WE at The National have consistently highlighted examples of Union-Jackery – the act of branding products with the Union Flag – from Mini tail-lights to National Trust for Scotland Highland Coo aprons and, of course, Scottish food.

So, as an experiment, we tried to buy some chicken for a curry night and discovered that in three of the country’s biggest supermarkets its packaging was branded with the Union Jack.

In the event we settled for produce from a local butcher, but we sent the same email to Morrison’s, Tesco and Asda, to see what they had to say about it.

“The Union Jack branding on much of your produce is grossly offensive to those of us who do not identify as British,” we wrote.

“It was bad enough when you hid the only newspaper to support Scottish Independence, The National … but plastering food with the flag is beyond a joke.”

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Morrison’s was unrepentant, and a customer service adviser replied: “The UK is an incorporated partnership of four countries which have each earned the right and respect to be recognized individually.

“The use of the Union Jack is our way of embracing that partnership which has stood many tests over time.

“We have now started to use the Scottish Saltire flag on some products from Scotland and hope this trend continues throughout the British range in the future.”

Tesco said there had been no change in how they used the Saltire and, to be fair, some of their meat products did display the Scottish flag.

Customer services told us: “We are extremely proud to be Scottish agriculture’s biggest customer, as any customer visiting our stores or buying our products in Scotland will see.”

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Asda tried to wriggle out of it disingenuously, and claimed: “As you may not be aware the Union Flag is the Third Party Logo linked to the Red Tractor Food Standards which illustrates that the product has been sourced and produced responsibly.

“This has nothing to do with any independent region of the country but merely to highlight to customers that they can trust the product they are purchasing.”

The chain did not respond when we pointed out that Red Tractor has no say over Scottish produce and only “promotes and regulates food quality in England, Northern Ireland and Wales”.

We added: “Food Standards Scotland on the other hand is a non-ministerial department of the Scottish Government … responsible for food safety, food standards, nutrition, food labelling and meat inspection in Scotland’.”

We did seek a further comment from Asda’s PR department, but by the time we went to print none had been forthcoming.

Oh, and the Scottish chicken curry was excellent.