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Pinkos - The Plastic Pink Flamingo Uprising


Pinkos –non-card carrying, long legged, gregarious wading birds that flock together as birds of a feather and form a plurality of “flamingos” or “flamingoes.” No small wonder the more vibrantly colored pinkos not only make a more desirable mate, but inspired the species proliferation of the popular, kitschy, stilted, plastic lawn ornaments of the Sixties. Most deserving of a standing ovation, the plastic pink flamingos were sold in pairs, with one standing upright, and the other with its head to the ground, feeding. Pinkos in their natural habitat are more often than not standing on one leg, presumably to conserve body heat while wading in cold waters.  

This popular sixties pinko was designed in 1957 by a man of plumage named Don Featherstone, while working for Union Products. Its creation won him the Ig Nobel Prize for Art in 1996. Perchance the flamboyant flamingo prompted Mark Barkan to write a song recorded by Manfred Mann in 1966 which became a hit single – “Pretty Flamingo”: When she walks, she moves so fine, like a flamingo…Some sweet day, I’ll make her mine, pretty flamingo. 

Do Wah Diddy Diddy! 

Featherstone’s creation spawned a lawn greeting industry. The “official” pinkos made by Union Products can be identified by Don Featherstone’s signature located on the rear underside of the flamingo. Alas, Union Products stopped pinko production in 2006.  HMC International LLC, a subsidiary of Faster-Form Corporation, purchased the copyright and plastic molds of the originals. Further migration ensued as HMC subcontracted flamingo production to Cado Manufacturing, Inc. In 2010, Cado purchased the copyrights and the entire Union Products line, including the pink flamingo. I hear there’s been a plastic pink flamingo uprising in popularity. 

For those of you with the limited vision of picturing front lawn flamingos in trailer parks, you may discreetly purchase a set of 6 in. long, pink flamingo swizzle sticks which come in a package of 8 and include free shipping from none other than a pink flamingo “web” site.  You may also want to lower the volume to “Pretty Flamingo” Cause  Paradise is where you’ll be…


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