Young people in countries across the Commonwealth will raise a “Flag of Peace” to celebrate and mark Commonwealth Day on March 13, 2023. The initiative is supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, the Royal Commonwealth Society and Bruno Peek, Pageantmaster.
To enable them to observe and contribute towards Commonwealth Day, the specially designed Peace Flags are being given to young people in Commonwealth countries around the world. The intention is to raise the flag on Commonwealth Day – 13th March 2023 – as part of efforts to promote 2023 as the Commonwealth Year of Peace across the family of nations.
Speaking on the initiative the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC said:
“Peace is one of the most important values on which the Commonwealth is built.
“It is fantastic that young people across our great Commonwealth family are uniting with us. It is our hope that by raising the Commonwealth Flag for Peace in each Commonwealth country on Commonwealth Day it will send a clear message – that our collective commitment to peace is unshakable.
“It is especially valuable that young people are participating in this event during Commonwealth Week, when we will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter – the bedrock of shared values and aspirations which unites members across borders.”
The Commonwealth Flag for Peace features a white dove of peace in the bottom right-hand corner of the Commonwealth flag, symbolising the shared values and principles of the Commonwealth, including co-operation on economic and social development, diversity, respect, friendship and the promotion of peace around the world.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust is helping galvanise youth across the Commonwealth to get involved in the flag raising ceremonies as part of the 2023 Commonwealth Year of Youth. A young person in each Commonwealth country has been selected to help raise the flag and take part in the ceremonies.
Chris Kelly, Chief Executive of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) said:
“We are delighted that members of the QCT Network will be raising the Flag of Peace in over 40 countries across the Commonwealth. QCT Network members are helping to transform their communities across the Commonwealth, and the Year of Youth is an excellent reminder of the change that young people can make for the benefit of society, and the need for us all to support them.”
The Royal Commonwealth Society is also supporting the initiative by incorporating the Peace Flag into the Commonwealth Day Service, to be held at Westminster Abbey, London.
A Peace Flag will be raised at Marlborough House, London, the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, after the Commonwealth Day Service and further Peace Flags will also be raised in towns and cities across the UK on Commonwealth Day.
The Commonwealth Flag of Peace initiative will be delivered in partnership with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and Bruno Peek, Pageantmaster, in tribute to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This will be the first Commonwealth Day since her passing.