A ceremony is being held in Wellingborough to mark the first celebration of Commonwealth Day.
Mayor of Wellingborough Graham Lawman will read out a message from the Queen, followed by a specially-written Commonwealth Affirmation, before the Commonwealth flag is raised at 10am on Monday, March 10.
The event will take place in front of Wellingborough Council’s Swanspool House and is one of 500 similar events taking place across the British Isles.
Local authorities and community groups are hosting ceremonies, and charities are taking flags to the four highest national peaks in the UK.
Flags are also due to be flown on the Antarctic Peninsula, at the Halley VI Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf, and at King Edward Point and Bird Island in South Georgia.
Cllr Lawman said: “I am delighted to be leading Wellingborough’s expression of support for the Commonwealth.
“Places north, south, east and west of the UK are joining in so we are right at the centre.
“This is an expression of our support for the Charter of the Commonwealth which promotes diversity – so apparent in our borough – tolerance, understanding, freedom of expression, democracy and human rights and kinship across the world.
“This is a joyous celebration of our shared values and the continuing success and ties we should cherish with two billion Commonwealth citizens across the globe.
“It is an opportunity for us all to consider how we can contribute to these values.
“I hope as many people as possible will join me.”
The new event is described by the organisers as a way for communities to ‘associate themselves with widespread public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, appreciation of the values it stands for, and the opportunities offered to its citizens around the world’.
Bruno Peek, Pageantmaster and originator of Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth, said: “This will be the largest, single raising of the Commonwealth flag in the history of the Commonwealth.”
The Commonwealth is made up of 53 sovereign states, in six regions – three in Europe, 18 in Africa, eight in Asia, three in the Americas, 10 in the Caribbean and 11 in the South Pacific.
Commonwealth countries come together voluntarily and work together to support democracy, development, and respect for diversity.