Here's What Your Passport Tells Others About You

What does your passport color mean? If you’re from the United States have you gotten on an international flight only to find that not all passports are blue with yellowish-gold letters sketched on the front? There are four basic passports colors blue, red, green or black. You might even find a brown one every now and then. What do the colors mean?

Photo: All India Roundup

There are no official rules that determine the design of passports but there are ways to distinguish the type of travel you’re doing and where you are from. Countries have a specific size, face and color for their passports. According to the U.S. Passport Service Guide, a regular passport book has a blue cover and is issued with the standard 28 pages or non-standard 52 pages. A brown cover is an official passport issued to an employee or official of the U.S. Government traveling abroad to carry out official duties. The black cover is the diplomatic passport issued to a Foreign Service officer or to a person having diplomatic status because he or she is traveling abroad to carry out diplomatic duties on behalf of the United States Government. The passport card is a variation of the regular passport.

Many Islamic countries use green as their passport color according to Readers Digest the color is important to their religion. There will be variations of green. The ECOWAS, Economic Community of West African States, also uses the color green.

The European Union, EU, uses burgundy passport colors. Other countries that use this color are Bolivia, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador and Turkey. The Swiss passport matches their flag.

You may also see black passports which represent Zambia, New Zealand and the Republic of Botswana. This is typically because black is considered one of the country’s national colors.

The United States isn’t alone in the blue passport color choice. The Caribbean, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguya and Venezuela also use the color.

Overall passports tell a story not only inside by the destinations traveled and the memories gained but by the outside, the country you represent, the work you do and the diplomatic stance you take. According to Travel and Leisure, Syria is the worst ranked passport and while blue without a visa you may only enter 32 countries, due to diplomatic relations. While the U.S. shares the same color it has the third-best ranking passport. Your passport allows you to travel but it also allows others to know a little more about you than you knew.

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