For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, the Virgin Islands will join 37 Commonwealth countries, nine United Kingdom Overseas Territories and the United Kingdom in raising over 650 Commonwealth flags.
The event will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 9, Commonwealth Day which is also a public holiday. Celebrations will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a procession and a ceremony at the Central Administration Complex, after which, the Commonwealth flag will be raised.
A specially written Commonwealth Affirmation will be read by the reigning Miss BVI Ms. Jaynene Jno Lewis and remarks will be delivered by the Deputy Governor Mrs. V. Inez Archibald.
Pageant Master of 'Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth' Bruno Peek, said: 'I am delighted that these countries are taking part in this unique, important moment in the history of the Commonwealth, and by Commonwealth Day 2016, we are determined that all the other countries will be participants too, bringing people's and organisations of these countries together."
This unique initiative has caught the imagination of thousands of participants around the world, and will enable people of all ages in local communities including the Virgin Islands to become involved and join with others worldwide in associating themselves with widespread public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, appreciation of the values it stands for, and the opportunities offered to its citizens.
Throughout the world various flag hoisting ceremonies will be held. Charity Teams from Fields of Life, a Northern Ireland and Uganda based charity will mark the day by raising the Commonwealth flag at Schools across Uganda on Commonwealth day.
Additionally, flags will be raised at six locations on the George Cross Island of Malta; the City of Wellington, New Zealand, Belize, Jamaica, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Nigeria; Lowestoft, Suffolk, the easternmost town in England; Unst in the Shetland Islands, the most northerly inhabited Island in Scotland; the Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula; and Tristan Da Cunha, the remotest inhabited Island in the world, to name but a few.
In Tonga, the Girl Guides Association of the Kingdom of Tonga (GGAKT) will be the first in the world to raise their Commonwealth flag at 10.00hrs on Monday 9th March 2015, leading the youth of the Commonwealth in this unique, historic, global event that morning.
For the first time also in Maritime History, P&O and Cunard Line will be raising the flag on all of their 11 ships as they travel the world.
His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth said, “Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth is a most imaginative way for people in local communities, wherever they live, learn or work to join together with others throughout the Commonwealth in a spirit of respect and understanding to celebrate the variety of unmatched diversity of our global family. I welcome and commend it."
"All our citizens, particularly the young, can express appreciation for the Commonwealth and the values it stands for, as set out in the Commonwealth Charter, and the rich opportunities it offers for mutual support towards more inclusive social and more equitable economic progress," he concluded.
Commonwealth Day 2015 will be observed under the theme, “A Young Commonwealth”.