Nigerian flag designer, Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi has passed away at the age of 93 after a brief illness.
The news of the demise of the nonagenarian who died on Tuesday morning was shared on one of his children’s Facebook accounts.
Credible News reports that Pa. Akinkunmi received his primary education at Baptist Day Secondary School in Ibadan and went on to attend Ibadan Grammar School for his secondary education.
He began his career as a civil servant at the Secretariat of Ibadan before traveling abroad to study Agricultural Engineering at Norway Technical College.
During his time overseas in 1958, Akinkunmi came across an advertisement in a national newspaper calling for designs for the Nigerian national flag in anticipation of the country’s impending independence from British rule. And out of approximately 2,000 entries, his design was selected as the best.
Akinkunmi’s contribution to Nigeria’s national identity through his iconic flag design will forever be remembered. His passing marks the end of an era, but his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.
The original design of the Nigerian flag, created by Akinkunmi, featured a white band flanked by two green ones, with a red sun and streaming rays on the white band.
However, the overseeing committee decided to remove the sun, resulting in the present design.Akinkunmi’s design was chosen for its ingenious and profound symbolism.
The green bands represent the country’s lush forests and abundant natural resources, while the white band symbolizes peace.
On Independence Day, October 1, 1960, the Nigerian flag was officially hoisted, replacing the British Union Jack. And he was awarded £100 by the Government in recognition of his exceptional design.
In further recognition of his contribution, former President Goodluck Jonathan honored Akinkunmi with the prestigious Member of the Order of the Niger Award.
Akinkunmi’s design continues to serve as a powerful symbol of Nigeria’s rich natural heritage and its commitment to peace.