Socially shared representations of history have been important in creating, maintaining and changing a people's identity. Their management and negotiation are central to interethnic and international relations. We present a narrative framework to represent how collectively significant events become (selectively) incorporated in social representations that enable positioning of ethnic, national and supranational identities. This perspective creates diachronic (temporal) links between the functional (e.g. realistic conflict theory), social identity, and cognitive perspectives on intergroup relations. The charters embedded in these representations condition nations with similar interests to adopt different political stances in dealing with current events, and can influence the perceived stability and legitimacy of social orders. They are also instrumental in determining social identity strategies for reacting to negative social comparisons, and can influence the relationships between national and ethnic identities.