Pa. Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, OFR, a retired Nigerian civil servant and designer of the Nigerian flag dies at 87. In 1959, when Nigeria was still in the process of gaining her independence,the government organized a competition for the design of the national flag, open to all Nigerians both home and abroad.
Among the numerous entries, was that of Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, then a 23-year-old student of electrical engineering at Norwood Technical College in London. Pa. Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi’s design stood out for its simplicity and symbolism.
The Nigerian flag, which is a symbol of national pride and identity consists of three vertical stripes, two green stripes at the sides, and a white stripe in the middle. The green stripes represent Nigeria’s agricultural wealth, while the white stripe represents peace.
Together, they symbolize Nigeria’s hope for a prosperous and peaceful future. The judges were impressed with Akinkunmi’s design and chose it as the winner. On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained independence from British colonial rule, and the new flag was hoisted for the first time, symbolizing a new dawn of freedom and self-determination.
Sadly, after a fulfilling life, Pa. Akinkunmi died at the age of 87 years, in the early hours of Tuesday, August 29th, 2023 after a brief illness. One of his children announced his demise on his Facebook page. He wrote: “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.”
Pa. Akinkunmi, a native of Abeokuta in Ogun State was born on May 10, 1936 but lived in Ibadan until his demise.