A top U.S. journalist has urged the Dixie Chicks to follow Lady Antebellum's example and change their name, insisting it's 'the epitome of white America'.

The trio famously raised eyebrows for criticising former U.S. leader George W. Bush's war policies, and now the Goodbye Earl hitmakers are under fire again - from writer Jeremy Helligar.

In a new column for Variety, Helligar argued the band should rethink its name, writing: "Regardless of its origin, for many Black people, it conjures a time and a place of bondage".

Helligar went on to explain that: "Dixie, for the record, is the epitome of white America, a celebration of a Southern tradition that is indivisible from Black slaves and those grand plantations where they were forced to toil for free."

Although he conceded the origin of the word 'Dixie' is unclear, Helligar posited that the term is likely linked to the Mason-Dixon line, an 18th-century border that later became the unofficial separation between free states and slave states.

Helligar, a former editor for People, Teen People, Us Weekly, and Entertainment Weekly, added times have "changed dramatically," and that, "it's hard to imagine many Black Southerners today tying their appreciation of their homeland to 'Dixie', even if, according to legend, it's the title of one of Abraham Lincoln's favourite songs."

The writer's piece comes after another country trio, Lady Antebellum, announced they had changed their name to Lady A in an effort to distance themselves from 'Antebellum', a term with ties to slavery.