I first saw a pink flamingo at the Philadelphia zoo in the late 1950s. Before that I had a sense of what a flamingo was from Alice in Wonderland, but that is kind of a stretch.
I don’t know when I first saw a plastic pink flamingo on a lawn.
Don Featherstone designed the plastic pink flamingo in 1957. He was working for Union Products at the time. It is an undeniable icon of American pop culture, the genesis of the lawn greeting industry. It is the prototype of lawn kitsch.
I have posted on garden gnomes, and so the frontier of lawn greeting art has been breached. Let’s check out the (mostly) plastic flamingo statues of Berkeley, starting with the two best:
There are several flamingo sculptures that are not plastic, but which clearly evoke the plastic flamingo.
And then – let’s bring on the plastic lawn art:
I showed my friend the photos. Before he commented, he had a spelling question. “I notice that you avoided the plural of flamingo. Is it flamingos or flamingoes.” I turned it back on him – “What do you think.”
Well, he had consulted with Gabby and had proof of “flamingos.”
“Well, that should settle it, no?”
“No.” He also had proof of “flamingoes.”
Gabby didn’t settle it. We consulted the Oxford English Dictionary. Both spellings are attested. So – no right answer. By the way – same thing with tornado in the plural.
That settled, I was anxious for his opinion of the photos.