An instrumental version of Sloop John B – a Bahamian folk song made famous by The Beach Boys – was included in the announcement of the new 150-year anniversary kit.
The song’s melody is regularly sung by Rangers supporters in the popular terracing chant ‘Four Lads Had a Dream’, which harks back to the club’s foundation in 1872.
However, it also the tune to ‘The Famine Song’, a chant which has been ruled to be anti-Irish racism. Nine Rangers fans were arrested after a video of a large group of supporters singing it in Glasgow city centre, on the same day as the last Old Firm encounter, was shared on social media earlier this season.
Stewart was one notable critic who questioned why the club had decided to use the song in light of the more sinister connotations.
He wrote: “Why this tune? This is supposedly a celebration, so why use a tune so offensive to many, a tune connected to a song that some Rangers fans were charged for singing only last month. Why would you do this?”
Following the rise in criticism on Friday morning, Rangers reposted the video on Twitter with a caption which appeared to explain their motivation for the song's use.
They wrote: “Four lads had a dream. From 1872… We are proud of our past, and excited for the next chapter. The dream of the four lads is still going strong. Their legacy is our future.”