CUMBRIA is celebrating Commonwealth Day today with a special flag-raising ceremony.

Dignitaries from Cumbria County Council, the six district councils, and Kendal-based Lake District Estates, are raising Commonwealth flags around the county.

Coun Alan Barry, chair of Cumbria County Council, raised the Commonwealth flag for the county council in a short ceremony at the council offices in Kendal today.

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman, read a message from The Queen and ‘The Commonwealth Affirmation’.

With the Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow this year, local authorities, civic dignitaries, charity and community groups across the country are marking the occasion with flag-raising ceremonies.

Cllr Barry said: "I'm very proud that Cumbria can participate in this historic moment to celebrate Commonwealth Day and all that the Commonwealth represents. I hope residents will be able to come out and help us support the celebration that will be taking part across the 53 Commonwealth countries."

HM Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman, added: "This is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness in Cumbria of the importance of the Commonwealth, appreciate the values it stands for, and the opportunities offered to its citizens around the world."

Commonwealth Flags will also be flown at many locations of special significance including the four capital cities of the United Kingdom; Land's End in Cornwall, the most westerly point in England; St. David's in Pembrokeshire: the westernmost city in Wales; Carlisle in Cumbria: the northernmost city in England; Lowestoft in Suffolk: the easternmost town in England; and Unst in the Shetland Islands, the most northerly inhabited island in Scotland.