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Iconic Nigerian flag designer, Pa Taiwo Akinwumi, passes away at 84


Iconic Nigerian flag designer, Pa Taiwo Akinwumi, passes away at 84

Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (O.F.R), the talented designer behind the Nigerian national flag, has sadly passed away at the age of 84.

His son, Akinkunmi Akinwumi Samuel, announced the news of his father’s demise through a heartfelt Facebook post, stating, “Life is indeed transient; I can say boldly that you lived a life with a landmark. Continue to rest on, my father! Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (O.F.R), a great man, has gone.”

Born on May 10, 1936, in Owu, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Pa Akinwumi attended Baptist Day Secondary School in Ibadan for his primary education and Ibadan Grammar School for his secondary education. After working as a civil servant at Secretariat Ibadan, he went abroad to study Agricultural Engineering at Norway Technical College.

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In 1958, while studying abroad, Akinkunmi came across an advertisement in a national daily calling for flag design submissions for Nigeria’s impending independence from British governance. Inspired, he dedicated himself to creating his own entry and, among roughly 2,000 submissions, his design was ultimately chosen as the best.

The original design featured two green bands flanking a white band, with a red sun and streaming rays on the white band. The overseeing committee ultimately removed the sun, resulting in the flag’s current design.

Akinkunmi’s design was selected for its ingenuity and symbolism, with the green bands representing the country’s forests and abundant natural resources, while the white band symbolizes peace.

On Independence Day, October 1, 1960, the flag was officially hoisted, replacing the British Union Jack. The government awarded Akinkunmi 100 pounds for his winning design. He was also honored with the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) Award by President Goodluck Jonathan.

To celebrate his 77th birthday, a Christian organization called G-Next organized a home makeover for his residence in Ibadan.

Pa Taiwo Akinwumi’s passing is a significant loss for Nigeria, as he leaves behind a remarkable legacy as the designer of the national flag, which serves as a symbol of unity, strength, and pride for the nation.

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