The company is making the move given the historical context of "Dixie," a word connected to the South with disputed origins dating back to the 1700s; "Dixie," a nineteenth-century song, became a popular marching tune for the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
The background of "Dixie" has become a topic of national conversation all month, as protests over police brutality and systemic racism have continued across the country. Country music act the Dixie Chicks dropped the word from its name, and now Dixie Brands has followed suit.
In a statement on the Dixie Brands website, the company calls the decision "a small step forward."
"Recently, the national conversation about racism and injustice has focused our attention to the pain the Dixie name can cause due to the historical context of the word. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Black community, and we stand firmly against racism and injustice," the statement reads. "To stay true to these values, we have decided to change our name. As we make this change, we will listen carefully to our community, our customers, and our employees. While this change will take time, we are committed to implementing it as soon as possible. We hope this change is a small step forward for a more just and equal world."
Dixie Brands asks for suggestions or feedback to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to an announcement from CEO Chuck Smith, Dixie Brands products will be sold and labeled as is "until the new brand and packaging gets to market" as the company looks for a new name.
A publicly traded company that got its start in Denver, Dixie Brands agreed to an acquisition deal worth $43.2 million in March with a branch of Connecticut-based marijuana investment firm Rose Capital; the transaction, a reverse takeover of Dixie, is expected to be finished by the third quarter of 2020.