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Nigeria’s National Flag Designer, Taiwo Akinkunmi Dies At 87



By Sola Omoniyi, Lagos

Designer of Nigeria’s national flag, Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi, passed on at the age of 87.

Pa Akinkunmi’s death was announced on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, by his son Samuel Akinkunmi via a post on his Facebook page.

Samuel in the post wrote “Life is indeed transient; I can say boldly you lived a life with a landmark. Continue to rest on, my father! Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (O.F.R) Great Man has gone.”

The late Pa Akinwumi who hails from Owu in Abeokuta, Ogun state was born on May 10, 1936.

He attended Baptist Day Secondary School, Ibadan for his Primary education and Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan for his Secondary education.

He took up an appointment as a Civil Servant at Secretariat Ibadan.

After some years of service, he travelled overseas to study Agricultural Engineering at Norway Technical College.

In 1958, during his stay abroad, the late Pa Akinkunmi stumbled upon an advertisement in a national daily calling for the submission of designs for the Nigerian national flag given the imminent Independence from British governance.

He immediately began work on his entry which was eventually selected as best among the roughly 2000 entries submitted.

The original design of the flag featured a white band flanked by two green ones; a red sun with streaming rays was located on the white band.

The sun was eventually done away with by the overseeing committee to produce the present design.

Akinkunmi’s design was selected because of its ingenuity and profundity (the green bands represent the forests and abundant natural wealth of the country, while the white band represents peace).

The flag was officially hoisted on Independence Day (October 1, 1960) instead of the British Union Jack.

Akinkunmi was awarded 100 pounds by the government when his design was selected.

He has also been honoured with the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) Award by President Goodluck Jonathan.

To mark his 77th birthday, a Christian organisation called G-Next did a home makeover in his Ibadan residence.