Good news about Pink Flamingos …

pink flamingos… that doesn’t involve John Waters.

According to the AP and Channel 9 in Syracuse, N.Y.:

The original pink flamingo lawn ornament, the symbol of kitsch whose obituary was nearly written after its central Massachusetts manufacturer went out of business, is rising phoenix-like from the ashes and taking wing to Central New York.

A manufacturer that bought the copyright and plastic molds for the original version plans to resume production in Westmoreland. …

The ornaments hit the market in the late 1950s when the color pink was in vogue, and America’s exploding population of suburbanites sought to add flair to their lawns.

But the birds also came to symbolize bad taste, and some residential developments even banned flamingo ornaments from lawns. The bird also became a target of pranksters, some of whom swiped the ornaments from front yards, took them on the road, and then sent photos to their owners showing the kidnapped birds in front of sights like the Grand Canyon.

pink flamingosLocally, I know of one garden tour that arrived with the host (who was along with the tour that day) to find the hosts yard filled with a flock of the pink plastic beauties. It’s called ‘flocking’. At least one Florida church youth group sells flocking insurance as a fund-raiser.

I’ve never had an authentic Featherstone flamingo. But when our new local garden center opens, I’m going straight to the manager and demand they carry them. Read more about pink flamingos.

Don Featherstone, who created the classic pink flamingo in ’57. Union Products sold more than 20 million.

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10 thoughts on “Good news about Pink Flamingos …”

  1. The pink flamingo is an American icon regardless of its’ tackiness! I don’t have any but they make me laugh out loud! I’m glad to hear they will be back. I think I would like a solar lighted one or twenty flanking the walkway! :)

  2. I had a pair of the plastic birds in my last garden, and I loved the reaction they got from people who didn’t get the tongue-in-cheek humor.

    Pots & Plants, an Austin nursery, has a huge flock at the entrance to their store, making it a landmark of kitsch: http://www.plasticpinkflamingos.com/. To celebrate local hero Lance Armstrong’s victory in the Tour de France, they painted them all yellow: http://www.brazoscyclists.org/lancecentral.html (scroll down).

  3. What a relief…I lived in Florida for three years, and upon my departure, ‘friends’ (in quotes) tied an original Featherstone on my car has a hood ornament – it was hilarious, and it lasted all of the way up to Charleston. But unfortunately, I passed it on (some joke played along the way, I’m sure). Thanks to NY for keeping them off the endangered species list!

  4. Ah! This is good. I had only heard about the plant shutting down a couple of weeks ago. I notice you refer to a new garden center. Any details you can give? Thanks!

  5. I have a bona fide fear of birds of the feathered variety and so pink flamingos, of the plastic variety, are one of my favorite birds. I once did my bathroom as a pink flamingo sanctuary. It didn’t help much with my phobia, but it was a great conversation starter.

  6. I once had an Elvis shrine in a bathroom. It was a joke. But it did scare some of our kids’ friends. Some of their parents too, come to think of it.

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