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The Suspicious Meaning of Pink Flamingos

We could use plenty of words to explain the plastic flamingos people put in their campsites. While cute and iconic are two of the best words to describe them, misunderstood is also at the top of the list.

It’s not uncommon to see flamingos at a campsite, but what’s the purpose? Why do campers display flamingos in their camp? Is there some secret meaning?

Today, we’ll do our best to answer those questions so you’ll know the truth behind the flocks of flamingos you’re seeing.

Let’s jump in!

What Are Plastic Pink Flamingos?

They’re not as common as they once were, but you’ll see a house with a pink flamingo in their yard now and then. If the metal stakes holding the plastic pink flamingos in the ground aren’t a dead giveaway, these aren’t real. 

Plastic pink flamingos are nothing new and have been landing in yards for the past several decades. Many homeowners like how these fake, long-legged birds look in their yards. Since they don’t require any food and you don’t have to clean up after them, there are certainly worse animals you could choose to have in your yard. 

About Plastic Pink Flamingos

The plastic pink flamingos that many people have come to love have been appearing in yards since 1957. The first flamingo lawn decorations were a product of Union Products in Leominster, Massachusetts. The company hired Don Featherstone, a local sculptor, to create a mold for the plastic birds. After two weeks of hard work, Featherstone presented the first 3D version of the birds.

The plastic pink flamingos became wildly popular in the years following World War II. This was primarily due to the massive boom in the construction of homes. With many Americans looking to settle down, immense communities of homes began sprouting up all over the place.

Since building fast was the goal, many of the homes looked very similar to one another. As a result, homeowners placed these plastic pink flamingos in their yards to help differentiate their homes from the rest.

Why Do Campers Put Flamingos in Their Campsite?

There are a couple of reasons why campers put flamingos in their campsite. One is the apparent reason, and the other is a little less obvious. However, it can be challenging to tell the difference between the two.

Here are a couple of reasons why campers use flamingos at their campsite.

Lawn Decoration

The most obvious reason campers put flamingos in their campsite is to enhance the look and atmosphere. They use a variety of decorations, including plastic pink flamingos, to decorate their temporary camping space. People may place these lawn decorations in the grass or area around their campsite to create a relaxing vibe.

Luckily, most campgrounds are rather generous and allow campers to decorate their campsites within reason. These plastic lawn decorations can be a cheap and effective way to increase a camp and help it to stand out from the rest.

Swinging Lifestyle

The less obvious reason campers put flamingos at their campsite is to identify themselves as a part of the swinging lifestyle. Various groups adopt symbols to represent themselves, and some swinging groups have adopted the flamingo.

Those who want to meet or interact with others with the same lifestyle will use the appropriate symbol to make it easier for others to spot them. This is a very subtle method for attracting like-minded individuals no matter what group they identify with.

What Are Swingers?

Swingers are couples who are open in their sexual relationships. Swinging can also go by wife-swapping or partner-swapping, but the results are the same.

Swingers will often participate in trading partners or group sex events. These can be one-time or regular events based on the situation. However, it’s not something most participants shout from the rooftops, thus the pink flamingo yard decorations.

Is Swinging Common in Camping?

Psychology Today estimates that 4% of adults participate in swinging activities. Since there’s no direct connection between camping and swinging, it’s safe to say that the 4% estimate applies to the camping community too. So while it’s not common in the camping community, it isn’t completely unheard of either.

However, it’s rare enough that you shouldn’t assume a flamingo at your neighbor’s campsite means they’re inviting you for a sexual encounter. If you do, you might be promptly escorted out of the park.

What Other Symbols Do Swingers Use?

Plastic flamingos are just one symbol that swingers will use to alert others that they are practicing the lifestyle. A more common or popular sign that swingers will use is an upside-down pineapple. 

Swingers will place either a fake or actual pineapple upside down at their campsite to notify others of their lifestyle. In addition, some will wear a pin on their shirt or earrings that are upside down.

Flamingos Could Be a Lawn Decoration or Symbol for Swingers

While flamingos can symbolize an alternative lifestyle in the bedroom, that’s not always the case. The odds are that the individual displaying the flamingos simply enjoys them as a lawn decoration or finds them humorous. With such a small percentage of couples practicing swinging, it’s not likely that every instance of a flamingo will have a hidden meaning. 

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