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Two villages are set to fly the flag

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 09, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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TWO Staffordshire Moorlands villages are to raise the flag to celebrate Commonwealth Day.

Flash, Britain's highest village, and Longnor are two of the 500 places selected to take part nationwide, from Lands End to the Shetlands.

Children from St Bartholomew's school in Longnor will take part in a ceremony of raising a flag at the school at 10am on March 10, at the same time as all the other participants in the UK and the Commonwealth.

The flag will be raised by Ken Dunn, chairman of Longnor Parish Council, Councillor John Fisher, Mayor of Leek, the Right Reverend Geoff Annas, Bishop of Stafford, and representatives of local councils and organisations.

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Sue Evans, headteacher at Longnor, said : "We are very pleased to have been included in this celebration, following on from the invitation to light a beacon at Flash for the Queen's jubilee when Flash and St Bartholomew's formed the Heathylea Federation in 2012.

"Our small schools are vital to the ongoing prosperity of rural villages.

"Everyone is invited to attend the event."

Bishop of Stafford, Geoff Annas, said: "We celebrate how our communities are part of the wider world.

"We are all one family, all equal, and all matter in the eyes of God."

Councillor Dunn said he was proud and delighted to represent the parish council at the event.

Flash villagers will also play a starring role when it joins with towns and villages across the country and the world to celebrate Commonwealth Day.

The village will host a ceremony and then hoist the Commonwealth Flag outside the village hall ,again at 10am on March 10.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's chairman, Councillor Jim Davies, will host the ceremony, which will be followed by refreshments in the village hall, and all are welcome to attend.

Councillor Davies said: "We've chosen Flash as one of the venues in the Moorlands to fly the Commonwealth Flag because of its special location as the highest village in Britain.

"Flags will also be flown in the most northerly, easterly, westerly and southerly places of Britain so it's fitting that our ceremony will take place here.

"The Moorlands is proud to be joining with communities across the UK and the Commonwealth on this day which is aimed at ensuring continuing harmony among nations – something that remains as important today as it always has been."

A flag will also fly outside the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council offices in Stockwell Street, Leek.

Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, 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 success of this year's event bodes well for 2015 and the future as we extend the invitation to participate and involve all 53 countries of the Commonwealth and UK overseas territories, to make this the largest-ever annual occasion involving local communities throughout the worldwide Commonwealth family."

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