The surprising reasons why passports only come in four colours

The surprising reasons why passports only come in four colours

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Have you ever wondered why your passport look the way it does? Did you know that your passports, the most bona fide proof of your identity and nationality, come in only four colours? These four colours – red, blue, green and black – are consistent all around the world.  If you have or haven’t wondered before that why passports are available in these fours, we have something interesting to share with you.

While the International Civil Aviation Organization has issued guidelines on the size and format of passports, nations have the liberty to experiment with the hues of these four primary colours. Passport colours are often related to geography and policy. According to Hrant Bhogossian, the Vice President of Arton Group, a firm that headlines interactive passport database, Passport Index, has some logical reasons that could attribute to the choice of passport colours by nations and many possible scenarios.

Green Passports

In some countries, the choice of passport colour depends on the predominant religion. The countries that have Islam as predominant religion have green passports. The colour green is considered to be the favourite colour of Prophet Muhammad. Muslim countries such Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Morocco have green passports. Also, many African nations including Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria, and Niger etc. have green passports, mainly because these nations are a member of the Economic Community of West African States.

Red Passports

The colour red is considered to be the colour of communist movements. According to Hrant Bhogossian, red colour passports hit the communist past or present. Countries such as China, Serbia, Latvia, Romania, Georgia and Poland have red passports. Also, countries within the European Union have passports with shades of Burgundy.

Blue Passports

Countries that have blue passports are believed to belong to new League of Nations, including India, North America, South America and Australia among others. Also, nations that are a member of the Caribbean Community have blue passports as they are geographically lie in the middle of the oceans and off coasts.

Black Passports

Black colour passports are rare and it is typically used by African countries like Zambia, Botswana, Burundi, Gabon, Angola, Malawi, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo among many others. One of the most prominent nations that have black coloured passports is New Zealand. Their passport colour is in sync with their national colour.

Whether you are going on an international holiday or travelling abroad for business or study, knowing about your important travel documents, including passport, visa and insurance, is always helpful.

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