rights, the rule of law, protecting the environment, access to health, education, food and shelter, and gender equality.