What is the significance of the colour of your passport?

When travelling, the different colours of the passport surely intrigue a lot of people. The neighbour on the right has a blue passport, the one on the left has a green one. Diversification makes you question their meaning. Red, green, black and blue, these passport colours are everywhere. Why these differences in passport colours? Do the colours have a particular meaning?

The meaning of red and black passports

Red is the most common passport colour. Of course, there are many shades of red. Red passports are mostly adopted in Europe except in Croatia. Switzerland and other EU members have chosen bright red since the 1981 Resolution. Apart from the EU members, communist countries, or at least former communist countries, have also chosen red. These include China, Serbia, Russia etc. Having also adopted the dark red colour since 2010, Turkey is trying to comply with the European Union standards through this colour. Members of the Andean Committee of Nations which include Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador have also chosen dark red. While red is very popular, the colour black passport is rare but refers to a diplomatic passport. The fact that it is rare does not mean that it does not exist. African countries such as Malawi and Tajikistan have chosen the black passport to symbolise Africa. Finally, in reference to the “All Blacks”, New Zealand has adopted black for their passport.

Blue: the passport of the new world

The countries of the “new world” have chosen blue to mark a new era for them. This applies to the American countries as well as to the North American countries, the USA. Since 1976, the United States has chosen blue for the passports of its citizens to pay tribute to the blue colour of its flag. Canada has done the same but in navy blue. The members of MERCOSUR, i.e. the Latin American countries such as Venezuela and Brazil, have opted for this same colour. We should not forget the members of CARICOM such as the Caribbean, Haiti, Jamaica… who have adopted the blue passport colour. Australia and the United Kingdom have added to this list since 2019.

Green: the colour linked to culture

Green is not very common as a passport colour, but it marks the colour of Muslims. For Muslims, green is a sign of nature and life. For this reason, the Maghreb countries have chosen this passport colour. Among others, members of CEDEAD, West African countries such as Togo, Gana, Niger… have green passports. Thus, the choice of passport colour can depend on culture, religion or politics.