plastic pink flamingo voted official bird of madison, wisconsin

UW- Madison student Joan ODonnell takes a break on Bascom Hill on September 5, 1979, amid a flock of pink plastic flamingos put up as a prank by the Pail and Shovel Party of the Wisconsin Student Association. The Madison City Council voted 15-4 on Tuesday to give the plastic bird the distinction of the citys bird. (Photo courtesy L. Roger Turner)

UW- Madison student Joan O'Donnell takes a break on Bascom Hill on September 5, 1979, amid a flock of pink plastic flamingos put up as a prank by the Pail and Shovel Party of the Wisconsin Student Association. The Madison City Council voted 15-4 on Tuesday to give the plastic bird the distinction of the city's bird. (Photo courtesy L. Roger Turner)

the plastic pink flamingo was officially named the city of madison, wisconsin’s official bird after a 15-4 vote by the city council. according to an npr story:

It’s in honor of a college prank committed 30 years ago. University of Wisconsin students planted more than 1,000 of the pink plastic birds outside the dean’s office.

according to the chicago tribune:

The reason dates to the classic 1979 prank orchestrated by leaders of the Pail and Shovel Party, which were in charge of student government at the University of Wisconsin at the time. They organized the surprise placement of more than 1,000 pink plastic flamingos on Bascom Hill, the steep incline that leads to the dean’s office.

like the plastic pink flamingos themselves, the madison city council’s decision is tacky, but fun.

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