Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi (OFR), the creative mind behind the design of Nigeria’s national flag, has passed away.
He died in the early hours of Tuesday following a brief illness. One of his children announced the news on Facebook, remembering his father’s impactful life.
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.”
The native of Abeokuta in Ogun State was born on May 10, 1936 but lived in Ibadan until his demise.
He attended Baptist Day Secondary School, Ibadan for his Primary education and Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan for his Secondary education.
He started his career as a Civil Servant at the Secretariat of Ibadan 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 the Nigeria’s national flag in view of Nigeria’s imminent Independence from British governance.
His entry was adjudged the best among the roughly 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.
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.