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

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

By Adeke Chukwuka

Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi, the creator of the Nigerian Flag, passed away at 87. 

His son, Akinkunmi Akinwumi Samuel, confirmed the news on Facebook, highlighting his father’s remarkable life, which he said “Life is indeed transient; I can say boldly you live a life with a landmark. Continue to rest on, my father! Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (O.F.R.) Great Man has gone.”

Akinkunmi received 100 pounds from the government for his chosen Nigerian flag design and was later honoured with the Member of the Order of the Niger award by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Akinkunmi, born on May 10, 1936, was a native of Abeokuta, Ogun State, but resided in Ibadan. He had his early education in Ibadan. He attended Baptist Day Secondary School and Ibadan Grammar School. He began his career as a civil servant in Ibadan and pursued further studies in Agricultural Engineering at Norway Technical College.

While he was abroad in 1958, Akinkunmi noticed a national newspaper advertisement calling for designs for Nigeria’s upcoming national flag due to its nearing independence from British rule. His entry was selected from over 2,000 submissions.

His original design featured a white background, with green at the sides, and a red sun at the centre, symbolising natural wealth and peace. The sun was later removed, but his design was chosen for its creativity. The flag was raised on October 1, 1960, replacing the Union Jack.

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