TAIWO AKINKUNMI: The Brain Behind The Nigerian Flag

TAIWO AKINKUNMI: The Brain Behind The Nigerian Flag

Taiwo Akinkunmi OFR is a retired Nigerian civil servant. He is famous for designing Nigeria’s national flag, and he is commonly called “Mr. Flag Man”.


Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi was born 10 May 1936 in Ibadan, of Yoruba origin, the older of a set of twins. He lived with his father until age 8 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 Baptist Day School Idi-kan in 1949 and proceeded to Ibadan Grammar School (IGS) in 1950 where he enjoyed a very good education.

He 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 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, as his submission for an ongoing competition at the time.

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.”

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 honored with Officer of the order of Federal Republic (OFR) and honorary life presidential adviser on 29 September 2014 at the conference centre Abuja.

By Oluwamayowa Akinyemi

Oluwamayowa Akinyemi
Oluwamayowa Akinyemi is a digital and web content developer with experience in web content development and management as well as research and writing. He is an avid reader of random subject matters and a sucker for movies and video games. He is also passionate about youth empowerment and is a global affairs analyst and enthusiast.
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