Decorations with a flamingo motif originally became popular because they represented wealth.
Back in the 1920s, only those with money were able to relocate for the winter to balmy Florida. Since people associated flamingos with wealth and privilege.
And like much Florida, the bird became associated wealth and privilege, it was adopted by the middle class.
In 1951, this middle-class chic hit a new level of absurdity.
A young art student named Don Featherstone came up with the well-known bright, hollow, plastic yard flamingo.
His first two designs were failures: first a flat model, then a 3-D flamingo made of construction foam. The latter might have worked except it disintegrated too easily and dogs enjoyed chewing on it.
Finally, he hit upon the molded-plastic design, and the rest is history.
Now Featherstone is the vice president of Union Products of Massachusetts, the same company that has made his bird for half a century.
Today there are estimated to be more plastic lawn flamingos in the world than real ones.