Cheshire East Council has held a ceremony to celebrate Commonwealth Day.
Civic dignitaries, local schoolchildren and members of the public looked on as the Commonwealth flag was raised outside the authority’s Municipal Buildings, in Crewe, at 11am today (March 12).
It was just one of many hundreds of Commonwealth flags flown at significant, strategic and eye-catching sites across the UK and beyond.
The flag flying helps to celebrate the true values of the Commonwealth as an increasingly multi-cultural world seeks unity, understanding and tolerance.
This year Commonwealth Day precedes the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London, when the leaders of 53 independent member countries will meet to address key global challenges and agree how to work together for the welfare and common good of its 2.4 billion citizens.
Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor Arthur Moran led the flag-raising ceremony in Crewe, joined by children from Pebble Brook, Underwood West and Edleston primary schools.
Cllr Moran said in his address: “Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth community and valuing the personal dignity and worth of every citizen, we raise this flag today as a visual symbol of the strong ties of kinship and affinity we cherish.
“We affirm our commitment to upholding the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, to serving one another in a spirit of respect and understanding and to advancing development, democracy and cooperation locally, nationally and internationally.”
The gathered audience responded: “Our pledge is to support the Commonwealth, working together for a future in which there is freedom and justice and prosperity for all, with peace and understanding between peoples and nations.”
Queen Elizabeth II, who is head of the Commonwealth, was due to attend a multicultural, multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey today to mark Commonwealth Day.
The Queen has sent a Commonwealth Day message to Gold Coast Australia where the 2018 Commonwealth Games begin next month.