Colchester City Council will fly the flag for Commonwealth Day on Monday, 13 March 2023, marking the start of a week-long series of events and activities happening around the globe.
Colchester will join Heads of State and Prime Ministers, Lord Mayors and Mayors, students, Girl Guides and Scouts, Sea, Army and Air Cadets, charities, community groups, Commonwealth ex-servicemen, and many others around the world, to raise Commonwealth Flags at 11am local time.
Colchester’s ceremony, which will start at 10.45am outside the Town Hall, will see Town Crier Robert Needham read the Commonwealth Proclamation and a lone piper play ‘Highland Cathedral’.
In the company of invited guests and the public, the Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Tim Young, will raise the Commonwealth of Nations’ Flag of Peace, which has been commissioned in honour of her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and features a white dove of peace. The Flag will remain in place for one week.
This will be the first Commonwealth Day since Her Majesty’s passing, and the first presided over by His Majesty King Charles III as King and Head of the Commonwealth.
This year’s Commonwealth Day will centre around the theme for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – Forging a sustainable and peaceful common future – which highlights how the 56 Commonwealth nations connect at many levels through extensive and deep-rooted networks of friendship and goodwill to tackle climate change whilst working to build peace and harmony through social and political development, inclusive economic empowerment and fair trade, so that all people, particularly women, youth and marginalised communities, can share in the fruits of progress and prosperity.
Prior to the ceremony, the Mayor will hold a Diversity Commonwealth Day event in the Moot Hall, in aid of the Mayor’s charities. Breakfast and refreshments will be served, and stalls will be open from 9am in celebration of the special day.
Mayor Tim Young said: “I’m delighted to be participating in this special anniversary event marking Colchester’s support for the Commonwealth, its communities and the values it upholds.
“At a time when enmity and aggression threaten to tip the whole world into an unthinkable conflict, it is fitting to be able to honour the peaceful and co-operative values the Commonwealth upholds. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the international friendship the Commonwealth stands for.
“Colchester residents will have a wonderful opportunity to find out more about the Commonwealth this year, with a shared celebration of diversity and Commonwealth Day in the Moot Hall from 9am. And I hope people will also be able to join me, on the Town Hall steps, for the Flag raising.”
Commonwealth Day 2023 will be celebrated nationwide with activities including debates, school assemblies, flag-raising ceremonies, street parties, cultural events and a multicultural, multifaith service at Westminster Abbey in London.