The main topic of the article is the identity of Pilsen, a city in Western Bohemia, from 1860 to the end of the First Czechoslovak Republic in 1938. The aim is to show several ‘proposals’ of the identity and to examine why some of them won and other vanished. The author is therefore seeking the answer to the question how is the urban identity formed, why is it gaining support (and vice versa), who articulates it and where lies the main legitimization. This is all happening during complex social processes. In 1938, Pilsen was town renown for its industry and it was home to many political and nationalist organizations. However, industrialization (or generally speaking modernization), modern nationalism and mass political movements were quite weak or even absent in 1860. Urban identity was to a certain extent formed by these processes. Black Pilsen was associated with the industry, Red Pilsen with the socialist movement and Loyal Pilsen with the nationalist movement. But we should not think of it as a mechanical process, meanings could change and do. Identity, self-understanding and self-projection, is not independent of the will and abilities of people. The method of this article could thus be compared to a dialogue, dialogue between Czechs and Germans, between the political parties, between the elites and their clients, between the region and the center. It could be one-sided dialogue, but dialogue still.