What Do Flamingos and Pineapples at Campgrounds Mean?

There’s a dirty little secret abounding in campgrounds and RV parks all across America! Rumors are flying that flamingos and pineapples at campgrounds are some secret code that some campers use to show a different kind of hospitality. But does that mean that Grandma’s pink flamingos and pineapple yard art mean she’s one of them? How could something so innocent as those retro mingos or spikey fruit turn into such scathing innuendos?

Those delightfully tacky yard art seems to be springing up everywhere at campgrounds. From garden flags, solar lights and welcome mats and signs, campers are putting it all out there…literally.

And this is where it leads us; finding out what the secret squirrel reasoning behind flamingos and pineapples really are.

So, let’s get down and dirty and see what the hoopla is all about. And, if it’s true or some made up fantasy?

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What Do Flamingos and Pineapples Signify at Campgrounds?

Pineapples and Flamingos in Campground

Since we’ve been full-time RVing, we’ve camped at hundreds of campgrounds and RV parks all across the United States.

Once we’d get our motorhome set up, we’d step out for a stroll to stretch our legs and check out the campground’s facilities. We also like to nose around to see what’s new (and old) in RVs.

But, we’ve been noticing something considerably odd at some campsites. I’m talking about pineapples on picnic tables, funky garden flags, pineapple yard art and camping lights, etc. And there’s seemingly a lot of them but it’s not exactly the fact that they have them but how they are being displayed.

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What does the pineapple mean?

Campground Swingers - Pineapples on Picnic Table

Dating back to early Christian art of the 1500s and 1600s, the pineapple symbolized prosperity and eternal life.

And then a century or two later, pineapples became a symbol for the colonized America; welcome, prosper, worship as you will.

In the days of wooden ships and salty-bearded seafarers, sea captains would bring back exotic fruits and gifts from foreign lands. Once his sailing ship returned to homeport, Captain Morgan would place a pineapple on his doorstep as a welcoming invitation for his neighbors and friends to visit and sample the fruits of his labor and tell stories of his seafaring adventures.

Today, the pineapple is recognized as a traditional expression of welcome throughout United States; especially  the southern region.

That same piney tropical fruit still symbolizes those intangible assets we appreciate in our homes: warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality.

But, as you know, America isn’t quite the same as it was some 300 years ago. There’s a looming question still on our minds…

Why are pineapples turned upside down? 

Pineapples and Flamingos in Campground - Pineapple Sticker on Car

In the land of the free and easy, those upside down pineapples do indeed symbol something.

Are you ready for this? *drum roll*

They are like some secret squirrel smoke signal for Swingers looking for a little action (or re-action?). It’s like their own little welcome mat for ‘birds of the same feather’.

KRMG.com cites,

“Due to the pineapple symbolism, swingers have adopted the fruit to let other like minded people know that they are welcome and want to connect.”

Now, my question would be, “why advertise this kind of lifestyle at a generic campground to begin with?”

Is it because the camping or nomadic lifestyle may lend itself to people being lonely and this is a way to advertise that they’re sexually deprived? 

According to a free love sex group which I care not to advertise their website, it’s how you display a pineapple that signals that they’re “open for business”.

The pineapple must be displayed upside down.

So, regardless if you’re gay, straight, middle of the road or teetering on the edge, you just be sure to display your pineapple as you intend. Otherwise, you may get quite an brow-raising knock at your door or unwelcome cat call to action!!

What do Flamingos signify?

Campground Swingers - Pink Flamingos Yard Art

Now Grandma, I get it. You’re wondering why your ‘mingos are getting caught in this. Before you start boxing up your pink flamingos, I suggest you keep reading.

Now, according to useless information, those retro pink plastic flamingos actually date back to the 1950’s. Their popularity grew exponentially. But, it was short lived. People packed up the trendy birds and stuffed them away in their attics.

 But, a few decades later, Grandma’s kids and grandkids dug them out and though they were pretty cool. And out they came, speared into gardens and lawns all across America. Then, they started flocking back to campgrounds to go with the refurbished retro campers. Once that happened, we started seeing them in stores everywhere; even Amazon.

But this time, there’s rumor they too, have ulterior meanings. Fictionally, those pink plastic flamingos are often used as a symbol of kitsch and being insultingly cheap.

Now, the reality is, like pineapples symbolize all their great things, flamingos are portrayed as symbols of peace, beauty, balance, grace, femininity and innocence. Flamingos also represent femininity, confidence and innocence.

Wait, did I say ‘innocence’?

In campgrounds all across the United States, similar to pineapples, flamingos are assumedly something more than just some fun campsite art. To some, mingos are allegedly some secret squirrel society symbols that hint other Swingers to come over and play as well.

But I’m here to say, that’s just not true!

So Grandma, you don’t have to pack away your pink flamingos. Because the swinger connotation of flamingos just isn’t true. It’s just the pineapples…upside down pineapples.

Now, let’s get to the real dirty little secret…

Swingers in Campgrounds

According to the Urban Dictionary, a Swinger is “a person who dates and sleeps with multiple people at the same time”.

As I was doing a little investigating to get the down and dirty answers, I was shocked to find a website, Swing Lifestyle and it has a subset, Campground Swingers Site.

What’s ironic is at the time of myself writing this article in Podunk, South Dakota, it showed “There are a total of 2842 Campground swingers, within 100 miles.” Did I mention we were in PODUNK, South Dakota? They must really get bored there, no?

Okay then! I guess this takes those internet dating sites to a whole new level; making eharmony, Match, Farmers Only and even Silver Singles look like Boy Scout Tiger Cub meets Girl Scout Brownie. 

Anyway, the deeper I dug into the internet abyss, I found myself teetering closer and closer to the dark web. Holding my breath, out of curiosity, I clicked to see where my research was taking me.

One site, Swingular, will have you explore your wild side. Funny thing is, they actually have a dedicated page Lifestyle RV Parks & Campgrounds. HA! We’re onto something here!

And, the more I further dug into that website, Swingers in campgrounds definitely is a thing.

So, let’s get back to the flamingos and pineapples.

Is there an assumed correlation between these yard art objects? Or, is it some made up rumored urban legend like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Area 51 and horny mythical unicorns?

And since I’m not a Swinger (and don’t plan to be!), I still found this to be quite interesting. Is there something else we don’t know about? Do Swingers also send smoke signals with their campfires to communicate their open-door policy.

But the question still remains, are those tropical yard art objects invitational gestures of hospitality of another kind?

Who knows? At least I don’t…or won’t. But if you think I’m done with this, keep reading.

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What’s other RV campers have to say?

Pineapples and Flamingos in Campground - Pineapple Swingers Welcome Mat

What’s actually humorous is this discussion about this taboo lifestyle hits the RV Facebook pages regularly. And this is what prompted me to write this article.

I couldn’t resist collecting a few comments from some of those discussions regarding Swingers leaving fruity cues to their open door policy.

As these could be a bit embarrassing, I left out last names to protect the innocent (or guilty?).

“…it seems to be the case that quite a few swingers use flamingos as a sign of availability and pineapples on the door or porch as a signal that some shenanigans are going on right then.” -Rob C.

“If the flamingo thing is true, my Mom has a whole other side to her that I never would’ve guessed.” -Scott W.

“I like flamingoes and had no idea about this, so i could have had some confusing conversations.” -David H.

But then, there are RV park naysayers who believe swingers using tropical fruit and pink plastic foo foo birds is just a bunch of hogwash.

“Some people just like pineapples and flamingos, keep in mind. Pineapples are still an indication of hospitality in my mind, for instance. I don’t think it’s a rule, per se. I’m aware now of the potential implications but I definitely try not to assume a single thing. Could get you in trouble!” -Jennifer J.

“Flamingos and pineapples outside your RV as decor mean you’re a great neighbor who’s gracious and caring.” -Hannah C.

“These are just dumb urban legends. No one in those lifestyles are using those as signals, and most people with those things out have nothing to do with that lifestyle. This is just people trying to find ways to judge others.” -Lee L.

I can tell you the 75 year old lady in a RV in Florida that has a huge collection of flamingos in her campsite did not put them there to attract swingers. There are plenty of other ways to meet people in those lifestyles that do not requires a bat signal.” -Lee L.

This makes for some interestingly fun campfire conversation, doesn’t it?

So, if you’re not into this whole “playing well with others”, you can still have your flamingos and pineapples at campgrounds or even in your yards at home. Just don’t turn your pineapples upside down.

Final thoughts on what flamingos and pineapples at campgrounds mean?

I guess we’ve debunked the Swingers’ myth of flamingos and pineapples at campgrounds. If you’re into the swinger lifestyle, now you know what to look for. But if you’re not a Swinger, you’ll at least get a little chuckle when you do see them. The upside down pineapples, that is!

And now that I’ve finished this blog article, I feel like I need a cigarette! 

DISCLAIMER: This article was written for fun and tongue-in-cheek humor entertainment. Always On Liberty and their writers will not be held liable for any relationship or marriage breakups or issues because of this article. If you’re offended by what was in this article…sorry, not sorry. 🦩🍍

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