Lord William Campbell discovered that Patriot leaders learned of his coordinating with backcountry Loyalists. Fearing attack from Revolutionaries in Charlestown, Campbell fled his house on Meeting Street in the early morning hours to HMS Tamar. This effectively ended British rule in South Carolina.
Almost immediately, Colonel William Moultrie led a local militia unit with Captain Francis Marion, seized Fort Johnson and its twenty-one guns, with no resistance from the British. Lord William Campbell, on board the Tamar, considered this action an overt act of war. The fact that this was done in plain view of two British warships, practically under Campbell’s nose, made it particularly insulting.
Moultrie was then directed by the Council of Safety to devise a flag. He chose the blue of the 1st and 2nd Regiments and the silver crescent which adorned their hats. This flag was raised over Ft. Johnson – the first American flag to replace the Union Jack.