FLAGS will take off in all Gloucestershire’s councils in preparation for the Commonwealth Day.

Dame Jane Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, has handed over flags to Gloucestershire’s seven councils ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Day on Monday, March 10.

Originally named Empire Day up until 1958, it is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Along with the mayors and chairmen of the district, Dame Jane presented flags to Cllr Tony Hicks, chairman of Gloucestershire County Council, and Cllr Sir Edward Horsfall, chairman of Cotswold District Council.

Dame Janet said: “The Commonwealth has changed and developed over a number of years and, like our county, is diverse.

“It is right that we should honour our collective history and also celebrate the contribution people of the Commonwealth have made in war and in peacetime to life on these shores.”

The flags will be raised across Gloucestershire at 10am on the day, in line with councils around the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

A total of 500 Commonwealth flags will fly on the day, commemorating the Commonwealth’s pride in being part of the British Empire.

This is the first time the nation’s local authorities will mark Commonwealth Day with flag-raising ceremonies.