When Nigeria gained independence in 1960 a new green-white-green tricolour flag was adopted. Designed by Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, the green stripes represent the wealth in the country and the white band represents peace. The Coat of Arms of Nigeria was adopted in 1960 and features a black shield with a white Y shape.
The flag is an adaptation of the winning entry from Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi in a competition held in 1959. Akinkunmi was a 23-year-old student at the time he designed the flag. He was studying at Norwood Technical College in London, England, when he saw an advertisement in a newspaper that submissions were being accepted for the design of a new national flag of Nigeria. The original submission had a red radiating sun badge in the central white vertical band with a green vertical band on each side. After the badge was removed by the judges, the flag has remained unchanged. It was first officially used on 1 October 1960, the day Nigeria was granted independence from the United Kingdom.
Nigeria has special ensigns for civil and naval vessels. Some of its states also have flags.