The Nigerian flag was designed in 1959, and it was first officially hoisted on the 1st of October 1960. The Nigerian national flag was adapted from the winning entry of a certain competition that took place in 1959. The original flag had a red sun displaying steaming rays situated on top of the white stripe.
The Nigerian national flag was designed by a student named Michael Taiwo Akinkumi. He was from Owu in Abeokuta, and was a student at the Norwich Technical College when he came across an advertisement in the national daily that entries for the design of a national flag were being accepted. Akinkumi prepared an entry quickly and sent it to Lagos city where it was eventually picked by judges in 1958 as the best. His flag design was used to celebrate the independent Nigerian country on 1st October 1960, when the union flag was lowered for it to take its place on the pole. Akinkumi has received many awards from organisations and individuals, and now lives in Ibadan.
Description and Symbolism of The Flag
The Nigerian flag three vertical stripes of equal size- the left and right stripes are green while the centre stripe is white. The two green stripes represent the agricultural industry of the country, together with its lush vegetation. The white stripe is symbolic of River Niger bisecting the countryside and represents the desire for unity and peace within the nation.
Respect To The Nigerian Flag
When the flag of Nigeria is flying, no other insignia, emblem or flag should be placed above it. Worn out or old flags should never be put on display. When a flag becomes old, mutilated or torn, it should be destroyed through burning or through any other respectful method. It is an offence according to the Nigerian law for the flag to be improperly displayed or used.
Nigeria Flag Laws
The Nigeria flag is governed by the Coat-of-Arms and Flag ordinance of 1960. It is also the instrument of state power and the symbol of authority. It is the only national symbol that is worth dying for, next to mother earth. It narrates the history of the Nigerian people, their dreams and aspirations.
Treatment Of The Nigeria Flag
The Nigerian national flag is hoisted and flown briskly and ceremoniously at sunrise and in the morning, and lowered in a similar manner at sunset in the evening, that is from 6am to 6pm. The flag does not sleep, and should always be hung. It can be laid out flat horizontally only on quite rare occasions. It is usually flown at the hoist’s peak except during state funerals or memorial days as a show of respect.
National flag Law
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.
The Nigerian flag dimensions are a simple ratio of its length that is twice that of its breadth. It takes a square shape when folded into two in a length wise manner. For a big flag, is has a breadth of 1.2 meters and a length of 2.4 meters; medium sized has a width and length of 0.9 and 1.8 meters, while small sized has 0.6 and 1.2 meters respectively.
Instances of Display
In case the national flag is being carried in a procession, the carrier must be in front, properly and neatly dressed. When there are two flags but one is not national, the national flag should always be in front. In addition, when a group of flags are in display, it should be at the centre and placed higher than all the others.
Perceived Lack of Honour for Designer
Taiwo Akinkuni, the person who designed the Nigeria flag, is a man who commands respect and honour among millions of Nigerians. It is quite surprising that a person who did such a great thing for the country was not honored as other national heroes.
Flag Use on Cars
The only cars that are allowed to use the flag are those of special dignitaries. It should be attached to right fender of the car chassis or mounted on the radiator cap.