Australian brand Country Road is sold in Woolworths. Picture: Instagram

Social media doesn’t allow you to hide or escape criticism. This especially applies to companies and big corporates - no one is safe.

Over the past few years, fashion designers have come under scrutiny when sending controversial designs down the runway. 

In this instance, Gucci and Burberry comes to mind. But it’s not only high-end designers who sometimes get it horribly wrong.

On Monday a Reddit South Africa user posted a picture of a tote bag at Country Road - an Australian brand sold at Woolworths stores.

What drove the person to post the picture was the fact that the colours on the classic style bag were orange, white and blue. 

Country Road tote bag featuring the old South African flag colours found on the store's display shelf. Picture: User CoenieOosthuysen

Most South Africans know these colours to be that of the apartheid South African flag - a flag that is now illegal to display in public. 

The caption with the post read: “Somebody done f*d up big time. Someone in Country Road’s design department is about to get fire.”

Every season the brand comes out with new colours and designs for the classic tote bag. They usually use bold nautical stripes and simple modern prints. 

Country Road has since issued an apology which states, “(We) offer our sincerest apologies to all our South African customers. It is never our intention to cause offence and we have decided to discontinue sales of this item.”

The bag has since been removed from the shelves.