9 March 2017
For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, and to celebrate this great family of nations, young members of the Army Cadet Force will raise the Commonwealth flag in 57 locations throughout the United Kingdom including the highest peaks in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Commonwealth Day – Monday 13 March 2017. As well as the mountaintop ceremonies, Army Cadets from West Lowland Battalion will raise the flag at Brodick Pier on the Isle of Arran at 1000hrs that morning as part of this international initiative.
The Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth initiative, now in its fourth 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 citizens around the world. More than 950 Commonwealth flags will be raised at 1000hrs local time on Monday 13 March, in a shared celebration of this amazing family of nations that encompasses the globe.
A personal message from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, and a specially written Commonwealth Affirmation, will be read out at each ceremony before the raising of the Commonwealth flag. In a common act of witness around the globe members of this great family of nations will reaffirm the commitment of all Commonwealth member states to democracy, development, and respect for diversity.
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 fourth 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.”