What the colour of your passport means



Recently, I was having a chat with a good friend of mine about the struggles of being a third world country passport holder, my all time favourite topic of discussion 🙂 . People falling into this category are generally passport holders from African countries, a few Asian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean and South American countries. This little chat got me thinking about a time when I was in Rome on my way back to London when the flight got delayed a while due to a late departure from London. You know how delayed flights tend to make disgruntled passengers want to chat each other up and complain about the service. Little did I know I  was going to be pulled into small talk due to this. For those who know me personally; I am very much an introvert; only speak when am spoken to and seldom ever initiate a conversation with strangers unless in dire circumstances.

In the boarding hall I was seated next to this amazing middle aged English couple, when all of a sudden I heard the lady ask if I was American? I was quite taken aback by her question and remained dumbfounded for a few seconds; not knowing why she asked the question. Noticing my confusion (I’m quite the open book; my facial expressions give me away) she pointed at my passport which was turned the other way. At this point I was sort of elated that someone thought I was American. Who wouldn’t? I would travel without restrictions and it would save me lots of time and money on acquiring visas and answering some ridiculous questions on some of those applications. Anyway I told her that I was Kenyan and maybe I didn’t need to because my accent pretty much gave me away. We chatted for a while, they shared their experience and travel in Nanyuki, Kenya with me and it make for a great conversation until our flight was ready to board. That conversation had me thinking of the implications of the passport colours and here I am today sharing my thoughts.

From then on I have always held my passport the other way round 🙂 🙂 🙂 ; not because I’m not proud of my heritage on the contrary I’m as Kenyan as they come and very much proud of my identity. I do it more so as a conversation starter, an ice breaker for those curious to ask; eventually giving me fodder for blogposts like this.

The four basic passport colours are red, blue, green and black. These colours do not categories any country in passport index or have any implication of the “passport strength” or superiority. They were pegged on historical, geographical and significance of the colours to national symbols such as flags. Some countries such as the USA wanted their passport blue in order to match the blue in their flag whilst for others the blue means a new  world order. The EU have red passports mainly to create a form of identity amongst the member states. Some countries with green passports reflect religion and the significance of green to their religion. Whilst countries with black in the case of New Zealand is because black is considered to be a national colour.

So if your were like me and read deeply or thought there are deeper reasons behind it then I hope this demystifies your opinion.

Let me know what colour your passport is and which nationality you identify as.

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

May adventure be with you and as always thanks for the support.






3 thoughts on “What the colour of your passport means

  1. Haha, I enjoyed reading that. I have an american and Kenyan passports and I am proud of both, and you’re right, it’s interesting how different passports make travel experience vastly different. I use my Kenyan passport only to fly to Kenya.

    Great blog…


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