What Does the Color of Your Passport Really Mean?

What Does the Color of Your Passport Really Mean?

Take a closer look at that small, rectangular booklet in your hand. Depending on where you’re from, its color could tell you a lot about the country you call home. 

Although there are no strict international guidelines for passport colors, the shades are by no means random. Countries typically choose colors that pay tribute to their culture, politics, or faith, Claire Burrows of De La Rue, a British passport-making company, told the Economist.

For example, Islamic countries often use green passport covers because the color is important in their religion. Member countries of ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) cover their passports with various shades of green, too. Members of the European Union, on the other hand, use burgundy-colored passports, as do countries who would like to join the EU, such as Turkey.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

Maroon, or deep reddish color, is the color of the passport for many countries that are members of the European Union. Switzerland is the exception to this rule. Although a member of the EU, the Swiss use a bright red passport that matches their national flag and symbolized the culture.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

China issues a red diplomatic passport to the government official traveling abroad. In this case, it is believed that red represents the communist government. But, China’s public passport for the general population has a black cover.

Blue passports are also common among Caribbean countries and U.S. Territories, like Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Many South American countries also distribute passports with blue covers to their citizens.

The Chinese government may also want to take advantage of the artistic benefits that come with a black passport. The national insignia and official stamp of a country stand out better with passports that are in darker colors.

Some countries are beginning to add other identifying marks or sequences to their nation’s passports. This is becoming more common because of the advances in modern technology.

Finland has incorporated the sequence of a running moose into their passport. As you turn the pages quickly, you can see the animal running like in a flipbook.

Other countries have introduced intricate artwork to their passport that’s unique to the region.

As a vital form of identification, it will be interesting to see how passports will change in the coming years.

And we’re not even close to finished yet! Smaller organizations have their own passport colors, as well. Interpol provides its members with black travel documents, while the UN passport’s pacific blue matches the helmets of its peacekeeping force.

But why all of the dark shades? According to Bill Waldron of Holliston, a Tennessee-based passport-printing firm, darker colors are preferred because they can hide dirt, provide a nice contrast with the crest, and appear more official. There are some exceptions, of course. If you’re a Swedish national who lost your passport, the country will send you an emergency travel document—in pink.


Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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