Sunderland flies the flag for American Independence Day at Washington Old Hall event + VIDEO

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WEARSIDERS showed support for their U.S. cousins with a spectacular Independence Day event.

School pupils gathered at National Trust site Washington Old Hall for the July 4 celebration, which saw the American National Anthem and the Battle Hymn of the Republic sung by Washington School’s Glee Club.

Mayor of Sunderland, Counc Iain Kay at the Independence Day celebrations at Washington Old Hall with Sunderland University students, Beccy McConvill and Richard Cook, Flag raisers, Holly and Luke Whitehead and flag carrier, Helen Trainor.

Mayor of Sunderland, Counc Iain Kay at the Independence Day celebrations at Washington Old Hall with Sunderland University students, Beccy McConvill and Richard Cook, Flag raisers, Holly and Luke Whitehead and flag carrier, Helen Trainor.

Broadway Juniors, George Washington Primary, John F Kennedy Primary and Springwell Dene schools performed words and songs around the theme of friendship as part of the day’s events.

David Crone, chairman of Sunderland Youth Parliament, read from the American Declaration of Independence.

Broadway Junior School pupil Martyn Foster also read civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s historic “I have a dream” speech.

Sunderland has close links with Washington DC after first signing a Friendship Agreement with the city in 2006. It was renewed earlier this year.

As part of the arrangement a bond has been developed during the past six years, generating economic and educational benefits for both cities.

Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “It is always great to see children and young people from schools across the city being involved in events and activities which celebrate and strengthen the links with our international partners.”