Sunderland has taken part in the annual ‘Flying a Flag for Commonwealth Day’ ahead of the Commonwealth games in Queensland, Australia next year.
The Commonwealth raising flag ceremony happens every year at Sunderland Civic Centre and is on schedule with the rest of the country, who also raise their flags, precisely at 10am on March 10.
The ceremony flag was one of more than 900 flags raised across the Commonwealth, including those unfurled by the Army Cadet Force at the four highest peaks in the UK.
It was also met with a large crowd as they listened to the many speakers such as the Mayor of Sunderland, counc. Alan Emerson and Frank Major, the Deputy Lieutenant who read a message from the Queen.
Speaking to the crowd who came to spectate the event, Deputy Lieutenant Frank Major recalled his childhood and when his school celebrated the Commonwealth Games or “Empire Day” and how many children had their cub outfits on.
He said: “That memory has stayed with me for years and I think that the British Commonwealth Nations are one of the most important voluntary associations in countries in the world and signifies, as mentioned in the short speeches, how independent nations can work together and collaborate.”.
The ceremony comes as Sunderland bid towards becoming UK’s City of Culture 2021.
Mr Major added “Sunderland is a very diverse city, which is a thing I’ve always said many times in speeches. I think it’s important to be understanding to different groups of people.
When asked about this event helping Sunderland becoming UK’s City of Culture 2021, he commented: “There can’t be any harm in promoting a diverse city of culture.”