Monday, 19 December 2016


The Nigerian flag as approved by the Government of Nigeria

Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi as a young man

On January 1, 1900 the Royal Niger Company flag was lowered at Lokoja and in its place the Union Jack the British Colonial Government flag replaced it. The area that later came to be known and addressed as 'Nigeria' paid homage to the 'Union Jack' from 1900 to October 1st 1960. 

On October 27th, 1958 Britain (the Colonial Government) agreed that Nigeria would become an independent country on October 1st, 1960, the Colonial Government placed an advert in the newspaper requesting for entries for a new flag to replace the Colonial 'Union Jack' flag for the new Nigeria. Taiwo Akinkunmi an Ibadan born, twenty three year old, electrical engineering student of Norwood Technical College in London, while reading in a library (not CRIMMD LIBRARY) saw the advert and he sent in his entry of a 'red radiating sun badge in the center of three horizontal sizes of green, white and a green colours. Its width to length ratio was 1 to 2. The green represents agriculture while the white represents unity and peace. The red star, represented divine protection and guidance.

Dr James standing at the Lokoja spot where the Union Jack was 1st hosted

From among the many entries, the flag selection committee at their final selection dropped the red star in the middle of the whites and approved the green white and green, he was paid 100 pounds for his entry. On October 1st 1960 the flag was first officially hoisted on Nigeria's Independence Day, at the then Racecourse now Tafewa Belawa Square, the British Union Jack flag was lowered for the last time and replaced by Nigerian Green-White-Green flag, by 00.00 hours, in the presence of many dignitaries; including the outgoing Governor General Sir James Robertson and the Prime Minister Alhaji Sir Tafewa Belawa and that was the beginning of our independence.

The original flag designed by Taiwo Akinkunmi with the red sun in the center of the green white green

Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, aka "Flag Man", retired from the Nigerian civil service in 1993 due to illness. In 2008 Akinkunmi was given a cheque of two million naira as fee for his appearance on a MTN TV show - 'Who Deserves To Be A Millionaire' anchored by Frank Edoho, Pa was assisted during the show by Kate Henshaw and T-Mac.  On October 2010, he received his first award from the federal government, during Nigeria’s celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of independence and on October 2014, he received a national honour from President Goodluck Jonathan and a life time monthly salary of 800, 000 Naira.

Lowering Royal Niger Company flag at Lokoja jan 1, 1900 and hosting of Union Jack by the Colonial Govt

Lowering of the Union Jack and hoisting of the Nigerian flag green white green, by Sir James Robertson and Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa at the racecourse

Kate Henshaw, Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi and  T-Mac at the MTN 'Who Deserves To Be A Millionaire

Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi house in Ibadan

President Goodluck Jonathan decorating Pa Taiwo Akinkumi

Pa Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi 

Dr. James at the sport where the Green white was 1st hosted at the racecourse now Tafawa Balewa square

Which law authorised Nigerians to place the  coat of arm in the middle of our flag. This is NOT the flag of Nigeria

For many years, this spot of the handing over of flag was neglected and abandoned until 2012 when President Goodluck Jonathan renovated it and made it a tourist site. As at the time of my visit on September 27, 2016, there are dustbin vans, packed about 30 meters to the spot with waste bins lettering the areas. God bless Nigeria!


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