RYEDALE made history this week as it raised one of 500 Commonwealth flags at Ryedale House, in Malton.

Councillor Janet Frank, chairwoman of Ryedale District Council, also marked Commonwealth Day on Monday, by reading out a special affirmation and a message from the Queen before raising the flag.

“I am delighted that Ryedale took part in this unique event,” said Coun Frank.

“The Commonwealth is an important part of our nation’s past and present.”

For the first time ever local authorities and civic dignitaries, community groups and charities throughout the UK took part in local flag-raising events and ceremonies of dedication to mark Commonwealth Day.

This new initiative is a 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.

Charity teams marked the day by taking Commonwealth flags to the top of the UK’s four highest national peaks, using the occasion to raise funds and profile for their worthy causes: Cancer Research UK – Scafell Pike, England; Help for Heroes – Ben Nevis, Scotland; Walking with the Wounded – Mount Snowdon, Wales; and Fields of Life – Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland.

Commonwealth flags will be flown at many locations of special significance including Land’s End, Cornwall, the most westerly point in England; St David’s in Pembrokeshire, the western-most city in Wales; Carlisle in Cumbria, the northern-most city in England; Lowestoft in Suffolk, the easternmost town in England; and Unst in the Shetland islands, the most northerly inhabited island in Scotland.