WALKERS shortbread is facing criticism for using the Union Jack as part of the brand when selling abroad rather than the Scottish flag.
The Moray-based company which sells in over 60 countries has been the subject of online criticism with some saying it should be promoting Scotland.
The company has issued a statement that said: "Walkers Shortbread is a family company which has been established in the Highlands of Scotland for 120 years.
"We take great pride in our Scottish heritage, and we work closely within our community as a key employer for our area, Speyside.
"We have a dedicated and loyal local workforce of longterm employees, and the family values of the company come from generations of family ownership.
"One of our key business principles is maintaining our manufacturing in Scotland for the long-run and this is what we as a business and family strive for.
"The Walker family would like to clarify that the Union Jack Keepsake tin is one of many tins currently available, each of which is designed to celebrate an array of places and events and includes the launch of the Love Scotland Keepsake range at the start of the year.
"We strive continuously to offer a wide range of products to suit our global customer base."
One Conservative Moray Councillor Marc Macrae waded in to the argument.
He said: "My colleagues and I believe that Walkers Shortbread has every right to use its Scottish or British identity when promoting its products in home and overseas markets.
“We would hope that all councillors of all parties would want to wish Walkers well in its commercial endeavours and congratulate the company on its continued success and record in employing many hundreds of Moray residents.
“We would also hope that SNP will condemn this attack by nationalists on this most famous of world brands and support Walkers who are an excellent brand ambassador for Moray across the globe.”
Louise Laing, SNP Councillor for the Speyside Glenlivet area said: "There has been a campaign to keep the Scottish brand as a lot of companies are replacing the Scottish flag for the British flag, but it was just one tin. There was a lot of flack online about it, but Walkers is a great conpany and a great employer in the area. It is a shame that this has happened."