Nigerian Flag Designer Dies At 87

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The designer of the Nigerian national flag, Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi has passed on at 87.

Pa Akinkunmi’s death was announced on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, by his son Samuel Akinkunmi via a post on his Facebook page.

Samuel in the post wrote: “Life is indeed transient; I can say boldly you lived a life with a landmark. Continue to rest on, my father! Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (O.F.R) Great Man has gone.”

Akinkunmi was born in Ibadan. He lived with his father until he was 8 years old before he relocated to the Northern part of Nigeria.

He began his early education in the North. After his father’s retirement, he came down to the West and was re-enrolled at Baptist Day School, Idi-Ikan in Ibadan. He finished from the Baptist Day School Idi-kan in 1949 and proceeded to Ibadan Grammar School (IGS) in 1950 where he enjoyed a very good education.

Pa Akinkunmi left IGS in 1955 and took an appointment as an agriculturist at the Western Region Secretariat in Ibadan as a civil servant. He would then work for some years before gaining admission to the Norwood Technical College in London where he studied electrical engineering. While studying there, he designed the Nigerian Flag. He returned to Nigeria in 1963 and went back to the agricultural department at the secretariat in Ibadan to continue where he stopped.

He worked as a civil servant until 1994 and retired as Assistant Superintendent of Agriculture. He was honoured with Officer of the Order of Federal Republic (OFR) and honorary life presidential adviser on 29 September 2014 at the Conference Centre Abuja.

Designing Nigeria’s national flag

He entered the competition which he came across in a library. In his own words, “I took details of what is [to be] expected to design a flag that would be used by a country that was about to witness [its] independence. I took part in the competition and my design was selected as the best in the year 1958.” In 2021, Akinkunmi unveiled the world’s largest national flag in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.


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