Why passports are different colours
Until scientific or smartphone advancements dictate otherwise, your passport remains arguably the most important document you'll ever own. And while ensuring its safe keeping is our top priority, not many of us ever stop to think why it looks the way it does, or more specifically, why is it a particular colour?
The modern-day passport as you know it comes in four standard colours; red, green, blue or black, with a mix of shades within those colour spectrums. And though rulings over the appearance of a particular passport are governed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, it is the countries' government that usually decides the colour of their national document.
European Union countries historically use burgundy (meaning that following Brexit, UK citizens could soon see their new passports reissued in a different colour), perhaps denoting a communist history, according to Hrant Boghossian, the vice president of Arton Group, which runs the interactive passport database Passport Index.
A number of Caribbean countries use blue passports, as do the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in South America –with the shade thought to be symbolic of the New World.
North America has experimented with a number of passport colourways in its history – including red, green, burgundy and black – finally settling on blue in 1976 to match the national flag.
Some countries have factored in religious faith in their colour decision process. A host of Muslim states including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia use green passports because of the importance of that colour in their religion.
Australian citizens have historically carried a blue passport, with neighbouring New Zealand favouring dark black, one of the country's national colours, offering a sharp, official look.