Personal flag of Itsekiri chief Nana Olomu

Personal flag of Itsekri chief Nana Olomu (1852-1916). A red cotton flag, hand sewn with a printed Union Flag placed vertically in the canton. The name 'NANNA' is applied in white damask letters in the fly. There are wool-fabric loops along the top edge and a white strip at the hoist with small cord loops.

The title of 'Governor of Benin River' was given to Nana Olomu by the British in 1884. He exerted immense political power through a network of armed traders in palm oil working along the upper reaches of the river and he built a town in the mangrove swamps defended by flintlock guns and brass cannon. Partly through the machinations of a rival chief - Dogho, relations deteriorated with the acting Consul-General Ralph Moor In 1894. Following an attack on the cutter of HMS 'Alecto', which was inspecting Nana's fortifications, a British naval expedition captured his town of Ebrohimi. He fled to Lagos Colony, but was tried and exiled to the Gold Coast from 1894-1906. After his return to Nigeria he lived at the town of Koko.

Object Details

ID: AAA0556
Collection: Flags
Type: Flag
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Itsekri People
Events: Benin Expedition, 1894
Date made: Before 1894
People: Olomu, Nana
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: flag: 1498.6 x 3733.8 mm
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