The tops (not pictured), which say ‘Australia, established 1788’, caused uproar online as social media users felt they suggested that the country came to be on this date, ignoring the indigenous population who lived there before.
One user wrote a tweet saying: “@ALDIAustralia are selling Australia Day t-shirts emblazoned with ‘Established 1788’. Beggars belief.” Another social media user proposed that they should change ‘established’ to ‘invaded’.
Aldi Australia have since apologised for the design and pulled the line from their stores.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “The decision to remove the Australia Est 1788 design from the range was taken following comments by a limited number of concerned customers. Aldi Australia wants its customers to know it puts the community and their wishes first.”
However the debate didn’t end there, when following backlash developed after the decision to pull the t-shirts. One twitter user said: “T shirts sold by Aldi racist? Has the world gone mad? No longer can we be proud to be Aussies Australia is slowly becoming a nanny nation.”
Another user commented: “If you think Aldi’s ‘Est. 1788’ shirt was ‘racist’, don’t you dare celebrate Australia Day.”
Image courtesy of the Aldi Australia website.