Nigerian Flag Designer, Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi (OFR) dies at 87

by Duchess Magazine

After a brief illness, Pa. Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, commonly known as Mr Flag Man, passed away early on Tuesday at age 87.

His passing was reported on one of his childrens’s Facebook page.

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.”

Pa Akinwumi, a native of Abeokuta, Ogun State, was born on May 10, 1936, however he spent his entire life in Ibadan.

He had his primary education at Baptist Day Secondary School in Ibadan and his secondary education at Ibadan Grammar School in the same city.

After graduating from IGS in 1955, Akinkunmi accepted a position as an agriculturist in the Western Region Secretariat in Ibadan as a public servant. He spent some time working before proceeding to Lambeth College in London, formerly known as Norwood Technical College, where he studied electrical engineering. He designed the Nigerian Flag while a student there.

When Nigeria would soon become independent from British rule in 1958, Akinkunmi, then living abroad, came across an advertisement in a national daily asking for designs for the country’s flag.

Among the approximately 2,000 entries received, his was deemed the finest.

A red sun with streaming rays was placed on the white band of the flag’s original design, which also included two green bands on either side of it.

Ultimately, the supervising committee produced the current design without the sun.

Since the white band symbolises peace and the green bands reflect the country’s bountiful natural resources and forests, it was decided that Akinkunmi’s design be employed due to its originality and profundity.

On Independence Day (October 1, 1960), the Nigerian flag was raised for the first time in place of the British Union Jack.

When Akinkunmi’s design was chosen, the government gave him 100 pounds.

He was honoured as an Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) on 29 September 1994 at the Abuja Conference Centre.

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