Pa. Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (OFR), a nonagenarian who designed Nigeria’s flag, has passed away.
After a brief illness, Pa. Akinkunmi, 86, passed away in the early hours of Tuesday.
One of his children’s Facebook accounts posted the news of his passing.
He wrote, “Life is temporary; I can say with confidence that you live a life with a turning point. My father, keep sleeping! Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi: The Great Man is dead.”
Pa Akinwumi was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on May 10, 1936. He died in Ibadan, where he had lived until his death.
He went to Ibadan Grammar School for his secondary education. He went to Baptist Day Secondary School in Ibadan for his primary education.
He began his work as a civil servant at the Secretariat of Ibadan. Later, he went to Norway Technical College to study agricultural engineering.
In 1958, when Akinkunmi was living abroad, he saw an ad in a national newspaper asking for drawings for the Nigerian flag because the country was about to get its independence from British rule.
His entry was chosen as the best out of the 2,000 or so that were sent in.
The original flag had a white band in the middle and two green bands on either side. On the white band was a red sun with rays coming out of it.
In the end, the group in charge got rid of the sun to make the current design.
The design by Akinkunmi was chosen because it was creative and meaningful. The green bands reflect the forests and other natural resources of the country, and the white band represents peace.
On Independence Day, October 1, 1960, the flag was raised instead of the British Union Jack.
When Akinkunmi’s design was chosen, the government gave him 100 pounds.
President Goodluck Jonathan also gave him the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) Award.
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