Goodbye to the ‘father’ of the iconic Pink Flamingo

By Shane Drew / June 29, 2015 / 1 comment


Who remembers the lawn ornament that graced front yards and gardens in the days of our youth? Although a staple in American culture, Australian homes were sometimes adorned with these little creatures in places that had small yards and even smaller gardens.

79 year old Donald Featherstone creator of the pink plastic lawn flamingo, the ultimate symbol of American lawn kitsch was relatively unknown for his contribution to American culture, passed away on June 22.

Donald was a trained sculptor with a classical art background. He created the flamingo in the late 1950’s for plastics company Union Products, modeling it after a bird he saw in National Geographic. In modern terms, the classic plastic bird became a viral hit at a time when simplicity was the key to a good life.

Millions of the pink birds have been sold since the first production run. Featherstone worked for Union for over 40 years, inventing literally hundreds of plastic products in that time. He rose through the ranks eventually being installed as President of the company before his retirement 16 years ago.

Sadly, he died in Fitchburg, Massachusetts after a long battle with Lewy body dementia.

So next time you see a Plastic Pink Flamingo, it may pay to reflect on the talent of a classic sculpture who became a father to the garden ornament on a larger scale.

One thought on “Goodbye to the ‘father’ of the iconic Pink Flamingo

  1. Sita

    Thanks Shane!

    Now I need to dash out and purchase an entire flock of Pink Flamingos to ornament our surrounds…
    Loved the introspection and insight in this bulletin. Going to have to look up his other works, the flamingos are certainly iconic.


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