The Dixie Chicks have officially changed their name to “the Chicks,” after public discussions arose over the appropriateness of the Civil War-era “Dixie” as part of their moniker.

The group had long been unofficially referred to as simply the Chicks by many fans and most of their associates in the music industry, but losing the “Dixie” is still a surprise, albeit a pleasant one to some supporters who had been quietly uncomfortable with the name and its historic connotations.

“We want to meet this moment,” the country-pop trio said in a one-sentence statement on its website, alluding to the change.

In an additional statement provided by the group’s press representative, the Chicks added: “A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to ‘The Chicks’ of NZ for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name. We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock! — Emily, Natalie and Martie”

The move became official Thursday morning on all their social media accounts and in a press release announcing their socially and politically charged new single, “March March,” although it initially appeared without any formal announcement being made.

Variety recently published a guest column by Jeremy Helligar titled “After Lady Antebellum, Is It Time for the Dixie Chicks to Rethink Their Name?” Helligar wrote that the term “Dixie,” deriving from the Mason-Dixon line that separated slave-owning and free states, is “a celebration of a Southern tradition that is indivisible from Black slaves and those grand plantations where they were forced to toil for free… For many Black people, it conjures a time and a place of bondage. If a ‘Dixie’-loving Southerner today insists the word merely represents a deep appreciation of their homeland, they’re probably white.”

The originally Texas-based group picked the name up as a derivation from the Little Feat classic-rock song “Dixie Chicken.”

The move was immediately greeted with derision by many conservative voices on social media, some of whom called it “virtue signaling” — although, as the country music website Farcethemusic noted in a tweet, “I can’t imagine removing ‘Dixie’ from The Chicks’ name is truly the ‘last straw’ for anybody. Anyone who’d be upset about that is already off the bandwagon.”

Lady Antebellum shortened its name to Lady A — also a name the group had long unofficially been known by to fans and the industry — earlier in June. In that case, Lady Antebellum also ran into an instance of someone already using the new name, although the group apparently did not realize it at the time the change was announced. The group has been in negotiations with the blues singer known as Lady A since.

As of Thursday morning, the name “Dixie Chicks” still appeared as a remnant in a few spots in the group’s official media, and dixiechicks.com is still active as a web address. However, the fact that they’d abandoned the Twitter handle @dixiechicks was immediately apparent, as it’d been quickly snapped up by someone with zero followers.

The band’s first album in 14 years, “Gaslighter,” comes out July 17. Their previous release, 2006’s “Taking the Long Way,” won them the album, record and song of the year honors at the Grammys. They’ve continued to tour in the intervening years despite staying out of the recording studio until reconvening with producer Jack Antonoff for new sessions last year.

In 2003, the Dixie Chicks were all but disowned by nearly the entire country radio format, right at the time they had a No 1 single, when it was reported that Natalie Maines had insulted President Bush during a concert in London. Country fans from that era were and remain divided, although the group picked up new ones as their opinions were embraced by pop fans as well as their subsequent music moved in a mainstream singer-songwriter direction with “Taking the Long Way.”

The new video is accompanied on YouTube with a list of causes the group supports, including Black Lives Matter, the Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, March for Our Lives and several others.

The pointed lyrics to the new “March March”:

March, march to my own drum
March, march to my own drum
Hey, hey, I’m an army of one
Oh, I’m an army of one
March, march to my own drum
March, march to my own drum
Hey, hey, I’m an army of one
Oh, I’m an army of one

Brenda’s packin’ heat cuz she don’t like Mondays
Underpaid teacher policing the hallways
Print yourself a weapon and take it to the gun range
Ah, cut the s—
You ain’t going to the gun range

Standing with Emma and our sons and daughters
Watchin’ our youth have to solve our problems
I’ll follow them so who’s comin’ with me
Half of you love me
Half already hate me

Tell the ol’ boys in the white bread lobby
What they can and can’t do with their bodies
Temperatures risin’, your city is sinkin’
Ah, cut the s—
You know your city is sinkin’
Lies are truth and truth is fiction
Everybody’s talkin’
Who’s gonna listen
What the hell happened in Helsinki

The last line of the final verse apparently refers to the 2018 summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland between Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.