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Taiwo Akinkunmi

Taiwo Akinkunmi




Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi OFR, born on May 10, 1936, in Ibadan, Nigeria, was a distinguished civil servant renowned for his pivotal role in designing Nigeria's national flag. Affectionately known as Mr. Flag Man, Akinkunmi's legacy is deeply intertwined with the symbolism and pride of Nigeria's identity.

Growing up of Yoruba descent, Akinkunmi began his education in the Northern part of Nigeria before relocating back to the West. He received his early schooling at Baptist Day School, Idi-Ikan, Ibadan, and later attended Ibadan Grammar School (IGS), where he excelled academically.

In 1955, Akinkunmi embarked on a career as an agriculturist at the Western Region Secretariat in Ibadan, serving as a civil servant. His pursuit of knowledge led him to Norwood Technical College in London, where he studied electrical engineering. It was during his time in London that he conceived the design for Nigeria's national flag, a momentous contribution to the nation's heritage.

Returning to Nigeria in 1963, Akinkunmi resumed his civil service duties at the agricultural department in Ibadan. His dedication to public service was recognized in 1994 when he was appointed as an Assistant Superintendent of Agriculture and honored as an Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR). Additionally, he received the distinction of being an honorary life presidential adviser, a testament to his commitment and achievements.

Akinkunmi's most enduring legacy lies in his design of Nigeria's national flag. Inspired by a competition he stumbled upon in a library, Akinkunmi meticulously crafted a symbol that embodied the aspirations and unity of a nation on the brink of independence. His design was unanimously chosen as the best in 1958, cementing his place in Nigerian history.

Throughout his life, Akinkunmi was a devoted family man, married with children. His passing on August 29, 2023, marked the end of an era, but his contributions to Nigeria's identity and spirit endure. In 2021, he unveiled the world's largest national flag in Ibadan, a fitting tribute to his remarkable legacy.


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