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flying the flag

PUBLISHED: 16:28 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 23 August 2010

RESIDENTS and visitors will see a specially commissioned flag flying over the borough next week in celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The 2012 flag, donated to the town by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, will be raised at

RESIDENTS and visitors will see a specially commissioned flag flying over the borough next week in celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The 2012 flag, donated to the town by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, will be raised at the Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend.

Raising of the flag marks the moment the UK officially becomes the next Olympic host city, following the Beijing Games Closing Ceremony the same day on Sunday.

It will remain until the end of September and coincides with free swimming lessons for residents to mark the four-yearly event.

Councillor David Turner, Gravesham Borough Council's cabinet member for leisure, said: "This is the beginning of a four-year journey which does not just involve people who play sport but everyone.

"We aim to seize the opportunity to promote and enhance Gravesham and its unique position in the Thames Gateway."

Over 400 flags are being raised across the UK on government buildings, army barracks and Whitehall departments. They will also be flown on overseas missions from Vancouver to Tokyo.

It will follow the symbolic flag handover to London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Lord Sebastian Coe, London 2012 Organising Committee chair said: "It is a very important and exciting moment for us, and we want as many people as possible to join in the handover celebrations.

"We are delighted that so many local authorities share our excitement and are proudly displaying the Handover Flag to mark this very special moment on our journey to 2012."

Free swimming is also being offered in celebration of the Olympic torch arriving in London on the same day.

Cascades Fun 'n' Flume pool and Cygnet Leisure Centre will be inviting everyone to enjoy facilities free of charge.

The events have been set up by Kent County Council in partnership with the Kent Alliance of Leisure Trusts as a countywide initiative.

As part of Cultural Olympiad, which is a showcase of arts and cultural events, Gravesham Borough Council and partners, including the North West Kent Racial Equality Council and Kent County Council, have organised the Festival of Light event.

All schools in Gravesham have been invited to take part in the festival on Friday, September 26 with art workshops to create lights, lanterns, bulbs and torches which children will carry in the procession around 7pm at the Civic Centre.

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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