The Nigerian flag is among the Nation’s National symbols, but have you ever wondered how it’s design came about? Here, we bring you a brief history of the flag and certain facts you might not have known.
Here are some Facts About the Nigerian Flag…
The design of the Nigerian flag was made by Mr. Michael Taiwo Akinkumi in 1959. The Yoruba man was born in Ibadan on the 10th of May, 1936. As an electrical engineering student at the Norwood Technical College, London, he came across an advertisement in the national daily paper about a competition for the design of the national flag, he immediately picked interest and submitted his entry to the panel in Lagos State. Mr Taiwo deservedly emerged the winner, and was awarded a whopping prize of 100,000 naira, this was like a fortune, back in the days. His original design had an image of a red blazing sun in the white space of the flag, modifications made by the judges removed the sun to give the flag its present green, white, and green appearance.
Mr. Taiwo has been recognized by various individuals and organizations, the most recent is the National award, Officer of the order of Federal Republic (OFR) presented by President Jonathan on 29th September, 2014. Prior to the National Award, Mr Taiwo was perceived by most Nigerians to be dishonoured and abandoned by the government as his average state of living was nothing, compared to other Nigerian heroes. Nigerians saw this as undeserving for a man who made such an outstanding contribution to the Nation. Although when asked in an interview, the humble Mr. Akinkunmi said he has been living well and lacked no needs. This led Mr. President to place him on a lifetime salary equivalent to that of a special assistant. Thanks to Mr. President, Mr Taiwo finally got a befitting honour. He currently resides in Ibadan, Oyo state.
Description and Meaning of The Nigerian Flag
The Nigerian flag has three vertical stripes of equal sizes, the left and right stripes are green while the centre stripe is white.The central white stripe symbolizes the River Niger bisecting the countryside and also represents the nations passion for peace and unity, while the two green stripes on either sides of the white stripe represents the nations evergreen vegetation and agriculture. Probably, you might not have known that the Nigerian flag has standard measuring dimensions, a big flag, measures 1.2 meters in breadth and 2.4 m in length a medium size, 0.9 m by 1.8 m, and a small size measures 0.6m by 1.2 m.
Some Facts and Rules
1. The flag was first officially hoisted on Nigeria’s first Independence day, the 1st of October 1960.
2. The Nigerian flag is ought to be shown utmost respect, no emblem or flag is to be flown or placed higher than it.
3. Old and worn-out and dirty flags should not be displayed publicly, as this is seen as disrespect to the country. Worn-out flags should be destroyed and changed immediately.
4 . The flag is not only a national symbol but also the instrument of state power and the symbol of authority. It narrates the history, dreams and aspirations of the Nigerians people.
5. The Nigerian national flag is hoisted and flown in a smart manner accompanied with a ceremony at dawn in the morning, and lowered in a similarly at sunset in the evening, that is 6 a.m and 6 p.m respectively.
6. It can be laid out flat horizontally only on quite rare occasions. The only time the flag isn’t hoisted at its peak is during state funerals or memorial days where it is flown at half mast as a sign of respect.
7. When carried in procession, the bearer is positioned in front and must be properly and neatly dressed.
8. Also in a procession where there are two flags with one being non-national, the national flag should always be in front.
9. Only special dignitaries are allowed to display the national flag in their vehicles, and should be displayed at the right fender of the car chassis or on the radiator cap.
The Nigerian flag is governed by the Coat-of-Arms and Flag Ordinance of 1960. This law makes it illegal for the national flag to be displayed or used improperly. Section five of the law states that any person who exhibits or flies the flag in a bad or defaced condition will be guilty of a certain offence against the ordinance.