Independence Shocker: Nigeria's flags designed abroad

Since I became aware of my Nigerian citizenship, I have always taken pride in all my country’s national symbols, including the national flag. This flag affirms that indeed, my country is independent. But I doubt if my reverence for that flag would remain intact, after what I heard on Hit 95.9 FM Calabar, this morning.

Christian Ita,  Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Cross River State, revealed on the breakfast show of that station that the national flag hoisted at the Millennium Park, Calabar, was imported from China. He added that even smaller flags have been imported from South Africa.

Meanwhile, that flag at the Millennium Park was a tourist attraction when it was first hoisted during the tenure of Donald Duke as Governor of Cross River State. It was said to be Africa’s tallest flag. Yet, it has just been revealed that it came from a foreign land. Unfortunately, that flag has currently lost its beauty. It looks tattered and faded. Judging from the Chief Press Secretary’s disclosure, it won’t be surprising if the replacement for that flag would still be shipped from abroad, despite the fact that Cross River State is currently establishing  what is being touted as Africa’s largest garment factory.

It would be recalled that Nigeria’s national flag was first hoisted on October 1, 1960,  when the country gained independence. It is an adaptation of a winning entry by Taiwo Akinkunmi, then a twenty-three-year-old student studying at Norwich Technical College in England. That flag has always had  green-white-green colors.


Curiously, a variant of the flag that has a coat of arms on the white stripe exists nowadays. One is yet to know if this is official. What is obvious is that it affects uniformity and it can’t be what Taiwo Akinkunmi and other champions of Nigeria’s independence struggle envisaged.

In recent years, Nigeria’s Independence Days had witnessed low-keyed celebrations. In particular, this year’s event  gave cause for sober reflections as a result of the economic recession in our country.

I propose that henceforth, October 1 should no longer be observed as public holiday in this country, until all imported national flags have been uprooted and replaced with locally designed flags. We cannot claim to be independent when our flag is still subservient.


  • Cornel Ellah

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