Nigerian Flag Designer, Taiwo Akinkunmi, Passes Away At 87

Fawaz Adebisi


Taiwo Akinkunmi, the man who designed the Nigerian flag, has died at the age of 87. 

He passed away on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 after a brief illness.

Akinkunmi was a native of Abeokuta in Ogun State and a former civil servant.

He designed the flag in 1958 while studying electrical engineering in London.

He submitted his design to a national competition that was organized by the government of Nigeria as part of the preparations for independence from Britain.

His design was chosen out of over 2,000 entries and was officially hoisted on October 1, 1960, the day of Nigeria’s independence .

The flag consists of three vertical bands of green, white and green.

The green represents the forests and natural wealth of Nigeria, while the white stands for peace and unity.

Akinkunmi initially painted a sun on the white band, but it was later discarded.

Akinkunmi was therefore awarded a cash prize of 100 pounds for winning the contest.

He used part of the money to buy a camera and a radio.

In 1963, he returned to Nigeria and went back to the agricultural department at the secretariat in Ibadan to continue his civil service career, as he retired as an Assistant Superintendent of Agriculture in 1994.

Akinkunmi was honoured with several awards and recognitions for his contribution to Nigeria’s history and identity.

He received the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) award from President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

He also received the Officer of the Order of Federal Republic (OFR) and honorary life presidential adviser on the same year.

In 2021, he unveiled the world’s largest national flag in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

The flag measured 3,275.6 square meters and broke the Guinness World Record.

He was married with a wife and had children and grandchildren. He is survived by his family and loved ones.

His death has been mourned by many Nigerians who expressed their condolences and appreciation for his legacy.

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