The flags of three British Overseas Territories were flown at the main entrance to the British Parliament last weekend to celebrate their national days.
The recognition was initiated by Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle in March with the raising of the Montserrat flag, saying it was important that the UK Parliament marked the ceremonial days of the British Overseas Territories.
"I want to nurture our relationship with the overseas territories, and this starts in a small way by recognising and respecting these countries that mean so much to us by the raising of flags on their national days," he said then.
A statement from the Office of the UK Speaker gave a background to the three OTs recognised in the past few days.
Anguilla, the smallest of the five British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, Anguilla celebrates the 54th anniversary of independence from its union with St Kitts and Nevis on 30 May.
The events of May 30 are celebrated today as the most important step towards Anguilla's autonomy.
Dorothea Hodge, Anguilla’s representative to the UK, said: ‘Anguilla Day on the island begins with speeches and a parade in honour of the father of our nation Ronald Webster and others, with people wearing the orange and blue colours of our flag."
For Bermuda, the coat of arms first granted in 1635 features the red lion which is a British symbol, reiterating the island’s affiliation with the United Kingdom. The crest features the Sea Venture, the flagship of a seven-ship fleet which set sail on 2 June that year from Plymouth en route to Jamestown Virginia, when it hit a storm and was eventually ship-wrecked off the coast of Bermuda. All 150 people were able to reach shore safely, at what they later named Discovery Bay.
‘Kimberley Durrant, Bermuda’s representative to the UK, said: "The Bermuda flag represents a true pride for Bermuda as we are foremost proud to be Bermudians.”
Turks and Caicos, have a public holiday on the last Monday in May to celebrate the life of their first elected Chief Minister James Alexander George Smith (JAGS) McCartney, who negotiated a new constitution which brought self-determination for the TCI.
Celebrated as the islands’ founding leader, statesman and nation builder, JAGS McCartney died tragically in an airplane crash in 1980. He was 35.
Tracy Knight, TCI’s representative to the UK, said: "We will be celebrating JAGS McCartney Day with a wreath-laying ceremony, a 21-gun salute by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, and a float parade."
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