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Pink Flamingos Forever

By Gigi Steel

an image of a classic plastic pink flamingo

June 23 is National PINK Day! So what better time to learn about the molded-plastic bird that has graced countless yards for over 60 years?

In 1957, Artist Don Featherstone designed the yard ornament for Union Products. These elegant, long-legged birds added a festive, tropical, and whimsical ambiance to suburban yards. The popularity of plastic pink flamingos rose when they were seen in films and television shows.

The pink-feathered birds became the subject of pranks when they were removed from one yard and placed in another. They have been used as fund-raisers where hundreds of pink flamingos appear in your front yard and you must pay the charity to have them picked up.

The plastic pink flamingo is now an American icon. In 2006, Union Products closed, but fortunately for all pink flamingo lovers, the molds and copyrights were sold so that the iconic bird production could continue. Approximately 1,000 plastic pink flamingos are produced each day.

The question is: why the pink flamingo?

In the 1950s, the color pink was all the rage. There were pink appliances in kitchens, living rooms were decorated with a pink color scheme, bathrooms had pink sinks and tubs, and women wore pink as a way to reclaim their femininity after the War ended. Pink was the it color.

Even today, the color pink continues to make a statement, attract attention, and opinion like no other color. I don’t think any other bird would have caused the commotion or have had the lasting effect on our culture than the pretty, pink flamingo.

If you are looking to add a little kitsch to your life or front yard, look no further than our pink-feathered friend.


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