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Commonwealth Day

The second Monday of March marks Commonwealth Day, a holiday celebrated in the United Kingdom and its sovereign territories. Festivities often include patriotic events such as  flag-raising and reading the Commonwealth message from the Queen.

The Commonwealth is a  global family of 54 member countries, from Canada and Great Britain to New Zealand, South Africa, Nigeria, India and Tuvalu. The modern Commonwealth, which represent a quarter of all humanity, evolved out of Britain's imperial past. Today, it helps to advance democracy, human rights, and sustainable economic and social development.

Commonwealth Day is celebrated during a multi-faith service in Westminster Abbey normally attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Secretary-General and the Commonwealth High Commissioners in London. The Queen delivers an address to the Commonwealth which is broadcast throughout the world on the BBC.

Non-Statuatory Observance

There is no uniform manner of observance of Commonwealth Day in member countries, Each country celebrates the day as it deems suitable. In Canada, the Royal Union flag -- also known as the "Union Jack" -- is flown along with the National Flag at federal buildings, airports, military bases and other federal buildings to mark the day.

Union Jack

Commonwealth Secretariat

Established in 1965, the Commonwealth Secretariat is the main intergovernmental agency of the Commonwealth, facilitating consultation and cooperation among member governments and countries. Based in London, UK, the Secretariat organises Commonwealth summits, meetings of ministers, consultative meetings and technical discussions. It also provides technical assistance to help governments in the social and economic development of their countries and in support of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values.

Commonwealth Day Stamps 1983
Commonwealth Day 1983
Commemorative Stamps

Commonwealth Games

Athletes from Commonwealth countries compete against each other in a wide variety of sports every four years at the Commonwealth Games. Unlike the Olympics, the competition is between individuals, not countries.

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Commonwealth Principles: Republican Writing of the English Revolution
Commonwealth Principles Republican Writing of the English Revolution

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