Designer of Nigeria’s flag Taiwo Akinkunmi dies at 87

Michael Akinkunmi

Designer of Nigeria’s flag Taiwo Akinkunmi has died after a brief illness.

One of his children Samuel Akinkunmi announced the death of the national hero in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

He wrote: “Life is indeed transient; I can say boldly that you live a life with a landmark. Continue to rest, my father! Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (O.F.R.): Great Man has gone.”

Akinkunmi was born on May 10, 1936. He began his career as a civil servant at the Ibadan Secretariat and later travelled overseas to study agricultural engineering at Norway Technical College.

In 1958, during his stay abroad, Akinkunmi stumbled upon an advertisement in a national daily calling for the submission of designs for Nigeria’s national flag in view of Nigeria’s imminent independence from the British.

His entry was adjudged the best among nearly 2,000 entries submitted.

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


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A committee in charge of it removed the sun from the 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 instead of the British Union Jack.

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

Former President Goodluck Jonathan gave him the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) honour.