Nigerian flag designer Taiwo Akinkumi dies at 87

Taiwo Akinkumi (OFR), known for designing the Nigerian flag, passed on in the early hours of Tuesday after a brief illness.

One of his sons, Akinwunmi Akinkunmi, confirmed his death in a post on Facebook.

“ 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.” 

Mr Akinkumi, born on May 10, 1936, was a native of Abeokuta in Ogun state, although he lived much of his life in Ibadan. 

He attended Baptist Day Secondary School, Ibadan, for his primary education and Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan, for his secondary education. 

Mr Akinkunmi started his work career as a civil servant at the Ibadan secretariat and later travelled overseas to further his studies. 

During his stay abroad in 1958, Mr Akinkumi saw an advert in a Nigerian daily calling for the submission of potential designs for the Nigerian flag as the country prepared for independence from British rule. He submitted his entry, which was selected from over 2,000 others.

His initial design had a red sun with rays in the middle of the white band flanked by two green bands. The overseeing committee removed the sun, leaving only the two green bands and the white band in the middle. 

The committee selected Mr Akinkumi’s design due to its perceived ingenuity. The green bands represent the natural wealth and forests in the country, while the white band represents peace.

The newly designed Nigerian flag was officially hoisted on October 1, 1960, in place of the British Union Jack, marking Nigeria’s independence day.

The Nigerian government awarded Mr Akinkumi £100 for the flag design. 

He was also honoured by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, which awarded him with a MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) Award.

Back to top button