Rotorua stockcar teams represented by the Confederate flag are being urged to oust the "symbol of hate and oppression".
The flag has been a prominent symbol representing the Rotorua Rebels and Rotorua Rascals stockcar teams for decades.
Two days ago the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (Nascar) banned the Confederate flag, which had been a regular sight at US and Canadian stock car events for more than 70 years, from its races and properties.
The decision followed the international outcry over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while being restrained by police in Minneapolis last month, prompting Black Lives Matter protests around the world.
When the Rotorua Daily Post contacted Rebels and Rascals team members about their use of the Confederate flag, they directed media requests to Rotorua Stockcar Club secretary Sonja Hickey.
Hickey oversees the teams and promotions and said she had "no comment", when approached after the Nascar decision.
But Black Creatives Aotearoa founder Dione Joseph is calling for the club to reconsider using the flag.
"Seeing it used to represent a car racing team here in Aotearoa is very disappointing, and for any black person, whether a local from here or overseas, this is deeply disturbing," Joseph said.
She said the flag was "a relic of ingrained racism towards black Americans" from the American Civil War and "a symbol of hate and oppression" used by white supremacist groups.
"Fresh from a week of protests and marches over the ongoing racism towards black bodies, now would be a perfect time for the Rotorua Rebels to re-evaluate their choices."
Joseph suggested the team follow Nascar's lead.
"Not only choose a symbol more appropriate but take the opportunity to condemn racism and the ongoing injustice to black bodies.
"We have members of the black New Zealand community, including young children in Rotorua - make this change for them, make it for all our tamariki."
Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon said it would be in ''provocative'' to continue to use the Confederate flag in a sports club setting.
Nascar's decision indicated using the flag "runs contrary to [their] commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment' for their fans and competitors".
He said the flag was "politically loaded" and "associated with racial division and intolerance".
"People have the right to freedom of expression. However, it is equally important for people to be thoughtful about how they express themselves."
Street view: Should the Rotorua Rebels and Rotorua Rascals stop using the Confederate flag?
It [the Confederate flag] represents racism to me. It doesn't have the history here that it does in the US but personally I don't want to see it.
Bruce Titter, 49
I reckon they should use something different, something from their hearts. We aren't about slavery here.
Rosina Kahika, 38
I think so - with everything that's going on around racism. It's time to change.
Mina Paul, 50
I think they should change it. It's not right for people to see that.
Candice Kameta, 37