Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi, the man that designed Nigeria’s flag, is dead. He died in the early hours of Tuesday after a brief illness.
One of his children announced his death on Facebook.
He wrote: “Life is indeed transient; I can say boldly that you lived a life with a landmark.
“Continue to rest, my father! Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (O.F.R.): A great man has gone.”
In 1958, while living abroad, Akinkunmi saw an advertisement in a national daily for the submission of designs for the Nigeria’s national flag as the country’s independence from British governance was close.
Among the over 2,000 entries submitted, his was picked.
However, the original design of the flag featured a white band flanked by two green ones with a red sun and streaming rays on the white band.
Although the sun was eventually removed by the committee in charge, Akinkunmi’s design was selected for its ingenuity and profundity.
The green bands represent the forests and abundant natural wealth of the country, while the white band represents peace.
It was hoisted on Independence Day, October 1, 1960, in place of the British Union Jack, while Akinkunmi was awarded 100 pounds when his design was selected.
He was honoured with the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Akinkunmi is a native of Abeokuta in Ogun State. He was born on May 10, 1936, but lived in Ibadan.
He attended Baptist Day Secondary School, Ibadan, and Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan, for his primary and secondary education, respectively.
The late Akinkunmi started his career as a civil servant at the Secretariat of Ibadan. He later travelled overseas to study Agricultural Engineering at Norway Technical College.