The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Barry Curran raised the flag for Commonwealth Day today (March 14).
The Sunderland’s event began at 9.50am with the leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Watson, reading out a personal message from His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
This was followed by the Mayor reading out the Commonwealth Affirmation and raising the flag at 10am.
Coun Curran said: “Sunderland has a well-deserved reputation for welcoming people from other countries. [It] was a great opportunity to celebrate the Commonwealth and the values it stands for.
“This year’s theme is an ‘inclusive Commonwealth’ promoting tolerance, respect and understanding, as well as equity and fairness.
“I think we would all agree about the importance of these principles in today’s society.
“I was really pleased to see so many people come along to join me at the flag raising.”
The initiative is now in its third year and this year, more than 850 Commonwealth Flags were raised in locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories, and Commonwealth countries.
Commonwealth flags were due to be flown at many locations of special significance including Land’s End, Cornwall, the most westerly point in England, the westernmost city in Wales, the most northernmost city in England, the easternmost town in England, and the most northerly inhabited island in Scotland.
Flags were also to be raised at the Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula, and at the Halley VI Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf, as well as King Edward Point and Bird Island in South Georgia.