The designer of Nigeria’s “Green-White-Green” flag, that symbolizes Peace and Agriculture, Pa. Taiwo Akinkunmi is dead.
Pa. Akinkunmi reportedly died in the early hours of Tuesday after a brief illness, He was 87.
One of his children confirmed his death in a Facebook post.
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.”
He attended Baptist Day School, Ibadan for his primary education and Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan for his secondary education.
Pa Akinkunmi started his career as a Civil Servant at the Secretariat of Ibadan and later traveled overseas to study Agricultural Engineering at Norway Technical College.
In 1958, during his stay abroad, he stumbled upon an advertisement in a national daily calling for the submission of designs for Nigeria’s national flag in view of Nigeria’s imminent Independence from British suzerainty.
His entry was adjudged the best among the roughly 2,000 entries submitted.
The original design of the flag featured a white band flanked by two green ones and a red sun with streaming rays located on the white band.
The sun was eventually removed by the screening committee to produce the present design.
Akinkunmi’s design was selected because of its ingenuity and profundity (the green bands represent the forests and abundant natural wealth of the country, while the white band represents peace).
The flag was officially hoisted on Independence Day (October 1, 1960) replacing the British Union Jack.
Akinkunmi was awarded 100 pounds by the government when his design was selected.
He also bagged national honors – Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) – bestowed on him by former President Goodluck Jonathan.