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National Weapon

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In Oman, their emblem is nothing but weapons.note 

"Did you see those warriors from Hammerfell? They've got curved swords. Curved. Swords."

Just as cultures might have an iconic Battle Cry attached to them, often they will have a weapon that has a similar status. Sometimes it will have a religious or magical significance; it might for instance be a copy of a blade that was Forged by the Gods. Perhaps it typically has a Badass Creed engraved on it. Or maybe it is simply hard to imagine them fighting without it, and even if it becomes obsolete it is impossible to imagine this group parading without it because it has a symbolic status that goes beyond its functionality. As Tropes Are Flexible, this does not have to be a whole culture's weapon; it can be the weapon of any group: say, an order of Warrior Monks, or a Caste or a Secret Circle of Secrets, or a gender. The point is that the weapon is so much connected with a group that it serves as a logo as well as a weapon.


Likely to be wielded by a Proud Warrior Race. Compare Fantastic Race Weapon Affinity. If the weapon in question is a physical part of an alien race's anatomy then see Natural Weapon.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The mechs in Mobile Fighter G Gundam are sometimes armed with each nation's associated weapon. For example, Neo Japan's Shining and God Gundams have beam katanas, Neo America's Maxter Gundam had two handguns, and Neo France's Rose Gundam has a fencing sword.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, the Guild of Assassins knows about and respects cultural and national weapons. Older students entitled to carry are permitted their cultural weapon, provided they do it stylishly; Zulus are permitted assegais and knobkerries, for instance, and Dwarf students are permitted axes from day one: the Guild respects the cultural insistence that a Dwarf and their axe should never be separated. It is even a style rule: sometimes the rules of inhumation insist a clent be annuled with the cultural weapon appropriate to their race or nationality, as to do other would be a gross discourtesy.
    • A teacher who is new to the Guild and not yet a Guild member in any way at all note  is allowed to wear two swords to her Rodinian classes as she is, by ethnicity, one of the Cossacks.

  • In Star Wars, the Jedi and Sith Orders use lightsabers. Expanded Universe materials claim it's pretty rough to learn to use for the non-force-sensitive.

  • Discworld
    • Based (as always) on Tolkien, the dwarfs consider their battleaxes cultural artifacts, and will not part with them even when circumstances require them to bequeath all other weapons (at a diplomatic function, for instance; in The Fifth Elephant Vimes reminds himself that a dwarf with an axe slung across his back is "politely dressed" rather than "heavily armed"). In Thud! we are introduced to a more liberal sect of dwarfs who do not carry these, believing that the axe is "a state of mind". It helps that they've invented kung fu ("It's like using an axe, without the axe").
    • The dwarfs also have their iconic bread.
    • Trolls also have clubs, to a lesser degree (a ceremonial club was a minor plot point in Thud!).
    • In Jingo, 71-Hour Achmed, a Klatchian, is allowed to attend a diplomatic function with a scimitar almost as large as he is because it's cultural.
  • In Dune, crysknives (made from the tooth of a Sand Worm) are sacred to Fremen.
  • On Gor a few Fantasy Counterpart Cultures have trademark weapons.
    • The Wagon Peoples of Southern Gor have the quiva, a set of throwing knives. They also use the bola and lance from kaiilaback.
    • Torvaldslanders (Vikings) have the battleaxe
    • Tribes in Darkest Gor use the "stabbing spear."
    • The Alar (kinda-sorta Roma) have the francisca, an ax different than the Torvaldslanders.
    • Tribesmen in the Tahari desert (Arabs) have the scimitar.
    • Red Savages (Native Americans) have the tomahawk, as well as the war lance they use from aiilaback (a different species of kaiila than the Wagon Peoples use).
    • The caste of Peasants, the lowest caste on Gor, have the quarterstaff and longbow, which are looked down upon by the caste of Warriors but can be quite effective.
  • Dwarves use axes in The Lord of the Rings.
    • Also based on Tolkien is the association of Elves with bows, which is less supported by the original mythos (Tolkien's Elves are good with bows, but for the most part they prefer swords).
    • Orcs use scimitars.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • The Aiel are known for their short spears (which can also be thrown like a javelin). They won't touch a sword (and there's a specific reason for this reluctance), although they do use large knives which are almost big enough to be short swords.
    • Two Rivers folk are known for their very effective use of the longbow.
  • In The Elenium, soldiers of Lamarkand are known for using crossbows. Although the technology is widespread, it's use is monopolised by them to the point that whenever someone is assassinated by a crossbow bolt, everyone assumes a Lamark was responsible.
  • There are exceptions, but in Redwall, otters traditionally carry slings and javelins, while squirrels are usually archers. Some one-time enemy groups have trademark weapons, such as the rats in Mattimeo which are invariably armed with short spears. Hares are all armed with lances in one book, with pikes in another.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The warriors of the nomadic Dothraki have the arakh, a curved form of sword, as their favorite weapon.
    • The Dornish tend to favor spears and javelins which reflects their desert nomadic culture and their Combat Pragmatism. The sigil of their ruling house, the Martells, has a spear piercing through the sun and their main castle is called Sunspear. However, there are some Dornish characters who used other weapons including the sword (e.g. The Daynes).
  • In Princess Holy Aura, Tempest Corona uses a khanda, a traditional Sikh and Indian sword.
  • Martín Fierro: Gauchos (Argentinian Cowboys)and the Mapubhes (Argentinain Indians) used the "Boleadoras" or “Bolas,” a type of throwing weapon made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, used to capture animals by entangling their legs and to kill enemies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Minbari Denn'bok in Babylon 5.
  • Star Trek:
    • The iconic Bat'leth functions as this for the Klingons.
      • The Mek'leth short sword too for Klingons though it is not quite as iconic.
      • Ditto for the d'k tahg daggers.
    • Interestingly Vulcans, though no longer a Proud Warrior Race still use Lirpas—short polearms with fan-blades at one end and bludgeons at the other, similar to the Chinese monk's spade—in ceremonies.
      • Not just ceremonies. When the Vulcan High Command sent in troops after Archer and the rebel Vulcans, who were hiding out in the Forge, an area that makes using energy weapons problematic, they came in armed with lirpas.
    • The Ferengi use energy whips.
  • Andromeda: For the High Guard, it's the force lance, to the point that the High Guard's ground troops are referred to as Lancers.
    • The Nietzscheans, in defiance to the standard Proud Warrior Race tropes, do not have one. The Nietzscheans are Combat Pragmatists par excellence and use whatever they can get their hands on and is appropriate for the situation.
  • The Goa'uld have their troops wield staff weapons in Stargate. The System Lords themselves use Ribbon Devices that can project force fields and melt people's brains. They also have zat guns that can stun/kill enemies and pain sticks for torturing prisoners.
    • The warriors of the Ori use weapons remarkably similar to the Jaffa staff weapons.
    • Meanwhile, other cultures might be forgiven for thinking that the Tau'ri national weapon is the FN P90.
  • In Farscape, Luxans have Qualta blades, which are mainly used as swords. However, they can quickly be opened into fully-functional pulse rifles. D'argo once has to prove his identity with his ancestral Qualta blade... except he has just thrown it away in a fit of rage.
  • Earth: Final Conflict: The Taelons (literally) arm their Protectors with Skrills, bioengineered creatures that fire energy blasts.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has several weapons associated with non-human races, such as the orc double-axe and gnome hooked hammer. Characters from those races treat their exotic weapons as martial for weapon proficiencies. Deities grant proficiency with their preferred weapons to their clerics and are the manifestation of their spiritual weapon spell. Clerics without a patron deity manifest a spiritual weapon based on their alignment.
    • In the Eberron setting there are several. Elves favour double-bladed swords, the Qualitar have long knives and triple-bladed boomerangs, Dakhaani hobgoblins have unusual heavy single-edged swords, and Talenta halflings have more traditional boomerangs.
  • Aslan in Traveller actually use claws in duels, both real and sporting. A human who is Going Native with them, or just wants to be polite uses a pair of artificial claws called Ayloi.
    • While not a national weapon as such, the Imperial Marine cutlass is a symbol of the Imperial marines.
  • Warhammer 40,000 Each faction has one.
    • Imperial Guard: Lasguns and Leman Russ tanks.
    • Sisters of Battle: Heavily associated with Fire, though their actual "default" weapon is still the bolter.
    • Orks: Choppas and sluggas.
    • Space Marines: Bolters and chainswords.
      • Their Chaos Evil Counterparts instead use chainaxes.
      • The Emperor's Children favor sonic blasters.
      • The Death Guard have plague swords.
      • The Grey Knights have other options, but are largely portrayed using their nemesis force halberds. Other Space Marines chapters may also have a famous predilection for a particular weapon, but the Grey Knights' are definitely unique since no other Space Marine chapter can employ their weapons en-masse because only the Grey Knights are all being psykers.
    • Eldar: Shuriken catapults.
    • Tau: Pulse rifles.
    • Necrons: Gauss rifles.
  • In BattleTech, all of the main factions have their own "signature" Humongous Mecha, though the Scavenger World nature of the setting means that other factions will use those assets if they manage to steal or salvage one.
    • The Federated Suns loves their Centurions, Jagermechs and autocannons. They also use heavily the Enforcer, Valkyrie and Dervish 'Mechs.
    • The Lyran Commonwealth have a fondness for assault mechs - especially the Atlas - and later begin slapping Gauss Rifles on anything they can find. However, in spite of a faction for whom jokes such as "Lyran Scout Lance = four Atlases" is frequently repeated, they also heavily use the Commando and other light 'mechs.
    • The Free Worlds League favors the Orion and Awesome battlemechs, and while they do not have a favorite weapon, they use all forms of armored vehicles heavily.
    • The Draconis Combine relies on the Dragon and Grand Dragon, note  and typically have either a particle projector cannon or medium range missiles. They are also the heaviest users of the Jenner and Panther designs as well, to the point of them being near-exclusive to the Combine.
    • The Capellan Confederation uses the hodgepodge Cataphract and Raven extensively, and often rely on lots of lasers combined with advanced sensor suites.
    • The various Clans all share similar fighting styles and weapons, but each has their own favored mech - Jade Falcon loves the Summoner, Ghost Bear has a fondness for the outdated Kodiak, and so on. To the Clans as a whole, they like sending out Timber Wolves.note 

    Video Games 
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, The tribes in the Honest Hearts DLC each have a signature weapon: The Whitelegs use .45 Submachine Guns, the Dead Horses use War Clubs, the Sorrows use Yao Guai Gauntlets, and the New Canaanites use .45 pistols.
    • In the same vein, every legionnaire has a machete and a few throwing spears, every NCR trooper carries his semi-auto rifle, and the NCR veteran rangers all carry their own Ranger Sequoia.
  • The major factions of Fallout 4 have their own signature weapons: the Minutemen use Laser Muskets, the Railroad has the Railway Rifle, the Brotherhood of Steel favors pre-war laser weapons (especially the Gatling Laser), and the Institute makes their own energy weapons that are not as powerful as the BOS's, but are lightweight and sleekly designed.
  • In Command and Conquer: Red Alert, there are two each for the Allies and Soviets: Tanya and the Chronosphere for the former, Apocalypse Tanks and the Iron Curtain for the latter. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 breaks this down further with unique units or structures for the individual playable nations, such as the British Sniper, the French Grand Cannon, the Russian Tesla Tank, or the Iraqi Desolator.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series: GDI and Nod have theirs as well: for GDI, it's the Mammoth tank, Orca, and the ion cannon. Nod have their stealth units, flamethrowers, and nuclear missile.
  • In WildStar Both Orders of the Swordmaidens, the Cassus and the Torine, wield swords that are never replaced, and are reforged only upon the death of the owner.
  • World of Warcraft had "Weapon specialization" racials for certain races, as a result of this. Humans had Sword and Mace specialization, Orcs had Axe and Fist weapons, Dwarves had Guns, Hammers, and Maces, Trolls had throwing weapons, and Gnomes had Daggers and Shortswords.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Traditionally, the Imperials of Cyrodiil (with their heavy cultural basis in Ancient Rome), have Imperials Swords in this role. They are the primary weapon of the Imperial Legions, who've forged three empires spanning much or all of Tamriel at different points in history. They are modeled after the Roman Gladius, though in practice and appearance, they come closer in function to the Roman Spatha instead.
    • The source of the trope's page quote, scimitars are typically only found in the possession of the Redguards of Hammerfell in Skyrim. Fitting, as one of the cultures in their Culture Chop Suey is medieval North Africa/Arabia while they also have the sword-reverence of the samurai.
  • Although it certainly provides the operator considerable protection from most conventional attacks (including small-arms and single-shot rifle fire, as seen in one CGI cutscene), the Magitek Armor (and its variants) bears a considerable array of offensive abilities in Final Fantasy VI, serving as the iconic weapons of the Gesthalian Empire.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the individual city-states of the Eorzean Alliance clearly favor certain weapons over others and are associated such almost exclusively: bows and spears for Gridania and their Wood Wailers; muskets and battleaxes for Limsa Lominsa and their naval marines; scimitar-like swords for Ul'dah and their Brass Blades.
    • Magitek and gunblade-style weapons appropriated from other entries in the series are iconic to the Garlean Empire, as well.
    • Appropriately for a region inspired by feudal Japan, Othard favors katana and ninja daggers.
    • The Hrothgar of northern Ilsabard use gunblades, the iconic weapon of the Praetorian Guard known colloquially as "Gunbreakers". Unlike Garlean gunblades, Gunbreaker gunblades do not fire ballistic projectiles and are chiefly close-range weapons that use a revolver-like firing mechanism to flash-heat the blade and cast supportive magicks.
  • The chainsaw-bayonet affixed to a Gear's rifle in Gears of War almost certainly bore national associations for the COG - until, of course, all of the COG's member nations were annihilated by the Locust Horde.
  • In Halo, the Elites have their energy swords, while the Brutes have gravity hammers.
  • The early Suikoden games showcase the Holy Harmonian Army, who almost exclusively make use of crescent-bladed halberds in battle.
  • The various races of The Legend of Zelda, with the exception of Hylians, always prefer to use one or two weapon types exclusively:
    • Sheikah prefer katanas and other Japanese-style swords.
    • Gorons prefer hammers and blunt greatswords.
    • Zora prefer silver spears and similarly shaped tridents.
    • Gerudo prefer scimitars and naginatas.
    • Rito prefer bows and wooden spears.
    • The Moblins often carry spears or glaives.
    • The Bokoblins use machetes and falchions.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, each of the tribes have a special weapon that was a Weapon of Choice for their respective Champions:
    • Mipha, the Zoran Champion, wielded the Lightscale Trident.
    • Urbosa, the Gerudo Champion, wielded the Scimitar of the Seven.
    • Rivali, the Rito Champion, wielded Great Eagle Bow.
    • Daruk, the Goron Champion, wielded the Boulder Breaker.
  • Exaggerated to the point of Cargo Cult in Stick War. That said, it only applies to Archidonis, Swordwrath, Magikill, and Spearton.
  • In Splatoon, the squid-people of Inkopolis wield a variety of weapons in Turf Wars, but by far the most iconic weapon is the Splattershot, which looks like a water gun but designed to fire ink rather than water.

  • Most nations/regions in My Life At War have a national melee weapon that is scaled up for their Humongous Mecha. Dhuvalia favors the axe, with the mech version having plasma jets along the blade, while the Free Marketers seem to use knuckledusters with proximity mines in the studs.

    Western Animation 
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: The chief weapon of the Gelrakians is a crystal spear.
  • The Lasat, introduced in Star Wars Rebels, use a bo-rifle, a Mix-and-Match Weapon that's both a blaster rifle and an electrostaff. It also has Magitek properties that allow it to connect its user with the Force. It's also a rule that only an Honor Guardsman can wield a bo-rifle, or someone who defeats an Honor Guardsman in combat.

    Real Life 
  • Boomerangs for Australian Aborigines.
  • Claymores and dirks for Bonnie Scotland.
  • Japan
    • Katanas Are Just Better for samurai. This association is actually Newer Than They Think: traditionally, samurai were equally associated with bows and spears, with the katana serving as a backup weapon. Even then, by the time of the Sengoku Period, these weapons fell out of favor as armies started using firearms. The association with swords was played up through romanticized tales of wandering ronin challenging each other to duels during the Edo period. In the early imperial period the military adapted western style designs, albeit with Japanese style grips to make it easier for officers to adapt. By the 20th century the military made mass produced swords called guntōs that were patterned on the katana. A common war trophy in World War II, they are frequently confused for katanas.
    • The naginata started as a samurai weapon, but when they were obsolete, they were kept as home defense weapons and became associated with samurais' wives.
    • Shuriken for ninjas.
  • Kukris for Nepal, famously with the Gurkha soldiers.
  • Longbows were once this for the English and the Welsh (they even continued to use them while other nations adopted early firearms), to the point that the longbow design which all of Europe used is known as the English or Welsh Longbow (despite it not being the native bow of either nation). One not known quite as much today was the bill, a polearm, derived from the billhook (an agricultural tool) with a broad, hooked chopping head and usually a spike on top; the combination of longbow fire and billmen was positively devastating. The English used the combination to greatest effect in the 1513 Battle of Flodden Field (often considered the last great battle in the British Isles fought primarily with medieval weapons),note  where 26,000 English armed with bills and longbows under Catherine of Aragon (yes, that Catherine of Aragon, the Queen!)note  defeated 30-34,000 Scots armed with supposedly more modern pikes under James IV (who became the last English or Scottish monarch to die in battle).
  • Bow and arrows for Koreans. Preferring long-distance attacks over hand-to-hand battles, Koreans were famed for their archery from the ancient to modern times (even today, South Korea always excels in Olympic archery).
    • While it obviously wasn't used by each person, the hwa'cha is also strongly associated with Korea, being what is probably history's first Macross Missile Massacre.
  • Composite bows for Mongol horse archers.
  • It is not actually true that the Horny Vikings particularly preferred to use axes. Like much of medieval Europe, spears and axes alike were extremely common close-combat weapons (indeed, the spear is associated with Norse myth's Top God Odin, while axes have no such link), and swords were still status symbols that was seen as the mark of a true warrior to afford one. Additionally, the Norse were known for being very effective archers of the time.
  • Ancient Dacians used the sica (literally "sickle") which the Romans named falx as their sword of choice. It had been originally an agricultural tool like the Kukri and therefore most adult Dacians were familiar with it and most Dacian household were expected to have at least one on hand. The shape made for swinging also allowed devastating cutting blows on the unarmored limbs of the opponent.
  • The Greek hoplite shield was not primarily offensive, so was possibly "armor" rather than a weapon.note  However, hoplites regarded their spears as expendable but treasured their shields; in fact, the word "hoplite" comes from the Greek hoplon, which means "shield." Proverbially, a soldier was expected to come back with his shield or else on top of it (i.e. how his comrades would carry his body home). The key point was that, when standing in the battle line, the shield on your left arm protected your comrade, not you personally, so dropping it and running away was directly endangering the lives of your fellow soldiers and citizens.
  • Short spear (Assegai) and leaf-shaped oxhide shield for Zulus.
  • The Sikh Kirpan dagger, which Sikh men are mandated to carry as a symbol of their obligation to defend one another.
  • The Kris of Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • The rapier and left-hand dagger for Spain, though the flip knife is a later example.
  • The bolo of the Philippines. The balisong has also gained mainstream popularity as of late.
  • The Irish shillelagh.
  • The Finns have their puukko knives - quite unremarkable 4- to 6-inch, plain, single-edged, usually wooden-handled utility knives. These knives have proven to be the ultimate appliance for everything from crafting and cooking to eating and solving disputes with irritating neighbors for the past 500 years or so. And running.
  • The flag of Mozambique sports an AK-47 with bayonet attached.
  • The pike and, to a lesser extent, the halberd for the Swiss. They weren't the only ones using those weapons in Europe during their heyday, but they were certainly not just like any of the others - supremely disciplined, coordinated and aggressive, it was held for two centuries that only an equal or greater number of Swiss pikemen stood a chance against an amount of Swiss pikemen, or some other ridiculous numerical advantage that would probably still suffer a Pyrrhic Victory.
  • The Landsknecht were sixteenth century German mercenaries who largely usurped the Swiss as the premier warriors of Europe. Like the aforementioned Swiss, Landsknecht were formidable pikemen, and quite capable with early firearms as well. However, their most iconic weapon in their era and to this day was the Zweihänder, a two-handed sword that was massive even by German longsword standards. Up to six feet long, it was ideal for breaking pikes and smashing through enemy formations, but required extensive training and conditioning to use properly. Despite being the most recognized and celebrated piece of their arsenal, only a minority of Landskencht could wield them. These men were payed as much as double the normal rate because they fought as vulnerable shock troops who led the charge to enemy lines.
    • They're also known to universally wield a smaller sword (70-80 cm long) known as a Katzbalger as an Emergency Weapon for when enemies get too close for comfort.
  • The Franks used the francisca throwing axe at the beginning of each battle, a weapon so ubiquitous to them that there's speculation if the weapon was named after them, or vice versa.
  • The Saxons may have been named for their signature weapon, the seax knife or sword. Three of them still appear in the coat of arms of Essex (land of the East Saxons) in England.
  • Sweden has a couple:
    • During the Middle Ages there was the swordstaff. A crude polearm made by simply attaching a sword to a spearshaft or a long stick. Closely associated with miner and peasant uprising, particularly those instigated by the Dalecarlians.
    • During the time of the Swedish Empire there was the "kommendervärja" (commander's rapier). An exceptionally long and heavy rapier forged by the swordsmiths in Vira village and used by officers in the Carolean Army.
  • The United States has a few national weapons, but it's safe to say that the handgun is currently the foremost among them. A lot of this has to do with two things: the first being that the United States is virtually the only country in the world with no specific restrictions on the ownership of handguns and its status as a celebrated icon in American cinema.
    • The Pennsylvania Long Rifle was this for Appalachian frontiersmen and Revolutionary irregulars.
    • The revolver (six-shooters) and/or Winchester rifle for American Cowboys.
    • The M1911 .45 automatic pistol designed by Mormon gunsmith John Moses Browning of Ogden, Utah is the official firearm of the state of Utah.
      • Browning's M2 heavy machine gun, sometimes known affectionately as "Ma Deuce," isn't quite as prolific (because, you know, no one is crazy enough to let you keep a heavy machine gun), but being the only .50 caliber machine gun the U.S. military has kept in service (and has been in service since 1933) definitely counts for something.
    • The M1 Garand rifle was a weapon the US Marines didn't want, due to a plethora of false rumors that sprang up during its acceptance tests. Then they got to try a few of them out on Guadalcanal. The M1 was the first semiautomatic rifle adopted for general issue by any nation, and was accurate, powerful, reliable, well-balanced, just as suited to bayonet fighting as shooting, and is generally considered superior to the contemporary Russian SVT and German Gewehr-43. The Marines loved it so much that ever since 1954, every enlisted Marine above the rank of PFC wears a silhouette of two crossed Garands on his rank insignia. The Silent Drill Team also uses beautifully chrome-finished Garands as their ceremonial weapon.
      • Millions of surplus Garand rifles have been sold on the American civilian market through the Civilian Marksmanship Program. They are extremely popular among civilian shooters and collectors, rivaled only by the AR-15 and possibly the Winchester lever-action family of rifles as the iconic American rifle.
    • The distinctive black polymer furniture on the AR family of rifles (M16/M4/AR-15) has labeled the United States "The Black Rifle Nation."
    • The Bowie knife of the American frontiersman.
    • While it's been used by a lot of infantrymen since WWII, the KA-BAR knife is a weapon that is most associated with the USMC.
    • The baseball bat. Then again, the United States is one of the few places where someone might own one just to play baseball.
    • The tomahawk and the gunstock war club among Native American/First Nations peoples of the Northeast and the Great Plains. Due to their occasional use by colonial militia and Continental Army soldiers, tomahawks were seen as the first quintessentially American weapon. Since then, American troops—especially those of Native American descent, but also ones of pretty much every background under the sun—have occasionally brought tomahawks with them in pretty much every war Americans have fought in.
      • Tactical tomahawks are modern versions well-used by US military and law enforcement personnel for a wide variety of tasks (not just going Ax-Crazy on an enemy).
      • These days, it still is the tomahawk.
    • After the American Civil War, arguably the Rifle-Musket, considering that every soldier, from both armies, was able to go home with a rifle. The author's Grandfather in Richard Wright's Black Boy still had his in the 1920s.
    • Also, drones!
    • For better or worse, being the only country to actually use them in war has given the United States a likely-irrevocable link with nuclear weapons.
  • The AK family of rifles used by the Eastern Bloc, to the extent that there are still debates over which is the better gun. To sum up, the M-16 is more accurate and has a longer range, but the AK is much more durable and reliable, being designed to be simple to produce and to fire under any conditions.
  • The MP-40 submachine gun is probably the most iconic weapon used by Nazi Germany.
    • The Lüger P08 as well, despite existing since 1904.
    • The MG-42 is nearly as well-known - German infantry tactics were noticeably based around it, and the modernizations upon the weapon's design are still in use to this day.
  • The Brown Bess musket and later the Lee-Enfield rifle were once almost as much emblems of the British army as the red coat.
  • The jezail used to be a favorite among Pashtuns. It is an unusually long musket once used for sniping. It went out of style when local tribes first took to the Lee-Enfield and later to the AK-47 and modern sniper rifles.
  • More like National Armor than weapon, the unofficial emblem of the Romanian Army since 1938 has been the Dutch Helmet, based on the Dutch M28 and M34 steel helmets. It was adopted back in the late 1930s for some reason, and due to local production and German shipments of captured Dutch equipment during World War II, became ubiquitous enough to remain in production during the Communist years and saw regular use until the mid-1990s.
  • Several Arab nations have sabers and other curved swords on their flags and various political symbols. The most notable is Saudi Arabia, which features a slightly curved sword on its flag and two crossed slightly curved swords under a palm tree as its national symbol.
  • There's a damned good reason that Sicarii means "dagger-men".
  • If you see a modern Israeli soldier in fiction, odds are very good they'll be using an Uzi submachinegun or a Galil assault rifle. In truth, both these weapons are no longer used by the IDF in any serious capcity. The Israeli army has been using American M16s and M4s for a long while, and are slowly switching over to the local Tavor (which you may see in more contemporary visual media by virture of it being a very cool looking one).
  • The ancient Chinese had their own unique weapon, the ge or "dagger-axe," that looks somewhat like a halberd but is quite different in origin.
  • Imperial China had loads and loads of famous weapons, but four in particular were in consistent use and given significant reverence. Any officer or warrior worth his salt would be familiar with all of these weapons, and ideally master at least one.
    • The gun was a Simple Staff. It was called the grandfather of weapons because it was old, reliable and quite powerful despite its unassuming appearance. Also helps that it is the foundation for a lot of other polearms like the Guan Dao.
    • The qiang was the spear. It was called the king of weapons because it was the most widely used of the weapons, and heavily associated with the military and defense of China.
    • The jian was a light, narrow straight sword which was used in a quick, precise style somewhat comparable to fencing. It was called the gentleman of weapons because it was refined, graceful and versatile, and was the Weapon of Choice for nobles, scholars and even some women.
    • The dao was a single-edged sword that came in many forms. It could be short or two-handed, nearly straight or heavily curved, dual-wielded or used with a shield. It could resemble anything from a machete to a katana, though most types were roughly similar to medieval falchions or middle-eastern sabres. The dao was called the general of weapons because of its strong, straightforward style and efficiency.
  • Daneaxe, as you might suspect, have been associated with Danish vikings.
  • Rome made certain weapons famous, particularly the standardized legionary weapons specified by the Marian reforms:
    • The pilum, a type of javelin which began as an Etruscan weapon before the Romans adopted it and perfected both its design and tactical use. Mounted to the wooden shaft, there was a long, thin iron shank tipped with a small spearpoint. When it struck an enemy shield, the small point would punch through the shield and the shank (which encountered little friction because it was narrower than the diameter of the resulting hole) allowed the point to keep going a considerable distance past the shield to strike the man holding it before the thicker, wooden part of the pilum shaft stopped against the shield. Even if the enemy was lucky and didn't get wounded by the point, the pilum would reduce the effectiveness of the shield by weighing it down and being troublesome to extract. Each Roman soldier carried two pila, which they would throw at close range to disrupt the enemy formation before closing in with the shield and short sword.
    • The gladius was the famous shortsword of the Romans, inspired by swords native to the people of Hispania. While swords in other cultures were status symbols of wealthy warriors, the Romans made theirs a primary, standard-issue weapon of rank-and-file soldiers. The function of the gladius was directly tied to the large shield or scutum that the Romans used, since the shield together with the helmet provided enough protection for the sword to focus primarily on offense, and allowed the soldiers to press in to a close distance where the short blade could reach. Unlike longer blades it did not become unusable even at extremely close range, and using it also didn't require a lot of space to the left and right. It could be used to stab around or over the top of the enemy's shield, or sometimes hooked behind their leading leg to sever the hamstring. In short, it was the perfect sword for mass formation fighting. In the hands of large numbers of disciplined legionaries, the gladius helped conquer the Mediterranean world.
  • The Mexica or Aztecs had the Macahuitl, consisting of a wooden club with impossibly-sharp obsidian blades embedded in the edges. It has been called by some an "obsidian chainsaw" due to how it functioned. Spanish accounts mentioned it was capable of decapitating a horse, and modern recreations have proved it.
  • In modern times, the Mexican Army created it's own Assault Rifle, the FX-05 Xiuhcóatl, the specifics of which are a close guarded secret of the Mexican army. It's purpose was to essentially fulfill this trope, created to be a signature weapon of the Mexican armed forces.
    • Also of note was the Fusil Porfirio Diaz Sistema Mondragón Modelo 1908, or Mondragón Rifle for short, recognized as the first self-loading, or semi-automatic rifle used in battle, by Mexican troops during the Mexican Revolution, and by the Germans during World War I.
    • During the 19th century, the Mexicans, who were recognized as world-class horsemen since the days of New Spain, were particularly fearsome lancers. Texan and American accounts mention the fear the Mexican lancers would inspire in some troops.
  • The FAMAS assault rifle for France nowadays, though it's being phased out in favor of the German HK416.
  • The slings of the Balearic Islanders.
  • Ukrainian Cossacks of the Hetmanate had shashka sabers and muskets.
  • Modern Ukrainians praise the portable, Western-made Anti-Tank Guided Missile weapons such as Javelin and NLAW which helped them destroy numerous Russian vehicles at the outset of the 2022 Russian invasion. The name "Saint Javelin," associated with the image of a saint holding the missile launcher, is Memetic Mutation at its finest.