A nonagenarian who designed Nigeria’s flag, Pa. Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi (OFR), is dead.
Pa. Akinkunmi, aged 93, died in the early hours of Tuesday after a brief illness.
His demise was announced via the Facebook account of one of his children.
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 Akinwumi, a native of Abeokuta, Ogun State, was born on May 10, 1936, but lived in Ibadan until his demise.
He attended Baptist Day Secondary School, Ibadan, for his Primary education and Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan, for his Secondary education.
He started his career as a Civil Servant at the Secretariat of Ibadan and later travelled overseas to study Agricultural Engineering at Norway Technical College.
In 1958, during his stay abroad, Akinkunmi stumbled upon an advertisement in a national daily calling for the submission of designs for the Nigerian national flag in view of Nigeria’s imminent Independence from British governance.
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 was located on the white band.
The sun was eventually done away with by the overseeing 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) instead of the British Union Jack.
Akinkunmi was awarded 100 pounds by the government when his design was selected.
He has also been honoured with the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger) Award by President Goodluck Jonathan.