From the web:
The Flamingo Boom
During the 1920's, Florida was the hottest vacation spot in the United States. Tens of thousands of real estate speculators and tourists swarmed to the semitropical state...and many brought home souvenirs bearing pictures of a bizarre pink bird that lived there - the flamingo.
In the north, these items - proof that the owners were rich enough to travel to exotic places - became status symbols. Everyone wanted them. So manufacturers started incorporating flamingos into a variety of new product designs.
They were so popular that by the 1950s, the image of a flamingo was as much a part of the middle-class America as Wonder Bread or poodles.
The Lawn Flamingo
In 1952, the Union Plastics Company of Massachusetts introduced the first flamingo lawn ornament. It was "flat and unappealing."
To boost sales, the company decided to offer a more lifelike, three-dimensional flamingo. But the second generation of lawn flamingos "was made of construction foam and fell apart rather quickly," recalls a company executive. "Dogs loved to chew it up."
Finally, in 1956
, Union Plastics hired a 21-year-old art student named Don Featherstone to sculpt a new lawn flamingo. "I got a bunch of nature books and started studying them," says Featherstone. "Finally, I sculpted one, I must say it was a beautiful looking thing."
The first atomic-pink molded plastic lawn flamingo went on sale in 1957
. It was an immediate success; in the next decade, Americans bought millions of them. But by the 1970s, lawn flamingos were "gathering dust on the hardware store shelves along with other out-of-date lawn ornaments such as the scorned sleeping Mexican peasant and the black jockey." In 1983, the New York Times ran an article title "Where Did All Those (Plastic) Flamingos Go?"
Then suddenly, lawn flamingos were flying again. 1985 was a record year, with 450,000 sold in the United States. Why the resurgence? Critics suggest a combination of nostalgia and the popularity of the television show "Miami Vice." "They are a must for the hottest new social events - 'Miami Vice' parties," reported a California newspaper in 1986.
Featherstone never got any royalties for his creation. But he did become a vice president of Union Plastics... and in 1987, he was honored when the company started embossing its flamingos with his signature. "I'm getting my name pressed into the rump of every flamingo that goes out that door," he announced proudly.
from : http://www.geocities.com/pcypages/flamingo.html
The ones sold in a box of two from the Airstream store are the current "original" Pink Flamingos.
Union Products site (maker of the bird)