The Rotorua Stockcar Club has adopted a new flag design after ousting its heavily-criticised Confederate flag version.
The change has been praised by some who spoke out against the old symbol - which to many represented oppression and hate - last month in the wake of the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement.
At its annual general meeting on Sunday, the club voted to ditch the Confederate flag it has used as its symbol for 35 years, and adopt a new emblem.
The club confirmed the changes in two statements on Facebook.
A statement on Sunday said: "The flag was used to acknowledge the battles that come with teams racing."
"Although the club have [sic] only ever used the flag to recognise the courageous efforts of their drivers, recent events in America have reignited the original meaning to the flag."
Yesterdaymorning the club posted the new flag design.
The statement said the design was "so well received [at the AGM], that after some discussion it was moved that the flag be adopted for our Rotorua Rascals Stockcar and Rotorua Rebels Superstock Teams".
It said the club sought to give a nod to the past by keeping the red and blue colours in the new emblem, as well as look to the future with new symbols such as four stars representing the Southern Cross and a cultural aspect with Māori patterns.
"Yes, the names will remain the same."
The statement said members would be getting new flags made.
Club secretary and spokeswoman Sonja Hickey declined to provide NZME a copy of the new flag design yesterday.
The design has already, however, received praise from critics of the old flag.
Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon said the club's decision was the right one.
"I am encouraged that they will now find a new symbol ... It is also pleasing to see the draft design incorporates local culture.
"The club has set a good example by learning about the changed meaning of the symbol and taking steps to remedy this."
Ben Aulakh, a Wellington communications specialist who organised an online petition calling for the club to stop using the Confederate symbol, was "delighted" by the club's decision.
He said the new symbol "encapsulates both stockcar racing and speedway, and the Rotorua community" and was "a great improvement".
"Given how well established a symbol this is to the club, deciding to replace it can't have been an easy decision to make, but I wholeheartedly applaud them for the responsible and mature step they have taken."
The club said in an earlier statement on Facebook that the flag was "innocently introduced" in 1985 but became "embroiled in a controversy".
Last month in the US, 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.