RALEIGH, N.C. — Executives from Red Hat plan to color Wall Street in red today. Not in red ink, but red carpet and red fedoras.

Red Hat Chief Executive Officer Matthew Szulik and a host of corporate execs are in the Big Apple today to celebrate the Hatters’ move of their stock to the New York Stock Exchange from the NASDAQ.

Given Szulik’s panache, I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up at the NYSE in a red suit, red shoes and a fedora.

Szulik will ring the bell to open trading at 9:30 a.m.

And the NYSE is commemorating the win of landing Red Hat as a listing by rolling out plenty of red carpet, running advertising touting Red Had and Linux open source software — and even coming up with a 10-foot tall red fedora.

The Hatters and others will be out and about on Segway scooters saddled with Red Hat logos. And some 20,000 Red Hat baseball caps are to be handed out, too.

The stylish red-and-black fedoras have been a trademark of Red Hat since co-founder Bob Young launched the company more than a decade ago.

In Raleigh, employees at the company’s headquarters on North Carolina State’s Centennial Campus are planning to party as they watch the New York shindig.

As of today, the firm’s signature stock trading symbol (RHAT) will change to RHT. Red Hat went public in the “dot com” go-go days of 1999 at $14 a share. That price quickly tripled to $55.

These days, Red Hat is a profitable company with CEO Szulik and Chief Financial Officer Charlie Peters running a pretty lean ship. But the NYSE move comes after a tumultuous fall when Red Hat was battered by software giant Oracle’s announced move into the Linux market space Red Hat dominates and the recent partnership struck between king of proprietary software Microsoft and Novell, a Linux distributor.

Those moves led in part to Red Hat’s decision to pick the NYSE on Nov. 17. By listing the stock on the larger, more traditional exchange, Red Hat management hopes to avoid some of the volatility associated with the NASDAQ.

The NYSE has said it will spend far more than Red Hat will pay to be listed on the change in advertising promoting Red Hat. The Exchange also plans to make a $10,000 donation to the One Laptop Per Child effort that Red Hat supports.

Red Hat’s initial public offering day in 1999 was one big party, and today’s event might not generate as much excitement or as much news attention as that blast-off. Still, today does mark another significant benchmark in Red Hat’s steady progress toward profitability and long-term survivability.

Who can blame Szulik and the troops if they don the fedoras today a little prouder than they were on Monday?

Red Hat: www.redhat.com