They were once a British colony but unlike most others, they aren’t a part of the Commonwealth Games.
The non-participation of the US, unlike their neighbours Canada who are a Commonwealth Games powerhouse, has often attracted a few curious questions. One of the reasons, according to the Birmingham Mail, is war.
The Commonwealth is a group of 54 nations that were once part of the British Empire. The US became independent from the UK in 1776, after 13 American colonies broke away and declared themselves a republic, refusing to recognise the British monarch as their head of state.
This – the need to recognise the king or queen as the head of state – was a prerequisite to remaining a part of the Commonwealth. However, after India became independent in 1947, it wanted to continue being a part of the Commonwealth while also becoming a republic. This prompted the London Declaration of 1949, which stated that ‘republics and other countries could be part of the Commonwealth.’
So, India continued to be a part of the Commonwealth – and thus, the CWG – even though it does not recognise the Queen as its head of state. In the case of the US, it was seen as a different case.
“Since the USA practically battled against a foreign ruling monarch, their re-entry into the Commonwealth was unlikely,” the Birmingham Mail reported.
In 2017, the Telegraph reported that the US could become an associate member of the Commonwealth but no step has been taken in that direction since.