COMMONWEALTH flags were raised in Trowbridge and Warminster for the first time on Monday (March 9), as part of an annual event taking place throughout Commonwealth countries.

In Trowbridge, a specially written Commonwealth Affirmation was read out at the ceremony by the Mayor Glyn Bridges, before the raising of the Commonwealth Flag outside The Civic Centre.

The Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth initiative, now in its second year, was first held last year to coincide with Commonwealth Day to inspire local communities to join together with others.

Cllr Bridges said: “Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth community, and valuing the personal dignity and worth of every citizen, we raise this flag as a symbol of the ties of kinship and affinity that we cherish.

“We draw inspiration from our diversity and the opportunities for working together, as a rich source of wisdom and a powerful influence for good in the world.

“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.”

More than 730 Commonwealth Flags were due to be raised in locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories, and Commonwealth countries.

Warminster Town Council was also involved in the celebrations and held a ceremony for Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth outside the Civic Centre in the town.

Warminster Mayor Andrew Davis said: “This is the first time that the Commonwealth flag has been raised in the town and I’m very privileged to be the first mayor of Warminster to do it on behalf of the town.

“I hope that this will be a tradition that continues and the main thing is for people to recognise the fact we are part of the Commonwealth and we should be proud of that fact.

Ruth Jennings, Year 5 teacher for pupils at Minster School, said: “We came to the event because we wanted to join in with the town’s celebrations.”

Cadet Potter of Warminster’s Air Cadets, who raised the flag along with Mayor Davis, said: “It was a real honour to raise the flag.”