May 18, 2021

Man facing charges after burning military flags in Franklin

(Franklin, GA) — A man is in the Heard County jail tonight after vandalizing and burning several flags honoring the U.S. Armed Forces flags in downtown Franklin this morning.

Bruce David Popphand

Bruce David Popphand

Bruce David Popphan, age 50, allegedly cut the ropes to the five flags and then set them on fire in broad daylight.

According to a report by Franklin Police Chief Kevin Hannah, he received several calls to report the ongoing vandalism near the town gazebo around 9:22 a.m. Monday morning.

Hannah said witnesses reported Popphan had cut the ropes to the flags before setting them on fire.

Witnesses also stated the man used a small container of gasoline to start the fire and calmly watched the flags burn while smoking a cigarette.

The flags were still on fire when police arrived on the scene, located only about 50 yards from the Franklin Police station.

Authorities aren’t sure why the man vandalized the flags on the city square which hang on poles in honor of each branch of the U.S. Military.

Popphan refused to cooperate with authorities when they attempted to interview him.

Military flags that were burned in downtown Franklin Monday morning

Military flags that were burned in downtown Franklin Monday morning

Popphan is charged with three felonies including Criminal Damage to Property (2nd Degree), Arson, and Criminal Interference with Governor Property as well as two misdemeanor charges of Criminal Trespass and Disorderly Conduct

Popphan told authorities he is homeless, although his identification showed his address as Whitlock Drive near the Corinth community.

Stay tuned to for further information as it becomes available.


  1. John Roberts says

    It is without anger, I as an American and combat veteran will let all the evidence be heard. There is much we do not yet know. This man may have a mental illness or other psychological problem we know nothing about. If when all the evidence is in and if he did this in some form of protest or with malice in his heart, then he will be judged and sentenced accordingly. Let us not hate or rush to judgement. I ask my fellow veterans and Americans to remain professional and let this be handled by our law enforcement and court system. We are a small community. Let not this turn into a witch hunt for his family who may have nothing to do with it. We fought for the Constitution and the American justice system and it’s time to let it work. Do not act like the liberals who are immature and foolish in their responses. Stand behind the system, let it work. Thank you and God Bless America! SFC John E. Roberts Jr, US Army (Ret)

    • I am also a veteran John and your post is very well stated, with you all the way!

    • Very well stated. People are quick to judge when that is t their place. We may never know what may have been going on with the man. We should pray for him. People are quick to mouth off when they only are reading others rants. Exactly what I hate about social media. We need more like you. My father is a Vet too and never asked for one benefit he was entitled too. We should honor and pray for them. Pray for this man.

    • Very well worded! And thank you for your service.

  2. I think I saw him this evening at Southforks convenience store on Corinth road. He asked me for gas money and a cigarette… I told him I had neither… Not sure if it was him but it sure looked like him!…

  3. Kenneth Hoopaugh says

    I agree with you John. Ken Hoopaugh,, SSG retired, U S Army. God bless the U.S.A.

    • Something going on real strong in his head that’s for sure , he sounds like he may be mad at the armed services and America. Wonder if he is a Vet?
      Sounds homeless and alone ..

      • Judy Lavoie says

        About ten or fifteen percent of US citizens are VETERANS. A large portion of that number of veterans are homeless.

  4. Chris Huggins says

    Hello I have met this man once in franklin I remember I was flying an American flag from my truck along with a us navy flag for my father who is a veteran. This man came up to me at the franklin ball fields as I was getting out of my truck he came up to me talking to me about what the flags meant to him and he seemed to support the flags 100% and he had told me about him being in the military back in his younger days. He seemed a little slow in the mind I was thinking he was on drugs at first but I didn’t want to be one to judge and it came to mind that maybe something had happened to him in the war and maybe his mind just wasn’t right, my dad has ptsd and sometimes his mind just goes somewhere else and talks crazy things. The war will do crazy things to people, he also had told me he was homeless and living under the bridge by the river which I believe was true cause I walked down there to fish and noticed some bedding and bags so someone definitely was living there. I’ll continue to pray for this man in hopes the truth will come out as to why he did this, you never know what’s going on in someone’s head.

    • Bad things happen to good people. I know veterans who feel let down by our government. They deserve so much more than they get. He could be struggling with more than any of us could understand. You have the right idea. We should pray for him and remember to give thanks to all our service men past and present.

  5. Sounds like us current (and former) military folks need to have some wall to wall counseling with this guy. Might do him some good.

  6. I feel sorry for him i knew him when he was a child. then when he got about 30 something he got in a car wreck he broke every bone form his neck to his feet and he went through several operations. the doctor put him on a lot of pills. He is a good boy. So everyone please pray for him.

  7. Tesia McCornick says


  8. Sandy Devine says

    I’m a vets wife, a vets daughter, granddaughter, sister, and cousin. All the comments I’ve read, is how I feel. Except one. Yes, I feel he’s and idiot for burning such a precious item and what it stands for. But, I totally agree and understand that there is something else wrong there. All evidence needs to be put in front for all to see, before we all pass judgment on what went on. People who do not serve has NO idea what goes on out on the battlefield. When your there fighting for your country and you see your friends get blown up right next to you. It changes a person. I was never there, nor do I ever want to. But, I do know that our veterans and the people who are there now, need our love and support for what they went through and what they are going through. People are so quick to judge without any facts at all.
    Without you all, we’d be nothing and have nothing. Prayers to all of you.


  1. […] Davie Popphan is the same man who was charged with burning military flags in downtown Franklin in April of […]

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