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No longer secret, Secret Service code names remain a hallmark of the presidency

In this Nov. 10, 2016 photo, President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) In this Nov. 10, 2016 photo, President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(RNN) - The Secret Service gives code names to presidents, their families and other famous people, including the vice president and candidates for the White House.

Once assigned for security purposes, they’re now given out of tradition and, in the age of the internet, they aren’t secret.

However, the code name continues to be a hallmark of the presidency.

Candidates often pick their own name. Sometimes they’re assigned by the White House Communications Agency.

The first family will generally share code names that start with the same letter. The Trumps, for instance, all have names starting with M. The Obamas’ code names began with R.

Non-politicians who got code names include Frank Sinatra, known as Napoleon, and Pope John Paul II, known as Halo, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

When they visit the United States, Queen Elizabeth is known as Kittyhawk and Prince Charles is dubbed Unicorn. 

Former Vice President Al Gore often joked he was so boring, his code name was Al Gore. His actual code name was Sundance during his presidential run and Sawhorse as a vice president, according to ABC

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