Commonwealth Day is observed by member states of the Commonwealth of Nations on the second Monday in March, including in British Virgin Islands, where the Queen of the United Kingdom still appoints the national governor. As of 2021, Commonwealth Day is no longer a public holiday.
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The main observance on Commonwealth Day takes place in England, in Westminster Abbey, where the Queen gives a speech before representatives of all the Commonwealth nations. Every four years, she also commences a baton relay that will not end until the opening of the next Commonwealth Games.
In Britain, Canada, and some other Commonwealth countries, the Union Jack or a flag containing it in its upper lefthand corner will be flown on public buildings. But British Virgin Islands’ “usual” flag already contains the Union Jack.
In the past, Commonwealth Day had the name of “Empire Day”, but the name change in 1958 signaled a new era. Now, the focus and special themes of Commonwealth Day each year are on such things as free trade and economic cooperation among Commonwealth states, civil and human rights, and world peace.
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