Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Did the Biden Administration enact a ban on religious symbols in the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll? 

Two Right-rated outlets — Fox News and The Daily Caller — reported this claim over the weekend, creating misinformation that led to pushback from the White House and a retraction from The Daily Caller. 

On March 29, The Daily Caller (Right bias) published a now-retracted article with the headline, “White House Bans Religious Easter Eggs From Art Contest.”

The article claimed, “The Biden administration banned children from submitting Easter eggs with religious themes for its 2024 ‘Celebrating National Guard Families’ art contest.” 

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) posted a screenshot of the article on social media, stating, “The Biden White House has betrayed the central tenet of Easter — which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

The White House pushed back on this claim, stating that the ban on religious symbols for designs on eggs has been in place for decades. 

Later that day, The Daily Caller retracted the story and issued a notice stating, “Following the publication of this article, The Daily Caller became aware of additional context that undercut the central assertion of this article and its newsworthiness. The ban of religious symbolism on eggs as part of the White House Easter egg activities has been longstanding, dating back decades, and the Biden administration did not make any modifications to this rule. While the Caller did not explicitly state at any point that the rule was new, this additional context rendered the main thrust of the article misleading to readers, who could reasonably have come to the conclusion that the rule was new.” 

On April 2, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recognized The Daily Caller for retracting the story, stating, “It’s important to acknowledge when a mistake has been made and take responsibility for it. So I want to recognize The Daily Caller for having the integrity to retract their story about the false claims that circulated this week about the Easter Egg Roll.” 

The Biden Administration pushed for Fox News (Right bias) to retract a similar article, headlined “Religious-themed designs banned from White House Easter egg art contest,” according to The Hill (Center bias). But Fox refused. 

The Hill included a quote from a Fox News spokesperson stating, “We stand by our reporting as it accurately quotes the ‘2024 Call for Youth Art’ flyer which states Easter egg design submissions ‘must not include any questionable content, religious symbols, overtly religious themes.’ The story also includes on the record comments from American Egg Board President & CEO Emily Metz who explains that these longstanding guidelines are due to USDA rules.”

The Fox article also quotes Metz as saying, “So when we say, can't be overtly religious, we just can't be seen to be promoting one religion over the other, the same way we can't be seen to be promoting one political viewpoint or ideology over the other. We have to be totally neutral in everything we do and have it just be focused on egg promotion and marketing activities.”

The Fox News Facebook page explicitly stated the White House was “laying down new rules for the religious holiday tradition.” The post is still on Facebook and has been flagged by the site’s fact check system. 

Snopes (Lean Left bias) quoted Emily Metz, president and CEO of the American Egg Board, the organization that oversees the Easter Egg Roll, stating, “The American Egg Board has been a supporter of the White House Easter Egg Roll for over 45 years and the guideline language referenced in recent news reports has consistently applied to the board since its founding, across administrations.”

The ban on religious symbolism was not instituted by the Biden Administration, and was in place under the Trump Administration. 

Isaiah Anthony is the Deputy Blog Editor of AllSides. He has a Center bias. 

This piece was reviewed by Joseph Ratliff , AllSides Content Designer and News Editor (Lean Left bias), Julie Mastrine , Director of Marketing and Bias Ratings (Lean Right), and Henry A. Brechter , Editor-In-Chief (Center).