The National flag raising ceremony, officially marking the start of this year’s Armed Forces Week, has today taken place against the backdrop of Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Armed Forces Week is a chance for people to come together to thank our Armed Forces, who defend our way of life, protect British citizens around the world, and strengthen our relationships with our allies and partners.
Flags have also been raised at other prominent locations across the country, paying tribute to the Armed Forces and the year-round work that they do.
This year’s hosts
Service personnel from across the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force, as well as the cadet forces and veterans, attended the official flag-raising ceremony in Falmouth, the hosts of this year’s National Event.
The flag was raised by personnel from the Royal Air Force before a short flypast by an F-35B Lightning aircraft from 207 Squadron, the Joint Royal Navy & Royal Air Force Lightning Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Marham, brought proceedings to a close.
“Today is a pivotal moment in the Armed Forces Week calendar, the raising of the Armed Forces Day flag in Falmouth marks the start of celebrations that will culminate in the town hosting the National Event on 24th June. Armed Forces day is an opportunity for communities across Cornwall to come together to show their support to the military community, thanking them for the work they do in keeping us all safe.”
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP
“Our military personnel are amongst the most outstanding and flexible in the world. They are there when we need them on the home front, as seen during the pandemic; they have been there to rescue our citizens from the civil war in Sudan and they are there to defend us from potential aggressors, if necessary.”
Lord Lieutenant for Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE
Elsewhere in Cornwall, flags were also raised on public buildings across Cornwall, including town halls, Cornwall Council’s New County Hall in Truro and Cornwall’s military bases HMS Raleigh, RAF St Mawgan and RNAS Culdrose.
In Central London, serving personnel raised the Armed Forces Day flag in New Palace Yard at the Palace of Westminster, where it will fly throughout the week. The event, led by the Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle, takes place at the start of Armed Forces Week each year and is attended by Defence Ministers and Members of Parliament.
At Piccadilly Circus, the iconic screens were lit up with an Armed Forces Day film demonstrating the power of community between our service personnel of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.
“Armed Forces Day has taken months of planning by Cornwall Council with support from Falmouth Town Council and Falmouth BID and will involve hundreds of volunteers. It is a huge thank you to the military for everything they do to keep us safe and we’re proud Falmouth is the focus for this prestigious occasion, given our town’s historical and ongoing links with the armed forces. We hope that everyone will come and celebrate with us on Saturday, it promises to be a spectacular event.”
Falmouth Town Mayor, Cllr Kirstie Edwards
Armed Forces Day is an opportunity for communities to come together across the UK to show their support to the military community, thanking them for the work they do in keeping us all safe.
The National Event will be held in Falmouth, Cornwall this year on Saturday 24th June and is set to welcome thousands of visitors from across the UK.
A spectacular parade featuring over 1,000 military personnel, cadet forces and veterans, a flypast by the RAF Red Arrows, flying displays from RAF and Royal Navy aircraft and a military village that will highlight the roles each of our Armed Services play.
Cornwall is home to around 39,000 veterans and 1 in 5 people in Cornwall have a personal or family connection to the Armed Forces, making it the perfect host for this year’s Armed Forces Day National Event.