The colours of the Commonwealth were raised above Sunderland Civic Centre as part of annual Commonwealth Day celebrations.
City mayor Councillor Alan Emerson was joined by civic guests including the Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Frank Major MBE, to raise the flag.
It was one of more than 900 flags raised across the Commonwealth, including those unfurled by the Army Cadet Force at the four highest peaks in the UK.
A series of messages were read out celebrating the achievements of the Commonwealth.
They began with a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, read out at the Civic Centre by her regional representative the Deputy Lieutenant.
It was followed by a message from the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, read out by the council chief executive Irene Lucas CBE.
The mayor read out the Commonwealth Affirmation before the flag was raised at 10am.
Councillor Emerson said: “I’m delighted that so many of our community partners were represented.
“This is the fourth year of these annual events, and I’m proud that Sunderland is part of the collective expression of commitment to the Commonwealth going on in countries across the world.
“Many of our residents are from the Commonwealth, and we all share the same values of international friendship and co-operation which it represents.”
“Raising the Commonwealth flag here at the civic centre is part a common act of witness in all member countries, re-affirming our shared commitment to democracy, development, and respect for diversity.”