The Nigeria’s flag designer, Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi passed away in the early hours of Tuesday following a brief illness. The news of his death was shared by one of his children on Facebook, who wrote a heartfelt message commemorating his life. The message emphasized the transient nature of life and acknowledged Akinkunmi’s significant impact, describing him as a remarkable individual.
The native of Abeokuta in Ogun State, Akinkunmi was born on May 10, 1936, and resided in Ibadan until his passing. His educational journey took him to Baptist Day Secondary School for his primary education and Ibadan Grammar School for his secondary education.
Beginning his professional career as a Civil Servant at the Ibadan Secretariat, Akinkunmi later ventured abroad to study Agricultural Engineering at Norway Technical College. During his time overseas in 1958, he stumbled upon an advertisement in a national newspaper calling for designs for Nigeria’s national flag, coinciding with the country’s upcoming Independence from British rule.
Out of approximately 2,000 submissions, Akinkunmi’s design was chosen as the best. The initial version of the flag featured a central white band bordered by two green bands, with a red sun and its rays positioned on the white stripe. However, the overseeing committee decided to remove the sun, resulting in the flag’s present design.
Akinkunmi’s design was selected due to its innovative and profound symbolism—the green bands symbolizing Nigeria’s lush forests and abundant natural resources, while the white band represented peace. On Independence Day, October 1, 1960, the flag was officially raised, replacing the British Union Jack.
In recognition of his achievement, Akinkunmi received a 100-pound award from the government. Additionally, he was honoured with the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) Award by President Goodluck Jonathan.
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