TESCO has removed the Saltire from packaging on its Scottish-grown fruit following complaints from south of the border.
The retail giant featured a prominent Saltire on strawberries, raspberries and other fruit sold throughout the UK.
But the flag has been replaced with the Union Jack – including in Scotland – after English customers complained that berries grown south of the border did not feature the St George cross.
Tesco have admitted they took the decision to “avoid further criticism” and that the area of the UK where their fruit has come from will still be printed on the packaging.
The row blew up after an eagle-eyed customer noticed the saltire on her Scottish-grown fruit had been replaced.
Eileen Brown tweeted the firm: “Tesco used to mark Scottish produce with saltire. Now you use Union flag. Please say why. Is it #casualracism? #Scotland.”
Eileen added: “Mostly raspberries and strawberries which I like to know are Scottish. Hope it’s not being caused by #Brexit.”
Tesco with a series of five tweets, starting with the admission that “over the past year we received several customer complaints regarding Scottish flags on strawberries in England”.
The firm added: “English customers criticised us why we do not apply the English flag on English berries and why we do for Scottish berries.
“When the category went through corporate re-design, it was decided to have British packaging only to avoid further criticism.
“Product origin is printed on each punnet ie customers in Scotland will be allocated with Scottish fruit and this is visible.”
Checks at store in Edinburgh today (tue) confirmed that the saltire has been replaced with the union flag on Scottish-grown strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Even Scottish potatoes are now British under Tesco’s new system. The only exception was the iceberg lettuce, grown in Scotland and still proudly boasting a saltire.
Twitter users hit out at the Tesco for the change including @HelenRumbold who wrote: “This is another reason I now shop at Aldi. Cheaper and local as possible produce.”
@Iorac364 commented: “Opened a can of worms there, or maybe just a punnet of prejudice.”
And @Boba_H_Fett joked: “Good luck finding Scottish bananas.”
Other customers saw nothing wrong with the flag change.
@HFT3102000 wrote: “I’m happy with the union flag thanks.”
And @DavidDavidgille commented: “You must have a great and easy life if this is all you have to worry about.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “To provide consistency for customers, we mark all of our homegrown fresh berries with a Union flag.
“The country of origin is also clearly displayed on pack.”