What does the color of your passport say about your country?

Photo: envato

A passport, that necessary document without which crossing national borders is impossible, is more than just a legal document. Every detail, from watermarks to typography, is carefully chosen to ensure security and identification. Among these details, the colors of the passports stand out, which are far from randomly selected. We investigate why different countries have different passport colors and what meaning lies behind these shades.

A passport is not just an aesthetic choice, but reflects the deeper connections between the nation, its history and values. When choosing the color of a passport, it is an interweaving of tradition, identity and politics, which it gives each passport a unique stamp and tells a story about the country behind it. In a world where passports serve as keys to global travel, these colors are symbols that transcend linguistic and cultural boundaries, reminding us that our identities are as diverse as the colors we choose to represent our nations.

Variety of colors

On the world stage, we can find passports in four basic colors: red, blue, green and black. Each color has its own historical and cultural background, which reflects the political, geographical and even economic characteristics of the country.

Photo: Spencer/Unsplash

Red – The color of Europe

Red or burgundy passports are typical for countries that are members or want to become members of economic unions. The European Union thus has in its ranks the majority of countries whose passports are red. This group also includes Turkey, which aspires to become a member of the EU, and Switzerland, whose red passport corresponds to the colors of the Swiss flag. The red passport is sometimes associated with the socialist past, as is the case in Russia and China, where the color red symbolizes the working class and solidarity.

Blue - The shade of the new world

Blue passports are the most widely used in the world. This color is often associated with countries that want to symbolize a new beginning or a connection to the sea. The United States has had blue passports since 1976, which corresponds to the color of its national flag. Countries such as Canada, Australia and many in the European Union use blue passports for their elegance and official appearance.

Each color of the passport reflects its own story. Photo: Nrjwolf/Unsplash

Green – Symbol of Islam

Green passports are often associated with the Islamic faith. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Morocco use green passports because of their religious significance, as the color green represents nature and is mentioned in the Koran. In addition, green passports symbolize natural resources and ecological wealth in countries such as Nigeria and Mexico. Ireland uses the green passport as a symbol of its green landscape and cultural heritage.

Black – Rarity for a reason

Black passports are rare and considered practical as they hide dirt well and create a nice contrast with the national coat of arms. New Zealand's black passport color is the national color to reflect their Maori culture. Similarly, Finland uses black passports as an expression of its minimalist aesthetic. Some African countries such as Angola and Malawi also use dark shades of black for their passports for security reasons.

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